Spanish motorsport head trusts McLaren

The head of Spanish motorsport has said he is confident Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will receive equal treatment in the title-deciding Grand Prix in Brazil after meeting McLaren chief Ron Dennis on Tuesday

Spanish motorsport head trusts McLaren

"I'm convinced that Hamilton and Alonso are going to get exactly the same treatment," Spanish Motorsport Federation president Carlos Gracia told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"McLaren have demonstrated their professionalism over many years and so has Ron Dennis.

"I met with Ron Dennis at his request in Madrid this morning and we discussed the season and that meeting confirmed my confidence in him and the team."

The relationship between Dennis and Alonso has deteriorated this season and the Spaniard fears that the team would prefer Hamilton to win the title.

Formula One's governing body, the FIA, have appointed an official to ensure Spanish world champion Alonso receives the same treatment as his McLaren team mate Hamilton at the title-deciding at Interlagos.

Gracia will also be attending the race at the invitation of Dennis.

"The only reason for my presence at Interlagos is because Ron Dennis had the courtesy to invite me," said Gracia. "He showed his complete professionalism by offering Pedro Martinez de la Rosa as a translator so if I had any questions or doubts they could be resolved."

Gracia distanced himself from controversial comments about Hamilton in an interview published in Spanish daily El Publico on Tuesday.

Questioned about the support the McLaren driver enjoyed in England and the desire of the media to see an English world champion, Gracia was quoted as saying:

"It's understandable that they want to make the most of it. But given how racist they are in England, the fact that they have to rely on a coloured driver...They tried it with (Jenson) Button and he let them down."

But Gracia told Reuters: "I'm very surprised by what was published and lament the interpretation which has been put on the words. They were taken out of context and wrongly interpreted.

"I want to make it clear that I do not believe in stereotyping any nationality. There was no racist element to what I said and I am a great admirer of England. I did not say that.

"The accusations that have emerged go against the very principles I've defended in 23 years at the head of the Spanish Federation.

"What I meant was that England have been looking for a Formula One idol for many years and no matter who he was they were going to give him all their support.

"I have always had great respect for Hamilton as a driver and that respect remains even though he can take the title away from Alonso."

Hamilton, the 22-year-old Briton who could become the first rookie to win the Formula One title as well as the youngest champion, leads Spaniard Alonso by four points ahead of the decider at Interlagos on Sunday.

shares
comments
Brazil preview quotes: Spyker
Previous article

Brazil preview quotes: Spyker

Next article

Raikkonen: supersofts won't be a problem

Raikkonen: supersofts won't be a problem
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022