Alonso uses current Ferrari conflict to dismiss 'self-centred' claim

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Fernando Alonso claims the current infighting going on at Ferrari dismisses a notion that he is "self-centred".

The double world champion, intentionally or not, became known for causing strife at the Formula 1 teams he raced for, notably at McLaren in 2007 and even during his second stint with Stoffel Vandoorne recently accusing them of bias towards the Spaniard.

However, when asked about that perception at the recent FIA prize-giving gala, PlanetF1 quoted Alonso as replying: “I think the reputation is always one thing and the facts are different.

“When you see crashing teammates and things like that, as we saw this year, and then my images, you will see the slipstream [I gave] at Monza and slipstream in Spa.

“I know these collaborations. So when we talk about reputation, it is better if we look at the facts.”

Perhaps ironically, Alonso was at the FIA gala to collect the trophy for becoming World Endurance Champion with Toyota, where he shared his car with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima and won the Le Mans 24 Hours twice.

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“It was not a problem to share with these two guys because obviously, they had the experience in endurance,” he said.

“They taught me a lot from the first day of testing. They knew about the car and you knew about the circuit and they knew about their approach on long-distance races. I was the one always making the mistakes or making the questions.

“It’s not that I was happy jumping out of the car because I always want to drive, but every time that I was jumping out of the car and they were going in, it was like less stress for me because I knew they were doing the right things. So it was a lot of trust between us.”

And now Alonso is learning a different kind of teamwork as he partners up with Dakar Rally legend Marc Coma to attempt the famous cross-country in Saudi Arabia next month.

“Listen, if I go there to enjoy the experience – yes. If I go there to make the most of it – yes. But if I think of it in terms of winning Dakar, I don’t feel ready,” he admitted.

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“I’m perfectly aware of both my lack of experience. I think you know there are races that I attempted, like Indy, or Le Mans or Daytona, I felt quite competitive and that I could good fight for victory. In Dakar, I don’t think I’m at that level.

“But I will play a different strategy. I will not be the fastest but hopefully, I will be in a good position in the end.”

Alonso has shown some potential though, including finishing third in the Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally in Saudi.