Fernando Alonso has played down the controversy about an insulting ‘tweet’.
After a presenter for the Italian broadcaster attacked the Spaniard with a derogatory comment on Twitter, Alonso reportedly refused to take questions from Sky Italia last weekend in China.
Reportedly, the presenter, Paola Saluzzi, was suspended.
“I do not feel attacked by anyone,” Alonso insisted in Bahrain on Thursday.
“She apologised and we move on. It’s nothing serious,” the McLaren-Honda driver is quoted by the Spanish daily Marca.
However, he did say that any criticism should be “respectful”.
“Especially when it comes to such things as accidents where your family is involved and it is difficult times for everyone. I think these things must be left alone,” said Alonso.
That aside, Alonso said he does not have a problem with being criticised.
Indeed, “We should be criticised, because the level we (McLaren-Honda) are showing at the moment is very low. When we win, maybe we will not be criticised for anything anymore.”
Saluzzi had initially defended her ‘tweet’ on the basis that she is an ardent Ferrari fan.
But Alonso said many Italians actually support him, despite their passion and his Ferrari exit, reportedly amid some acrimony.
“People would be surprised by the support I get from Italy,” he insisted.
“There are small episodes here and there, but if you consider there are 50 or 60 million people in Italy, I get a lot of affection from Italy, and I have the same (affection) for Italy too,” Alonso added.
Meanwhile, although Alonso admits Bahrain may be difficult for McLaren-Honda, he is confident the team will start to make big progress once it is back in Europe, starting with Barcelona next month.
“This is one of the last races in which we will be lapped and at the back of the pack,” he is quoted by El Confidencial.
“Soon we will begin to enjoy a bit more.” (GMM)