They weren’t exactly rivals during their time racing together in Formula 1, but now Fernando Alonso and Ralf Schumacher have got caught up in an off-track row
It’s been a while since Alonso and Schumacher were scrapping on-track, but now – many years later – they’ve been battling off-track over Alonso’s karting track in Spain.
Yep, in a rather bizarre twist, they’ve become embroiled in a bit of a war of words after Schumacher criticised Alonso’s kart track. And you should never insult someone’s kart track, ever.
In case you didn’t know, Alonso owns a kart circuit and it’s hosted the CIK-FIA European Championship this weekend – its biggest event so far.
Schumacher runs the KSM team in the series and has complained the venue isn’t up to the standards, adding karts were picking up damage and there was risk of driver injury.
He said in a post on KSN’s Facebook page:
“I’m very disappointed about this race because we face a very unusual situation. For the first time since I joined karting again it feels totally wrong to race at a track like this. Don’t get me wrong, but I was trying to explain back in January after testing here for three days that the layout of the track is not one we should be racing on at a CIK or FIA level.
“Now we are here and we destroy more material than you could imagine. This race is going to cost a fortune for all participants and only because a decision has been taken by people that don’t understand the needs of karting.
“On top of that we risk the health of our drivers, which again is unbelievable. One can only hope that people start to listen to the teams so that we can avoid this in the future.”
So, we can only imagine Schumacher’s given the track a pretty scathing Tripadvisor review too.
Naturally, Alonso has quickly come to the defence of his kart track, having been asked about Schumacher’s comments by media at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada.
He didn’t hold back, that’s for sure:
“First of all I think Ralf needs some publicity - he has been so many years now out of the first page, and he wants to take benefit from this.
“We have an Asturias championship, the Spanish championship, and now the European championship, together with the FIA and CIK homologations, so they tell you which space between the track you need to have, what space of run-off area you need to have, what cornering speed you need to have, what kerbs you need to fit, because there are standards for all the circuits.”
“According to those we built the circuit and we are hosting this weekend a fantastic event with more than 200 drivers there. And yeah, I saw Ralf’s comments, that he broke some chains and tyres and axles.
“I think he needs to tell his drivers to drive on the asphalt, that’s the first thing, because all the other teams are OK. Only his team has maybe run out of money.
“The second thing is we cannot forget that he has a go-kart circuit, in Germany, and he wanted to host the European championship, and maybe the FIA was not so happy with his circuit the way it is.”
Whether the off-track battle of words continues or not, we’re not sure, but it’s certainly an interesting development and has sparked some pretty juicy comments.