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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Alonso focuses on drivers' title

September 11, 2007 17:07 IST

Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso [Images] has made clear that winning the constructors' title with McLaren is not his priority.

The Spaniard, whose relationship with the Mercedes-powered team has become increasingly fraught, said after winning the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday that retaining his own crown is what matters most.

Alonso, who won his last two titles with Renault and has been linked to a possible return to that team, is three points behind rookie team mate Lewis Hamilton [Images] with four races remaining.

Asked whether it would be more special to become champion in a season that has seen McLaren face so many obstacles, including ongoing allegations they benefited from leaked Ferrari [Images] data, he replied:

"It means a lot to become world champion, but, at least for me, it is not special if around the team there are problems.

"The constructors' (championship) or whatever, from a driver's point of view, is not really a big factor."

Pressed on the point, he added: "Of course, I have won two drivers' titles and two constructors' championships, so I know how the people enjoy winning the constructors' championship.

"But I have said all my life that for me as a driver I put 10 points, from zero to 10, to win the drivers' world championship and to win the constructors' championship is eight points. It is not the same to me."

Alonso's behaviour at Monza was closely monitored all weekend, with speculation in the paddock that alleged emails between him and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa could be used against the team in a spy controversy with Ferrari.

Formula One's governing body is meeting on Thursday to consider 'new evidence' in the case and has already warned McLaren that they could be excluded from this and next year's championship.

To some onlookers, the Spaniard seemed to snub the team in his moment of victory.

After previous wins, Alonso has veered across to cheering team members on the pit wall to acknowledge them after crossing the line but he did not do so on Sunday.

"We were too fast here in Monza and if you go too close to them, then there is too much air coming to them. It is more dangerous here than in any (other) place," he explained to a post race news conference. The answer was met with laughter.

McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh played the incident down, however.

"I think we've all got different personalities. I saw Fernando get out of the car and immediately I thought he looked like he was enjoying it," he told reporters.

"I'm confident that both of our drivers are going to be with us and they are going to be fighting throughout next year for the world championship again," he added.

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage



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