Pedro de la Rosa has rubbished suggestions that world champion Fernando Alonso is struggling to maintain the support of his McLaren bosses.
The Spanish newspaper ‘Diario As’ claims that the situation, with Lewis Hamilton the subject of British fervour due to his impressive debut in 2007, is similar to de la Rosa’s tenure at Jaguar in 2001, when the overwhelming backing of the British team fell to Eddie Irvine.
McLaren test driver and countryman de la Rosa, however, insisted that Alonso can cope.
“Remember when he was first at Renault,” the 36-year-old observed, “he had an Italian boss and an Italian teammate.”
De la Rosa also said that 25-year-old Alonso’s difficult race in Bahrain last month should not now be considered as typical.
“No-one should try to complicate the situation more than the reality. We are talking about motor racing and the fact is that not everything goes the want you want it to all of the time.
“There is nothing more to it,” he said.
De la Rosa also cast doubt on the opinions of formula one experts who think Felipe Massa can maintain the upper-hand over his highly rated new teammate Kimi Raikkonen throughout 2007.
When asked which Ferrari driver he tips this year, McLaren’s test driver answered: “Absolutely Raikkonen. He is the quicker.
“At the end of 17 races, he will be our biggest adversary.”