Fernando Alonso has waded into controversy by suggesting that some members of his Renault team do not want him to win his title showdown with Michael Schumacher – because they can’t bear to see him take the coveted number ‘1’ to arch-rivals McLaren next year.
Alonso made the extraordinary claim on Spanish television after losing the championship lead for the first time this season in the Chinese Grand Prix, a race that looked his for the taking until a tactical error and a fumbled wheel change handed Schumacher victory.
“The whole team is gutted, apart from the handful of people who don’t want me to take the number 1 to McLaren,” the Spanish media quoted Alonso as saying.
He added that there was “no doubt” that Renault regarded winning a second consecutive constructors’ championship as more important than his own title defence, suggesting that only some team members were disappointed by the outcome of Sunday’s race.
“Some others are happy because we went past Ferrari in the team battle,” he said.
“They are not helping me as much as they could.