Alonso: I no longer consider F1 a sport
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, September 10th 2006, 09:38 GMT|
World champion Fernando Alonso has said he no longer considers Formula One a sport after he was penalized for blocking Felipe Massa in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Renault driver, close to tears at a packed press conference at the Renault motorhome on Sunday morning, said that the FIA's decision to delete his three fastest laps had changed his view on what F1 was all about.
"I did my lap without blocking anyone intentionally," said Alonso, speaking in front of video screens showing on board footage from Massa's cars of the incident.
"I love the sport, I love the fans coming here, a lot of them from Spain, but I don't consider F1 anymore a sport."
Alonso insisted that he did not block Massa deliberately and said that if he was penalized for what happened this time then it would likely lead to problems in the future.
"If you see the video, then if this is blocking intentionally we will have a lot of problems from now on in qualifying. If this is blocking, I don't understand how we will race today if this is the minimum distance (between cars)."
Team boss Flavio Briatore made it clear that Alonso had not impeded Massa deliberately - and that he had only completed his out lap in qualifying at such a speed because he needed to get across the start-finish line before the chequered flag came out.
"Yesterday Fernando was penalised for the lap, and I want only to tell you, Fernando never intentionally wanted to stop Massa," explained Briatore.
"You know, he had a tyre accident. Fernando come back to the pits, we checked on the chassis and it was quite dangerous to send Fernando out again.
"But we are fighting for the championship and the people need to see a show. This is the reason why we love the sport, this is the reason why Fernando go out and he made the chequered flag to start his quickest lap by one second.
"We told him by radio to drive like a qualifying lap on his out lap because really we were very, very tight, because we check the chassis and the suspension. He did a perfect job and we had no intention to stop Massa.
"We don't want to argue with the decision, but we tell you what is our position - we are quite sad that this happened and Fernando takes the risk to do this lap.
"We need to recognise that when you send the driver out in the position he was, he takes a lot of risk."