| Fernando Alonso with Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella in Suzuka on Friday. (AP)
Suzuka: Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella says he has no problem with teammate Fernando Alonso, despite the Formula One world champion’s apparent criticism of the Italian in the build up to Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“I spoke to Fernando and he told me ‘I said something but it wasn’t against you. You did a fantastic job. If I have a problem with you, I come to you and don’t say it to the press’,” Fisichella said on Friday.
“There is no problem at all between us and we are just concentrating on the weekend, which is really important, to score more points than Ferrari and do the best.
“The matter is now closed. And it wasn’t open for me,” the Roman added.
On Thursday, Alonso caused a stir when he complained in a news conference that he had felt alone at the previous race in China when Fisichella overtook him as he struggled with a tyre problem.
The Spaniard had likened his predicament to a Tour de France leader who suffers a puncture and watches his teammates and rivals continue up the mountain without him.
A day later, Alonso said he had held talks with team boss Flavio Briatore and Fisichella, adding that his earlier comments had been misinterpreted.
“The mood in the team is fantastic, better than ever,” Alonso told reporters.
“Every single person in the team is focused on winning the world championship. It is fantastic,” the 25-year-old added.
“With Fisichella as well we have a fantastic feeling, we have never had any problems because my opinion and my feeling after China was that — it was probably against the team but not against Fisichella.
“We drivers do what we have to do, what the team says to us to do,” said Alonso, who is fighting Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher for the championship with the German 7-6 ahead on race wins but level on points.
Schumacher can take an unprecedented eighth crown on Sunday if he wins at Suzuka and Alonso fails to score. Otherwise, the title will be decided in Brazil on October 22.
Renault are a point ahead of Ferrari with two races remaining, with Fisichella out of the drivers’ title fight but vital to their hopes of retaining the title.
In a post-practice release, Alonso added that he had been surprised by the strong reaction to what he had said the previous day. “I expressed very clearly that these were only my personal feelings and that I completely understand and accept the team’s decisions,” he said. (REUTERS)