Fernando Alonso has made it clear he believes that the first corner touch between his car at that of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari was entirely the fault of the Ferrari driver. The incident sent Alonso on an off-track excursion which cost him several places, and potentially the race.
No-one appears to be agreeing with Alonso though – even his boss, Ron Dennis, said it was a “racing incident.”
Alonso disagrees. “Well, it was very tight,” he explained. “I think the start was very similar between the two cars but then obviously I put myself behind Felipe and, thanks to the slipstream, I was a little bit quicker. I went on the outside; I braked later and I think I was much in front of him in the first corner. Unfortunately, he didn’t think so and we touched each other.
“We were lucky to both finish the race because in 99% of these type of incidents, both cars will finish at the first corner. Sometimes I think this type of things is very dangerous. I don’t want to say anything that you should believe or should not believe. I think what I mean is that in this type of incident, 99% of the time both cars will finish in the first corner as we saw in GP2.
“I think when you are fighting for the championship, it is very risky to be as aggressive as this in the first corner, sometimes, and I mean only that. We were lucky today that both cars finished, one first and one third, and thanks to that, the incident will become a little less important.
“I think the car was damaged all through the race and unfortunately, it was a little bit more difficult to drive. We also took the gamble when we took the prime tyre in the first stop, just to see if there was some advantage there because we needed a miracle after being third, a little bit too far behind the first two people on lap 15 or lap 16. So we took the gamble and it was not fantastic. So we went back to the option tyre at the end and the car became a little bit quicker.”
Massa completely disagrees with Alonso’s view on the incident. “I was on the inside, so I don’t understand his point!”, Massa said. “As long as I am inside, I will stay there – I won’t move. If anybody was aggressive, it was Fernando and not me. If I am wrong, than I am the first to say I’ve made a mistake. Come on – this is racing, Formula 1, the first corner! So when I make a mistake, I’ll be the first to say – don’t worry.”
Alonso bit back with a snide comment. Referring to an incident last year where the race stewards docked Alonso some race positions after Ferrari claimed he had impeded Massa in qualifying, Alonso said, “They investigated me last year for an incident in Monza when I was half a kilometer in front. Maybe this year that don’t investigate these kind of things.”