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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
Alonso criticises Renault tactics
Fernando Alonso
Alonso is level on points with Michael Schumacher
World champion Fernando Alonso was unhappy with the tactics of Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella during last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Alonso was hampered by a tyre problem when leading and was passed by Fisichella and Michael Schumacher.

The Spaniard regained second place but claimed Fischella abandoned him as title rival Schumacher took the win.

"I felt that maybe I had a problem with the car for nine or 10 laps and I felt alone, for sure," said Alonso.

"It's like you are in the Tour de France, you are in the mountains, you have a puncture and your team and your rival go uphill without stopping. That was a bit difficult to understand."

On some occasions in a different view or a different approach I have felt a little alone

Fernando Alonso

Schumacher's victory brought him level on points with Alonso in the drivers' championship but the German leads by virtue of seven race wins to his rival's six.

Fisichella's overtaking manoeuvre particularly angered Alonso, who felt it was an undue risk with just this weekend's race in Japan and one more in Brazil to follow.

"Once he overtook me and I overtook him again, and these risky moments - with three races to win the championship - with your team-mate are not good," said Alonso.

"Fisichella tried to overtake me. The cars were side by side on the straight, he overtook me so there was no team play. Maybe even the opposite."

Alonso - who will leave Renault for McLaren next season - is confident his team remain committed to winning the world title, although he believes the constructors' crown rather than the drivers' championship is the main priority.

"The team has done the maximum they can," he said. "They have given me a fantastic car, winning the championship last year and fighting this year.

The only one heavy mistake was in Budapest

Flavio Briatore
Renault team boss

"So therefore what the team does in every race is unbelievable, to be equal in the drivers' championship and ahead 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."

Team boss Flavio Briatore said on Friday he had cleared the air with Alonso.

"I talked with Fernando and Fisi yesterday, sometimes we talk about frustration and pressure and this and that. It happens," he said.

"But I don't think there is any problem at all. Maybe there is some more motivation for this weekend."

Fisichella added: "I spoke with Fernando and he told me 'I said something but it wasn't against you. You did a fantastic job. If I have a problem with you, I come to you and don't say it to the press'.

"There is no problem at all between us and we are just concentrating on the weekend, which is really important, to score more points than Ferrari and do the best.

"The matter is now closed. And it wasn't open for me."

Although Renault admitted after the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend that their mistakes had cost Alonso the race, Briatore said the team had only let down Alonso once this year, when he retired after a wheel nut came loose following a pit stop.

"Really the only one heavy mistake was in Budapest," said Briatore.

"On Sunday I don't believe in the end that the [second] pitstop had any influence on the race. It looked bad, but... really we lost 10 points in Budapest, that is the reality."

He said Renault could not be blamed for the tyre problems in China that lost Alonso the lead following the decision to change the front tyres on his car when all other leading runners did not change their tyres at that point.

"We never expected the graining to be for so long. We expected to have some graining, we changed the tyre only because it was the request of the driver."



SEE ALSO
F1 rivals relish 'fantastic' duel
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
No excuses for mistakes - Renault
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher on top after China win
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Chinese Grand Prix as it happened
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
China GP photos
01 Oct 06 |  Photo Galleries


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