• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Radio messages misleading - Alonso

ESPN Staff
September 7, 2013 « Hulkenberg baffled by surprise pace | 'I drove like an idiot' - Hamilton »
Fernando Alonso qualified fifth behind his team-mate at Monza © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso said radio messages in Italian that sound as if he was angry with Ferrari during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix were misleading.

In a message played out in Italian Alonso appeared to be angry at the team for failing to correctly execute its strategy of Felipe Massa giving him a tow on the straights in Q3. However, Alonso insisted afterwards that the message was taken out of context and that he was actually very happy with the way qualifying had gone.

"In Q3 we had Vergne in the middle out of Turn 4 and then I didn't take the slipstream of Vergne because he seemed to want to follow Felipe, so I prepared the tyres a bit and then Vergne let me by and I had no-one in front," Alonso said. "So I said on the radio that Felipe is too far now if we want to do this, so they slowed him down and he waited for me a bit in Parabolica and we started the last attempt more-or-less the same distance as always.

"So I just had to say thank you to the team, thank you to Felipe again for this extra 0.1s that helped me do the last attempt in Q3. But they didn't put out the last radio message when I said 'Thank you to Felipe, thank you to the team, it was perfect' at the end."

In a later press release, Alonso admitted he sarcastically called his Ferrari team "geniuses" but that it came at a different part of qualifying.

"The radio messages have been misunderstood, as is often the case when you don't experience something first hand: the word 'genius' refers to the fact that we could have got out before [Nico] Rosberg had gone by on his quick lap, but this should not raise any doubts about the impeccable job from the whole team."

Alonso added that he was confident of challenging Vettel for victory with just Nico Hulkenberg between the Red Bulls and Ferraris on the grid.

"It's the first time for many, many races that I will be able to see the Red Bull rear wing where I am on the grid and on the first lap I can attack. It was an extremely, extremely good qualifying for us and a great team effort."