Monza: Fernando Alonso and Ferrari were again forced to downplay talk of a rift after the Spanish driver lost his temper with team officials during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
Alonso was heard calling his team "idiots" over the radio during his final qualifying lap on Saturday but he insisted afterward he simply sarcastically called them "geniuses," using the Italian term "genii" and not — as it sounded — "scemi."
The 32-year-old Alonso was angry that he was unable to benefit from Felipe Massa's slipstream as his teammate was too far ahead, with Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso between the two Ferraris.
Ricciardo let Alonso through and Massa did allow his teammate to catch up so he could benefit from his slipstream on the final lap. Alonso will start fifth on the grid on Sunday, just behind Massa.
"I said thank you to the team, thank you to Felipe, for slowing down," Alonso said. "They didn't put the last radio message when I said thank you to Felipe, to the team, they put the radio message in front.
"But it's OK, it's been 13 years I've been in Formula One, this is Saturday, and every Saturday there's always explanation, why, when, how, championship... It's OK."
Alonso, who trails championship leader Sebastian Vettel by 46 points in the standings, has endured a difficult season. However, he reaffirmed his commitment to Ferrari on Thursday, denying reports he is considering taking a year off.