Fernando Alonso gatecrashed live British television on Saturday to slam former F1 driver turned pundit Johnny Herbert.
Earlier, the veteran of 165 grands prix, 51-year-old former Benetton and Sauber driver Herbert, had advised Alonso to use his chest injuries as a final excuse to retire.
“I don’t think Fernando should come back,” Herbert told Sky.
He claims Alonso’s teammate Jenson Button has “done a better job” for McLaren-Honda, that Alonso has “given up on the chance of winning” a third title and “seems to be out of motivation” driving a generation of cars he doesn’t enjoy.
“We don’t see that passion from him to want to drive and push himself to the limit when he is in an F1 car,” Herbert added. “The things he says, the things that have happened on track, his qualifying pace, and that error in Australia, to me they say it is time for him to hang up his helmet.”
But Alonso, recovering from fractured ribs, hit back with fury on Saturday as Herbert was reporting live for Sky from the Bahrain paddock.
The McLaren-Honda driver unexpectedly gatecrashed the TV proceedings to shake Herbert’s hand and declare: “I will not retire. No, I’m world champion.
“You ended up as a commentator because you’re not world champion,” Alonso told Herbert, who won three grands prix during his twelve-year F1 career until 2000.
As Alonso walked off, a clearly uncomfortable Herbert replied: “Thank you very much, that’s good. I wasn’t world champion. Happy man.”