Niki Lauda has joined the Italian press in siding with Fernando Alonso following the Nurburgring winner’s wheel-banging scrap with Felipe Massa.
“No one can justify (Massa’s) exaggerated reaction to Alonso’s criticism,” La Gazzetta dello Sport observed on Monday after the Ferrari driver launched into foul-mouthed abuse behind the podium last Sunday.
Triggering the attack, Spaniard Alonso had told Massa, who is also 25, that he thought he had driven into the left sidepod of his McLaren on purpose as they diced for the win.
“Why (Massa) drove straight into Alonso, I can not understand,” Austrian legend Lauda is quoted as saying by the newspaper Bild-Zeitung.
He speculated: “Childishness, carelessness, or Brazilian temper?”
Lauda rejected suggestions that Massa only reacted badly after Alonso verbally provoked him.
“He should have just shown him the middle finger. There is no need to get so excited. Alonso attacked on the track with full strength — no, he was perfect.”
So do Massa and Alonso hate each other now?
“Another question,” Lauda suggested. “Do you like someone who takes away your victory?”