Alonso offers sage advice to Mercedes duo
Fernando Alonso found himself in the curious role of peacemaker on Thursday as he sat centrally between title-battling Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Given his own difficult experiences with Hamilton when the pair were at McLaren in 2007, it was no surprise that he took a wry and amused view as the German and Briton remained straight-faced throughout a tense and at times emotional news conference ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.
"Well, 2007 didn't work as we wanted," he admitted. "But, as I've said many times, the problem was never with Lewis.
"We had a very professional relationship. It didn't work because the team wasn't happy with some of the philosophies and management at that point.
"But I never had a problem with Lewis and it isn't a surprise that today we still have a good relationship and I'm sure these guys will move forward.
"Both of them are in a privileged position of fighting for the world championship and the sport is made of these kind of things. They have a good problem - fighting for the world championship."
Hamilton welcomed his old teammate and rival's comments.
He said: "Definitely, Fernando is right. When you are young, you don't always make the right decisions and don't say the right things...
"And I still don't always say the right things now – and I'm still learning – and I bet in ten years' time I will look back and say I could have done it better.
"That is the way it goes and we are both fierce competitors and we do want to win and, personally, I want to win because of my ability and fair and square.
"I am really excited about the races going forward and fighting hard as always. It has not been the easiest or smoothest season, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Rosberg leads Hamilton by 29 points ahead of Sunday's Monza showdown.