F1 2013

Countdown – 2013 Italian Grand Prix

  • Alonso – ‘idiots’ radio call ‘misunderstood’.
  • Vettel – ‘no points for qualifying’
  • Brawn – ‘hoping for rain’
  • Grid penalty for Sutil

Fernando Alonso has dismissed claims he was ridiculing Ferrari management during qualifying when a radio message broadcast over the FOM feed caught him branding the team ‘idiots’ in a heated exchange in Italian. The Spaniard has expressed his disappointment that an earlier message, in which he says he congratulated team mate Felipe Massa on out-qualifying him, had not been made public.

“It is the first time in many, many races that I will be able to see the Red Bull rear wings on the grid and on the first lap I can attack. On the first corner I can attack.” he said.

“So it was an extremely, extremely good qualifying for us and a great team effort.”

Ferrari sources have suggested Alonso’s Italian was misinterpreted, with the word ‘geniuses’ (geni) sounding similar to ‘idiots’ (scemi) in the language.

Sebastian Vettel might have claimed his fourth pole of the season yesterday but has quelled expectation that his Red Bull team will romp away with victory after their main rivals all faltered in qualifying.

“We didn’t expect to be so strong here, with both cars on the front row. It’s due to hard work from everyone in the team working long hours; we’ve had years where we’ve had a good car, but not a car that’s competitive in low down force trim, so in that regard we did our homework…The car feels great, but let’s see what we can do tomorrow; we don’t get any points from today.”

Mercedes had their worst qualifying result of 2013 on Saturday as Lewis Hamilton failed to make it into Q3 and Nico Rosberg suffered the effects of missing free practice three, struggling into 6th on the grid.

“With the standards we set ourselves, that makes this result a real disappointment.” said Team Principal Ross Brawn.

“On Lewis’ side of the garage, we simply couldn’t get a clear timed lap on the two critical runs and that left him outside the top ten, in spite of showing decent pace on the hard tyres in Q1. Looking to tomorrow, it will be a tough race for us if it stays dry. However there is some rain in the forecast. Let’s hope it comes!”

Adrian Sutil, once a good friend of Hamilton, has recieved a three-place grid penalty for his role in delaying the Englishman during Q2, dropping the German from 14th to 17th.

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