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Monaco traffic just an ‘extra challenge’ – Alonso

Fernando Alonso has refused to echo the McLaren drivers’ claims that traffic is set to make Monaco a “disaster” and “nightmare” this weekend.

With four more cars than in 2009 on the grid this season, and six very uncompetitive runners, it is feared that congestion around the famous barrier-lined 3.3 kilometre street layout will be potentially dangerous.

David Coulthard wrote in his latest column for the Telegraph that it is a “serious issue”, with the slow cars potentially posing “a risk both to themselves and others”.

But Alonso said on Tuesday that traffic was “already a problem when we had 20 cars on track”.

The Spaniard wrote on his Ferrari blog that “we must try and look at this situation as an extra challenge, both for us drivers … and for the engineers, who will have to work out just the right moment to send us out on track in qualifying”.

McLaren boss and FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh said he advocated splitting the initial Q1 qualifying phase into two parts, but that proposal was voted down in Barcelona last weekend.

He predicts a “very difficult” weekend for all.

“It has always been difficult but with more cars and a greater performance differential, I think there will be controversy,” the Briton told reporters during a teleconference on Tuesday.