Alonso vs McLaren - FORMULA 1


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Friday, April 3, 2009

Alonso vs McLaren

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has joined the controversy over McLaren's handling of the Australian Grand Prix incident, saying it is not the first time the team has not been honest with the FIA stewards.

The Spaniard, who drove for McLaren in 2007 before leaving after his relationship with the team went sour, said this week's situation had reminded him of the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Back in qualifying for the Budapest race, Hamilton was unable to complete his final run after being forced to wait behind Alonso at their final stop for tyres.

Alonso was then waved to leave the pits, but he waited for some 10 more seconds before he got moving. Hamilton, leading the championship then, had to wait behind the Spaniard and then crossed the finish line when the time had run out.

McLaren said the incident had been triggered by Hamilton disobeying team orders to let Alonso pass at the start of the third qualifying segment.

The incident led to Alonso and Hamilton facing the stewards, and the Spaniard and the team eventually being penalised, with the stewards refusing to accept the team's explanations of the incident.

Speaking to Spanish media on Friday, just a day after controversy erupted over the team lying to the stewards in Australia, Alonso suggested McLaren had not been honest in Hungary back in 2007.

"Of course it reminded me of 2007," Alonso, now at Renault, was quoted as saying by the Spanish media. "It's not the first time they go to see the stewards. It's not the first time they lie to the stewards and, sooner or later, they had to be punished.

"Of course there I lost the championship by a point and in Hungary they played a bad trick on me.

"I read about it on Thursday in the hotel, because I was there all day. I turned the computer on and I read it. Every time there are decisions taken against other teams you don't care too much and in this case it didn't change the result for me, so it didn't affect me too much."