Fernando Alonso and his Renault team have reacted with fury to stewards’ decision to penalise the Spanish driver for blocking.
Alonso, 25, must start Sunday’s Italian grand prix from just tenth on the grid after it was ruled that, on an out lap late in the qualifying session, he ‘impeded’ Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.
”This decision is surprising and wrong,” Renault’s Pat Symonds fumed.
Indeed, after reviewing the on-board footage from Massa’s car, some observers in the media centre were left wondering if they had been shown the right lap.
The only notable incident during the lap was a ‘lift’ or ‘wobble’ on the throttle in Parabolica, as Alonso’s Renault loomed about 100 metres ahead.
Symonds told La Gazzetta dello Sport: ”To say it is a strange decision is to say very little.”
When asked if he thought stewards at Monza had sided with Ferrari, as the championship entered its final phase, the Briton said: ”That is up to you — you are the journalists. You judge. I’m only an engineer.”
Alonso pedalled a similar line, commenting only that ‘when Ferrari protests, you can never be calm’.
He told the Spanish press: ”What happened yesterday happened a hundred times already this year, also in the races.
”It is typical Ferrari. They try to take advantage of the smallest opportunities to try to get us.”
Renault’s engine chief Denis Chevrier also marvelled at the stewards’ ‘incredible’ call.
”It seems they are trying to help Ferrari,” he told ‘AS’ newspaper.