The Italian press has leapt to the defence of Fernando Alonso, following media reports that he has so far refused to congratulate F1’s new world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Widespread German reports in recent days quoted Vettel, whilst on a triumphant return to his hometown Heppenheim last week, as saying “He (Alonso) still has not congratulated me”.
Asked to explain Alonso’s cool, Vettel added: “Someone from Heppenheim took the title from him.”
But a report in Italy’s authoritative daily sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport insists that the Ferrari driver “in fact congratulated him (Vettel) repeatedly in the press”.
Alonso said in an interview with the broadcaster Rai that he is already looking ahead.
“There’s definitely a lot of sadness but at the same time thinking that 2011 will arrive soon when we can win as we know we can,” he said.
Alonso said his and Ferrari’s disappointment at missing out on the 2010 title is “normal”.
“It happens when you are second in any sport; Wimbledon, (French Open tennis) Roland Garros, the World Cup, NBA — there is always a feeling of sadness.
“From 2011, I am expecting a lot. 2009 was a difficult year for Ferrari but now we are back in form, the worst is over.”
As for the title winner Vettel, he insisted: “He was the fastest of all, with 10 pole positions and some mechanical problems that took points away from him, but he won in the end.
“Congratulations, but we hope that next year is more difficult for him,” added Alonso.
© RIF | GMM