Fernando Alonso spoke today at his usual Thursday afternoon press briefing about the investigation into the events of last year’s Singapore Grand Prix, which he won thanks to a safety car triggered by his team mate Nelson Piquet’s accident.
“I’m very surprised. I cannot imagine this situation, so as I said, I’m surprised, and it’s time to think in another job, in Monza and the next grand prix because I’m not spending any more time on this.”
He added: “I will not comment too much about this, as the team said we will not comment. For me it’s not even the time to think or to pay attention to this, because it’s difficult to understand for me all this situation and this investigation.”
Yesterday material was released to the media which suggested that a meeting took place before the race in which Piquet alleges that he was instructed to crash just after Alonso’s early pit stop, by Renault’s Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore. The material released so far does not suggest that Alonso was present at the meeting or had knowledge of it.
Meanwhile in the Ferrari paddock club area this afternoon the Italian team announced a five year sponsorship deal with Spanish bank, Santander. This is a significant deal for Ferrari, whose arrangement with Philip Morris is due to end in two years time. President Luca di Montezemolo batted away questions about the Santander deal meaning that the arrival of Alonso at Maranello was imminent,
“We have two drivers, now three (a reference to Giancarlo Fisichella), plus also we are close to having Michael, so we have a lot of drivers – this is not a problem for us now,”
With Raikkonen and Massa signed to race contracts for next year, Raikkonen is waiting to see what Ferrari’s next move will be; either to retain him or buy out his remaining year and draft in Alonso for 2010.