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Italian GP was rigged, says Alonso
September 11, 2006 15:21 IST
Renualt's Formula One champion Fernando Alonso echoed the allegations of team boss Flavio Briatore, saying the Italian Grand Prix was rigged and the sport's ruling body-- International Motoring Federation (FIA)-- was helping Michael Schumacher win his eighth world championship.
Schumacher announced retirement after winning in Monza on Sunday, cutting down Alonso's lead to two points as the Spanish driver did not finish the race.
Briatore on Sunday compared Formula One to Italian football's match-fixing scandal and suggesting the championship had been decided "around a table".
"What happened on Sunday isn't the problem," Briatore had told RAI television. "It is what happened before the race which is strange. This is a world championship which has already been decided at the table.
"We have understood how things go -- it has all been decided...they have decided to give the world championship to Schumacher and that is what will be," he said.
"Compared to what is happening in Formula One, 'calciopoli' just makes me smile," added Briatore, referring to the football scandal which resulted in leading club Juventus, owned like Ferrari by the FIAT group, being demoted to the second division as punishment.
Alonso also hit out at the race stewards and said that he was ashamed to be part of the sport.
"And not only me," said Alonso when he was asked by Spanish television if he felt the FIA was helping Schumacher.
"Everybody here thinks the same, and the only thing that encourages me is the support I'm getting from everybody. Seeing the track marshals cheering and applauding me, telling me to beat the Ferraris, the Italian press saying it's a robbery, that motivates me, but it's no consolation.
"I feel shame. I'm embarrassed by this sport. This is probably the most embarrassing moment in modern sporting history, what's happening this year."
Alonso started the race from fifth to 10th on the grid, following a penalty imposed by the stewards for an alleged blocking move on Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari during Saturday's closely-contested qualifying session.
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