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Alonso not criticising Sauber for de la Rosa exit

Fernando Alonso has refused to criticise the Sauber team for ousting fellow Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa.

De la Rosa has been replaced with immediate effect by former long-time Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld, 14 races into de la Rosa’s return to the F1 grid.

“From the outside, we don’t know what happened.  You can’t really judge these sorts of decisions that a team makes,” said Alonso, whose employer Ferrari supplies engines to Hinwil based Sauber.

“All I can do is send all the encouragement in the world to Peter and to tell him to keep fighting, because he is a fighter,” added the two-time world champion to Spanish newspapers.

“With Sauber it didn’t work out and hopefully he will get another chance,” said Alonso.

Before 2010, 39-year-old de la Rosa spent the previous seven years as McLaren’s test driver, but he vowed not to give up his desire to keep racing in F1.

The veteran of 84 grands prix told TV broadcaster Sport1: “I will come back.

“It will be difficult, but I’ve done it before and I will do it again,” added former Arrows and Jaguar driver de la Rosa.