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2018 F1

Fernando Alonso plays down ‘Freddo-gate’ impact

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Fernando Alonso has denied that ‘Freddo-gate’ threatens to further destabilise McLaren.

An odd scandal has broken out after former team boss Martin Whitmarsh revealed that disgruntled staff members would like Eric Boullier and Zak Brown to step down.

“He (Whitmarsh) has the right to his opinion, but he is poorly informed,” a McLaren spokesperson is quoted by Auto Bild.

In the days since, another disgruntled staff member told a British newspaper that he has “no respect” for Boullier and Brown, and that the atmosphere at Woking is “toxic”.

He also scoffed at McLaren’s staff reward programme, which involves the distribution of Freddo Frog chocolates.

“We would like to go on strike but people fear for their jobs,” the anonymous staff member revealed.

Team boss Boullier reacted angrily to the report, accusing one journalist during the official press conference at Paul Ricard of “lying”.

“I’m not lying,” the journalist responded.

Boullier also denied that he is at risk of being ousted and declared “I will not resign”.

“Maybe a couple of people are grumpy,” he said. “In any organisation you have some people who agree or disagree when there has been miscommunication.”

McLaren driver Alonso, meanwhile, denied that ‘Freddo-gate’ is destabilising the team.

“No I don’t think so,” he told Spanish media at Paul Ricard.

“I am 100pc focused, the team is very close together and the press always tries to find a story to tell. But I don’t think there is anything strange,” Alonso said.

“We are having a good year, although fighting for fourth place can never be the goal for McLaren. But for the last five or six years, this is the best so far.

“If you take a little step back, you see that the situation is more positive than what they try to tell you from the outside,” he added.

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