Oct.10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1 backmarker Manor hit back with a cheeky jibe on Friday following an insult made by double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Spaniard Alonso was asked by the British broadcaster Sky at Sochi if he had any concerns that the new engine deals between Manor and Mercedes, and Haas and Ferrari, could mean that McLaren will be dead last in 2016.

“Zero,” he answered.

“The Manor thing with the Mercedes, with total respect for Manor, I think they can put in an aeroplane engine and they will not be much further (up),” Alonso declared.

Manor hit back with cheeky fury on Twitter, pointing out that Honda’s high-profile struggle this year means that McLaren is just one place off dead last in the constructors’ world championship.

“We’ll let that comment lie for now,” Manor said on the social media site. “Plenty of time to discuss it when we’re garage neighbours next year.”

Reigning world champion and current championship leader Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, told the Spanish daily AS he refuses to criticise Alonso for making the move from Ferrari to McLaren for 2015.

“People said I had made a mistake to leave McLaren,” said the Mercedes driver, “but then I showed that I did not.

“And now I’m not going to be one of the ones who says Fernando’s decision was wrong. He was the one who decided, not me, not you, not the fans. No one. It was his choice,” added Hamilton.

During his ‘aeroplane’ interview, Alonso said he has 100 per cent confidence McLaren-Honda will be among the top cars in 2016, but Hamilton has already gone on the record to doubt those sorts of claims.

“I said that?” Hamilton answered.

“It’s not going to be easy (for them), but in F1 you can never say never. I just hate to see them suffering like this.

“I feel sorry that they’re racing with Manor, Jenson (Button) is also a great driver so I hope they do get back to the front,” he added.