Alonso feels isolated in world title scrap
The Spaniard feels let down by his Renault team as he goes into the final races of his scrap with Schumacher for this year's title.india Updated: Oct 05, 2006 17:43 IST
World champion Fernando Alonso said on Thursday that he feels isolated and let down by his Renault team as he goes into the final races of his scrap with Michael Schumacher for this year's title.
The Spaniard told a news conference ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix that he was particularly upset when his Renault team-mate Italian Giancarlo Fisichella flanked and then passed him last Sunday in Shanghai.
There, in the Chinese Grand Prix, tyre problems and pit-stop errors cost him his season-long lead in the drivers' contest as Schumacher produced a virtuoso display to claim his 91st career victory.
That win hoisted the German, seeking his eighth crown before retiring, level with Alonso on 116 points, but ahead by seven wins to six.
Alonso, 25, finished second, ultimately ahead of a third-placed Fisichella, but he made it clear he believes that Renault and Fisichella could have done much more to support him in that race.
However, he also attempted to downplay any rift with the team over the issue.
"I felt alone, for sure. I was first and my team-mate was second and they (Fisichella and Schumacher) came to me, they overtook me and they were gone," he said.
"And after, when I recovered the pace, they were too far (ahead), and for sure it is like you are in the Tour de France, in the mountains, climbing, you have a puncture, or whatever, and your team and your rival has gone uphill with no stops. That was a little bit difficult to understand."
He added that,"In my opinion, in team play, maybe, I should have had more help (from the team).
"I think they do the maximum they can," he said.
"They have given me a fantastic car, winning the championship last year and fighting this year.
"So, therefore, what the team does in every race is unbelievable, to be equal in the drivers' championship and equal in the constructors".
"For sure the team is giving us a fantastic car, but for sure in some occasions in a different view or a different approach I have felt a little alone."
Pressed to elaborate, a clearly-frustrated Alonso said he believed Renault were more interested in winning the constructors' title than seeing him take the drivers' championship, and with it the feted number one to McLaren.
"All the team and all the people are really focused for the championship. We have been leading both championships all season, and for these last races all the people are motivated. The atmosphere in the team is super," he said.
"Every single person in the team is just focused on the championship, but, for sure, for the team it is more important (to win) the constructors' (title).
"I am very surprised about that, I don't know why he said it.Obviously, I race for myself and I don't race for Fernando," he said.
"But if there is a possibility to help them it is okay, but I cannot stop my car on the track to let him past.
"For me there is no problem at all. I will talk with him about that, but if he is happy, okay, if he is not happy then I don't mind. It is important to be together until the end of the season.
"I work for Renault and we are working to win both championships, which is very important for us.
"He will win because he has done a fantastic season and scored a lot of points, that is all. We work as usual. When we jump in the car we are going to push to win the race, which is our main target.
First Published: Oct 05, 2006 17:43 IST