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Formula One no longer a sport, says bitter Alonso

Written by: Staff
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MONZA, Italy, Sep 10 (Reuters) World champion Fernando Alonso declared Formula One no longer a sport after Italian Grand Prix stewards demoted him five places on the starting grid in a major blow to his title hopes today.

The Renault driver, 12 points clear of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher with four races to go, was relegated from fifth to 10th for impeding the German's team mate Felipe Massa in yesterday qualifying.

Seven-times champion Schumacher, who could announce his retirement later today, will start Ferrari's home grand prix on the front row.

Renault summoned reporters to their motorhome today to see the video evidence for themselves and hear from the aggrieved Spaniard.

The film suggested that Massa was never closer than 100 metres to the blue Renault ahead of him.

''If this is blocking anyone intentionally, we will have a lot of problems from now on in qualifying,'' said the 25-year-old Alonso.

''If this is blocking also I don't understand how we will race today if this is the minimum distance.

''I am a sportsman, I love the sport...I love the fans coming here, a lot of them from Spain. And I don't consider any more Formula One like a sport.'' QUITE DANGEROUS Renault team boss Flavio Briatore explained how Alonso had taken a big risk to go out on the track after a tyre blowout in the final phase of qualifying had damaged the car.

''Fernando never intentionally wanted to stop Massa,'' said the Italian, who has accused the governing body once before this season of trying to help Ferrari and Schumacher win the championship.

MORE REUTERS PDS BST1554

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