Alonso explains misunderstanding over comments

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Fernando Alonso has spoken out this weekend to clear up the incident at the Hungarian Grand Prix that earned the Spanish driver a rebuke from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

Alonso had endured a difficult race before going on to finish fifth at the Hungaroring, and after the race he reportedly criticized the Ferrari design team due to F138 car’s lack of pace. Montezemolo immediately reacted by rebuking Alonso, saying: “All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own.” However, Alonso explained in Belgium how his words had simply been misunderstood.

“We do four press conferences in a weekend in three different languages,” Alonso explained. “Two of them are not my mother language, and even Spanish, I’m from the north so I don’t speak perfect Spanish! It means that there can be mistakes and there can be misunderstandings.”

The situation appears to have been resolved as Alonso and Ferrari begin to focus on their challenge for both championships this season. However, with the team failing to match the pace of Red Bull or Mercedes, it would appear that a fifth year without a title could be on the cards for the Italian marque.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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