Alonso: Playing tennis shows my dedication

Date published: May 13 2017 - Editor

Fernando Alonso has defended his decision to leave FP1 and play tennis, and insisted it was not done to poke fun at McLaren-Honda.

Alonso came to a grinding halt just three corners into his out-lap on Friday and when he learned that his doomed MCL32 needed yet another power unit change, the Spaniard decided to leave the circuit and go play tennis instead.

While Alonso's decision raised a few laughs, he was adamant that his actions only show that he cares about his preparation.

"I have very little time in these weeks, with travelling, with planes," Alonso told reporters.

"So when I discovered that I had two hours free, instead of being on the sofa and watching television, I went for some training. My dedication is still 100 percent to my fitness and my preparation.

"It wasn't humour to go outside the circuit to play tennis.

"It was preparation. People got it wrong. I went out to have some fun and escape the circuit."

Alonso also reiterated that McLaren-Honda's ongoing problems are in no way reflecting badly on him.

He added: "It is not my career, my ability, my image at stake… it is their career, ability, money and image.

"I try to support the team and drive as fast as I can, but the problem is not entirely mine. It is much bigger for them."