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Alonso says Button criticism is 'unfair'

  • Published on 04 Apr 2016 12:51
  • comments 7
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Fernando Alonso says he is "99 per cent" sure he will be back at the cockpit of his McLaren in China. Sidelined with chest injuries in Bahrain, the Spaniard angrily rejected the advice of pundit Johnny Herbert to seize the opportunity and hang up his helmet for good.

Asked if he was surprised by former driver Herbert's comments, Alonso told Marca sports newspaper: "A little bit. I was surprised by the aggressiveness towards me. He (Herbert) had the luck that he was recording live when I arrived (at the circuit) in the morning," said Alonso, referring to his gatecrashing of British television Sky to confront the 51-year-old former Sauber driver.

Alonso had told Herbert that he has no intention of retiring. "Better, better every day," he told Marca when asked how his ribs are now. The 34-year-old said there are good signs that McLaren-Honda is finally beginning to make strides up the grid. "Well, the performance (in Bahrain) on a circuit that does not help us with long straights shows that we are taking steps forward," said Alonso, "and I think that we will continue to improve throughout the year."

Alonso, accompanied to Bahrain by his sister and doctor Lorena, stayed in the island Kingdom throughout the race weekend to advise his replacement, Stoffel Vandoorne. "No," Alonso smiled, "I had little to do. He did a very good job."

In fact, reigning GP2 champion and Belgian Vandoorne had an extremely good F1 debut in Alonso's car, outqualifying the vastly more experienced Jenson Button and scoring McLaren's first point of the season. But Alonso says any criticism of Button as a result is unfair. "It is unfair," he said. "Jenson was faster all weekend and had a sudden drop in performance in qualifying. Stoffel did well but it is unfair to criticise Jenson."

One of Herbert's strongest points of criticism is that Button, who is expected to fight to keep his place at McLaren for 2017, has actually outperformed Alonso at McLaren-Honda so far. Asked if that is a legitimate criticism, Alonso answered: "No. Last year was like a lottery with the car breaking down. It was impossible to measure anything with that car."

As for the claim he is struggling with motivation, the Spaniard added: "Here I am at this grand prix with a broken rib wanting to climb in the car and helping the team. I don't know what more motivation I could have." (GMM)

Replies (7)

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  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    Herbert and Alonso were both out of line, like little bickering kids ;-)
    At least Vandoorne kept a clear head.

    Go Stoffel, Go Stoffel... ;-)

    • + 0
    • Apr 4 2016 - 19:20
    • Alonso is not my favorite buddy at any time of the year but he gave Herbert a proper wrecking. Herbert got rekt proper, no two ways about it. Herbert had it coming and it was oh so good the way Alonso laid out on him like that. There can be no greater forceful virtual slap in the face than that! Bwahahaha. I mean who is this guy? What has he achieved? He is a loser that's what he is, along with Martin Brundle another loser in F1.

      Yeah I know it's harsh and am not sorry, harsh reality just is, they were also-rans of the useless kind. At least DC has something to his name even if he never won the title. Martin and Herbert are two losers and the more they confirm that fact when they pull stuff like that LOL!

      • + 0
      • Apr 5 2016 - 07:46
    • PeteTirtle

      Posts: 16

      So the fact that Martin Brundle was close to beating Ayrton Senna in his British F2 championship winning season makes him a loser, and that Johnny Herbert was able to beat Michael Schumacher at least once in the same F1 car also makes him a loser.

      I guess Sir Stirling Moss is also a loser then!

      • + -1
      • Apr 5 2016 - 09:09
    • @PETETIRTLE, Herbert inherited two wins under unusual circumstances. Anyone in that position would and should win with such fortuitous conditions. Tiago Montiero was on the podium in the USA GP 2005, is that a great achievement? lol

      Martin was close to beating nothing but hot air, fanboy much? He doesn't even have a single win to his name, he is even more useless than Herbert the fluker was and that isn't saying much. Trying to defend both of them is not going to end well just stating facts and they are harsh facts whether you like them or not.

      • + 0
      • Apr 5 2016 - 14:27
  • It is unfair, Button had problem with the engine during quali day, under the circumstances he did a fair job. In any case, Honda need to adress the reliability. Its improved, but this.. I've read somewhere that they plan to launch an upgrade within april or may, I hope this is true.

    • + 0
    • Apr 4 2016 - 22:23
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    @mclarenfan1968 I suggest you tone down your fanboi rants and save them for another more appropriate board. We like to respect all F1 pilots, as merely getting to F1 is a mountain climbed in world motorsport.

    • + -1
    • Apr 5 2016 - 12:17
    • Aww the brits are rattled by that that means it has touched the right note.

      • + 0
      • Apr 5 2016 - 14:23

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