Press goes hard on Alonso, McLaren

Mon, 17 September 2007, 02:54

Fernando Alonso had a hard time on Monday after cutting his championship deficit to Lewis Hamilton to just two points in Belgium.

“Liar! Extortionist! And his reward should be the world championship?” German daily Bild, referring to the Spaniard’s involvement in the espionage scandal, exclaimed after Sunday’s race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Britain’s The Sun turned its attention to his first-lap driving in the fight for position with McLaren teammate Hamilton.

“Alonso’s tactics are the pits,” the tabloid headline read.

The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, revealed that Alonso was offering each of the 15 mechanics on his side of the garage $1300 for every race in which he beats Hamilton to the flag.

It is reported that Ron Dennis “vetoed” the idea instantly because “it was divisive for team morale”.

26-year-old Alonso, meanwhile, refused to respond to Hamilton’s complaint about his turn-one tactics on Sunday.

“Unfortunately I know that this is going to be the conversation topic for Monday,” he told the Spanish newspaper Diario As.

“On Saturday Ron said something, today Lewis says something else and tomorrow it will be something else again,” he predicted.

“What I cannot do is respond to everyone every time something is spoken.

“I think it looked more spectacular on the TV than it did from in the cars.”

The Italian press, meanwhile, turned its critical attention to Alonso’s bosses. “Ferrari defeats the team of cheats,” Tuttosport observed, referring to Kimi Raikkonen’s victory from Felipe Massa.

“(Ferrari) proved that they have the best car and the best team.”

Mercedes-Benz’s Norbert Haug responded, however, by devaluing Ferrari’s mathematical clinching of the constructors’ title.

“A title won like this is not worth much,” the German told Bild, referring to McLaren’s exclusion from the running by the World Motor Sport Council.

“To me, only titles driven on the track count,” he added.

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