Renault’s Pat Symonds has denied press headlines in Budapest on Friday that suggest Fernando Alonso is beginning to ‘lose his cool’ in the midst of the 2006 title fight.
”I think if he was ever going to feel the pressure and show the pressure,” the team’s director of engineering said at the Hungaroring, ”it would have been last year.”
Symonds had been asked about the 25-year-old Spaniard’s trip to the race stewards, after a fist-waving and apparent brake-testing incident involving Friday driver Robert Doornbos.
Alonso emerged from the stewards’ room to a swarm of journalists, microphones and television cameras saying he was ‘totally surprised’ by the events.
The outcome of the enquiry is not yet known.
Explaining his fury at Doornbos, he claimed that backmarkers ‘take so long (to move over) and they don’t look in the mirror too much’. The angry hand gestures at Doornbos were similar to those directed against championship rival Michael Schumacher in the Hockenheim pit lane a week ago.
Alonso’s comments also coincided with the claim of Renault boss Flavio Briatore that, referring to the ‘mass damper’ saga, the FIA is trying to manipulate the title fight.
”We will run without the mass dampers,” the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport, ”because we do not want to be blackmailed by the federation.”