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Alonso smooths over Fisichella rift; Vettel still impresses

Alonso smooths over Fisichella rift; Vettel still impresses

Fernando Alonso says there is no ill feeling between him and Giancarlo Fisichella, despite earlier remarks that his Renault teammate could have helped him more during last week's Chinese Grand Prix.
Alonso, who joins rival team McLaren after this season, on Thursday expressed disappointment with Fisichella's actions in overtaking him at Shanghai.
"Once he overtook me and I overtook him again, and these risky moments with three races to win the championship. (It's) not good enough I think," he said.
Schumacher went on to win in China, draw level on the driver's standings and set up a crucial showdown in Sunday's Japanese GP. The German could clinch the title if he wins at Suzuka and Alonso drops out or is scoreless.
"Maybe, in my opinion, in team play, maybe I should have had more help," Alonso had said.
On Friday, Alonso was at pains to play down the issue in a team statement.
"I expressed very clearly that these were only my personal feelings, and that I completely understand and accept the team's decisions," Alonso said.
"Last night I explained that to the team and to Fisi, and there is no problem," he said. "Every single person at Renault is fighting to the maximum to win the championship."
In Friday's practice, Fisichella had the fastest time and Alonso fourth best with Schumacher third. There is qualifying Saturday ahead of Sunday's 53-lap race.
Alonso cannot clinch the title on Sunday because the tie break rules favor Schumacher at this point.
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VETTEL STILL YOUNG AND FAST: German teenager Sebastian Vettel is making a big impression as a test driver for BMW-Sauber.
Vettel finished sixth in both practice sessions Friday in both wet and dry conditions, and beat all-but-one of the other test drivers.
Veteran drivers like Alexander Wurz and Franck Montaigny, who have raced in Formula One, trailed Vettel. Wurz even finished as high as third as recently as the 2005 San Marino GP.
Vettel says F1 is still a learning experience for him and the team.
"In the morning's first free practice it was all about learning and evaluating with extreme wets as well as intermediates," said Vettel, who won 18 of 20 races in 2004 in the German BMW series as a 16-and 17-year old.
"When the track dried at the very end we managed two outings on grooved tires," he said. "I had an awful lot of fun on this race track."
In the eight practice sessions Vettel has driven since starting at the Turkish Grand Prix in August, he has been first in three and consistently in the top 10 of the rest.


Updated : 2021-08-01 18:01 GMT+08:00