Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz has compared the mind games used by Fernando Alonso to those of the great boxer Muhammad Ali.
After seeing his top F1 team march to another double championship triumph in India, Mateschitz spoke about how the Spaniard tries to gain the psychological edge, much like the boxing legend Ali.
“Like Muhammad Ali, Alonso’s media statements are very deliberate,” billionaire Mateschitz told Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
“He is the worst of all at the psychological warfare,” he added.
Indeed the Austrian’s right hand man in motorsport Dr Helmut Marko, blames the comments made by Alonso for part of Sebastian Vettel’s recent unpopularity.
“People like Fernando Alonso say Sebastian is not the best driver, he only has the best car,” he told Der Spiegel.
“These are targeted political statements,” Marko insisted.
Indeed most figures who are skeptical of Vettel see the only way the German can cement himself in F1 history is to change teams, however Marko believes there is no reason for Vettel to do so despite already winning four titles with the team.
“He will only change teams if we no longer build him a competitive car,” said Marko.
“Why would he go to Ferrari or Mercedes now, especially since he would have Alonso or Hamilton as his teammate?
“I see no alternative for him at the moment other than us,” added Marko.
“Ayrton Senna won all of his titles with McLaren, he never drove for Ferrari, but he didn’t have an image problem because of it. Maybe it’s cooler to win for Ferrari, but that’s not easy at the moment,” he insisted.
As for Mateschitz as he sat and watched the moment his team became four time champions from the comfort of his lounge, he admitted that while it was not an euphoric moment it gave him great satisfaction.
“Because we expected it, it was like celebrating Christmas over a week,” he smiled. “It’s not quite as exciting, but the joy is there every time.”
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