Wednesday, 13 June 2007

An apology

I owe Fernando Alonso an apology I think. Reflecting my post HERE I think I was a bit too harsh in my analysis of his comments to the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

Ron Dennis has since moved to diffuse the row over perceived favouritism at Mclaren after the Spanish press seized on Alonso’s comments. Dennis said:

“It is completely understandable that the results of each Grand Prix are going to provide both the British and Spanish media with an opportunity to hang on every word that the drivers say. And sometimes quotes are taken out of context which can put a completely different spin on an innocent remark. [Continued...]

“The Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes team is made up by extremely passionate and competitive people and there is a healthy competition between the teams working on each car - this is inevitable and there is no issue with that.

“However I can categorically state, once again, that both drivers have equal equipment, equal support and equal opportunity to win within the team and both Fernando and Lewis know and support this.

“Fernando’s comments when read carefully are correct - he has not been with the team long and the relationship can only continue to develop. The team is not going to do anything to jeopardise this positive and growing partnership.”

I still don’t understand what Alonso was hoping to achieve with his comments and I think there is some truth to Kevin Garside’s comments in today’s Daily Telegraph: “Alonso is a clever fellow. He has a surgeon’s precision with language. Only productive incisions are made. He was not misquoted, as has sometimes been the case.”

Misquoted he may not have been but Ron Dennis is absolutely right when he talks about the danger of taking words out of context. Indeed, I think in the heat of the moment I made this fatal error in my post yesterday. In the crunch quote – “I am with a British teammate in a British team – and everyone knows that all of their support and help is for him” – Alonso could well be referring to general support, advice and care rather than technical or mechanical assistance. This is understandable given that Hamilton is a rookie.

I would be interested to look at the whole transcript of the Cadena Ser interview.


Cornelius said...

if you understand spanish, you can listen to the full interview here

The statements are almost at the end, and its not as dramatic as the British press has made it look. Basically, the reporter asks him in a friendly tone something like "I am going to ask you a difficult question (laughs) I know you might not answer (laughs). Do you think in the next race Silverstone in Britain, your team is going to prefer a victory from Hamilton?"

Then Fernando laughs a while and says obviously, i'm in a british team, we will be running in silverstone with a british and a spaniard, so the team would love to have a british first place bla bla bla. After speaking, he even said that he didn't think that was a strange situation because, obviously, we're talking about silverstone.

F1 Voice said...

Ah, thanks for this. Much appreciated. Yes I did think the British press were making a bit of a mountain out of a mole hill. It seems as if the comments were made in an entirely informal joking atmosphere.