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2014 F1

Alonso denies sarcastic ‘victory salute’ with Bahrain ninth

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Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir 3 - 6 April 2014

Fernando Alonso on Thursday denied his frustration with Ferrari’s poor 2014 hit a sarcastic low recently in Bahrain.

Hot on the heels of Stefano Domenicali’s departure, it now emerges that Alonso punched the air in an apparently sarcastic victory gesture, after the crossing the line just ninth in Bahrain two weeks ago.

It is known that Domenicali’s successor Marco Mattiacci will meet the F1 press for the first time on Friday, and team president Luca di Montezemolo has also confirmed Mattiacci’s presence in Shanghai.

But Alonso on Thursday told reporters he is not sure if he will meet Mattiacci ahead of the Chinese grand prix.

It has been rumoured Alonso, reportedly increasingly frustrated with the situation in his fifth season in red, could be Maranello’s next high-profile departure.

Asked about the sarcastic victory celebration in Bahrain, the 32-year-old denied it was a swipe at Ferrari’s competitive crisis.

“I was saying thanks to the mechanics,” he insisted.

“They had been working hard after a problem on the engine unit. They did a fantastic job, and when they were on the pitwall saying ‘hello’, I said ‘hello’ too,” Alonso added.

As for the impending arrival of Mattiacci, Alonso said Domenicali was a “close friend” and denied his departure will have an immediate effect.

“We need to accept what Stefano decided. He wasn’t in the mood to continue with the feeling of having everything on his shoulders,” he explained.

“In this race, we will not improve by one second, because Stefano wasn’t doing the front wing or the rear wing, so we need to wait and see what we can improve.” (GMM)

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