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Alonso plays down tennis criticism

Fernando Alonso has responded to criticism of his decision to swap the F1 track for a tennis court on Friday.

The Spaniard’s McLaren-Honda nightmare continued in Barcelona practice, when his engine spectacularly failed on the first lap.

But instead of staying at the Circuit de Catalunya afterwards, he left with his manager and trainer to play tennis.

“There are busy days ahead with all the travelling between America and Europe, I cannot train a lot, so I said I’d rather train than sit around in the paddock for two hours,” Alonso explained afterwards.

“What am I to do? Maybe some people misunderstood my action, but it was not about making fun of the work of the team,” he is quoted by Speed Week.

“It was about doing a little bit of training and getting my head clear. And that’s exactly what I did,” Alonso added.

It is the third consecutive year of Alonso’s McLaren misadventure, but he insists he is not banging his fist on Honda’s table.

“It is not about my career, my skills and my reputation,” he insisted. “It is about Honda and their money and their image,” he said.

“I try to support the team as much as possible and give everything in the car. I think the problem is bigger for Honda than for me.”

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