May 8 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Fernando Alonso has hit back at former Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo’s claim that the Spaniard was “dark and moody” last year.
Although the Italian team’s long-time president is also no longer wearing red, Montezemolo claimed he participated in the decision to look into the future with Sebastian Vettel.
Alonso hit back on Thursday.
“I think it’s normal” that Montezemolo would say that, Alonso is quoted by Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo in Barcelona.
“They see you happy and satisfied and it’s maybe difficult to accept the decisions I took last year, especially because I had an offer to stay in Ferrari until 2019,” he revealed.
“It has to be hard to be told no,” Alonso added.
Now, however, the overwhelming feeling in the paddock is that Alonso, 33, made a serious error in leaving Ferrari just as the team was entering a period of resurgence.
And now McLaren team boss Eric Boullier is saying McLaren-Honda might take up to four years to get up to title-winning speed.
“Well,” Alonso said on Thursday, “if I could sign now that in four years I will win, yes (I would) — but it is no guarantee.”
Teammate Jenson Button – also a former world champion – told a reporter on Thursday that McLaren is “definitely not” in crisis.
But the Spanish daily Marca reports that Honda officials are actually housing themselves in a separate ‘motor home’ in the Barcelona paddock this weekend.
Button insisted: “They’re not an engine supplier, they’re a partner.”
And Alonso says he definitely has the “patience” to wait for success.
“I never had any clear expectations,” said the Spaniard. “It is true that the difficulties are a bit bigger than we – everybody in the team – thought,” he told F1’s official website.
“But at the same time the recovery is better than we thought.”
Finally, Alonso said he has “no concerns” about racing through Barcelona’s turn three this weekend, even though a mysterious crash there in winter testing sidelined him for a month.
The FIA has now ordered an additional video camera be placed in the corner, in apparent recognition that it is not sure exactly what happened on February 22.
“I’m back here with full confidence,” Alonso insisted, “and full motivation to deliver a good result in front of a home crowd.”