Alonso calms down after weekend fireworks
Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso softened his stance against Formula One stewards on Tuesday after the sport`s governing body said they would review controversial safety car regulations.
London: Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso softened his stance against Formula One stewards on Tuesday after the sport`s governing body said they would review controversial safety car regulations.
The Spaniard had branded Sunday`s European Grand Prix "manipulated" after losing out to former McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton, who effectively paid no penalty for illegally passing the safety car.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said the incident had thrown "a shadow over the credibility of Formula One".
With Hamilton accusing Alonso of "sour grapes" in the British media, the double world champion said he had calmed down and transformed his anger into "positive energy driving a desire to fight back".
"Obviously, in the clear light of day, I am much calmer than I was in the moments immediately following the race," the Spaniard told the Ferrari website (www.ferrari.com).
"At the time, I reacted emotionally, and in that situation it is all too easy to adopt a tone and say things that can be interpreted wrongly, giving rise to suspicions, something which I had no intention of doing.”
"Sure, I understand that the stewards have a difficult job to do and they have to take decisions that are not easy.”
"What I meant was that those drivers who, like us, respected the regulations, unfortunately, in this situation, suffered much more than those who broke them, even though they were given a penalty."
Alonso said he was not referring to any of the drivers in particular, and the safety car incident needed to be talked over to ensure it did not happen again.
"I was pleased to hear that the FIA has reacted promptly, calling an extraordinary meeting of the Sporting Working Group and I am confident, certain even, that all the points up for discussion will be cleared up in a comprehensive fashion," he said.
An FIA spokesman confirmed there would be a meeting next week before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Although the stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty for his infringement in Valencia, they delayed so long that he was able to take it without losing second place while Alonso slipped from third to ninth.
Hamilton, who had a notable falling out with Alonso at McLaren in 2007, pointed out that the Spaniard had also been overtaken by Sauber`s Kamui Kobayashi on the last lap.
"I don`t understand why I affected his race so much," the 2008 champion said. "Everyone has a right to their opinions. He must just be disappointed with his own result but I didn`t do anything to him."
Montezemolo suggested that was not the case. "Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules," he said.
"Meanwhile, those who didn`t follow the rules were penalised by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them."