APRIL 12, 2015
Alonso under attack in China
In China, Fernando Alonso has come under attack.
First, the criticism came from a presenter of Sky Italia's coverage of formula one, who issued a highly critical 'tweet' about the McLaren-Honda driver.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Alonso's revenge was that he refused to speak to the Italian broadcaster at all in Shanghai.
The presenter later apologised.
But that is not all. Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda has also revealed his opinion about the former Ferrari driver, published in the pages of the La Repubblica newspaper.
"Alonso is selfish, moody and negative," said the F1 legend, claiming Alonso's attitude hurt Ferrari.
"How can you improve morale in a team if your driver is speaking badly at every opportunity, and especially a team that is from Italy?"
Lauda said Alonso, 33, must be regretting the fouling of his relationship with Maranello, as he is now driving in "the abyss" with McLaren.
But Alonso insists he has not made a bad choice to swap red for grey, even though only the Manor drivers were slower than him in Shanghai qualifying.
He said he will eventually get revenge on those who are "enjoying" his current struggles.
"Those who are enjoying, they (Ferrari) are third," said Alonso, "one second behind.
"They're beating me, but they're not beating Mercedes, which at the end of the day is my goal," he said.
Indeed, despite beating Mercedes in the Malaysian heat a fortnight ago, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel qualified nearly a full second behind pole on Saturday.
Rob Smedley, the chief engineer at Williams, agrees with Alonso that Mercedes is not "a step ahead, (they are) a whole world" in front of any rival.
Alonso's teammate Jenson Button says that is why the grey-clad duo are remaining so upbeat.
"To challenge Mercedes, you've got to be a manufacturer," he said. "That's exactly the reason for the McLaren-Honda partnership."
Button acknowledged that McLaren may not win races until 2016, but he also said the Woking team is making major steps forward at every grand prix.
"We are not talking about one or two tenths per race," said the Briton.
Alonso agreed: "We have reduced the gap from 5 to 3.5 to 2 seconds. Every day we solve problems and find laptime. I am enjoying the process.
"In two months we will be proud of what we have done."