Global Motorsport Media
Sebastian Vettel was sworn at by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso after winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza two weeks ago.
That is the unconfirmed claim of the German daily Bild-Zeitung, who said Spaniard Alonso whispered in the ear of championship Vettel before the Monza podium: "F*ck you, my boy".
Earlier, to the passionate Tifosi's chagrin, Vettel had passed Alonso to lead the race, a move the Red Bull driver described as "very hard but fair".
Afterwards, the team's outspoken Dr Helmut Marko said it was "good to show Alonso how the wind blows".
Double world champion Alonso however denies Bild's claim that he insulted Vettel.
"We chatted briefly but it was quite normal and friendly," said the Spaniard.
Bild said Vettel would not comment.
But in an interview with the German broadcaster RTL, he talked about having the respect of his rivals.
"It's important to me that I can feel it," said the 24-year-old, "even if you have had an extremely tough race."
Should Vettel extend his huge lead by another 13 points in Singapore, he will be crowned champion with five races still to run in 2011.
It's one thing to win a title, another to stay up there
An analysis by Financial Times Deutschland said that with 27 per cent of the calendar to go, Vettel's achievement will rank among the best in F1 history.
But Jim Clark (1963 and 1965), Jackie Stewart (1969 and 1971) and Nigel Mansell (1992) actually secured those championships in an even more rapid manner.
And the record is held by Michael Schumacher, who won the title with more than 35 per cent of the 2002 calendar still to run.
At least Red Bull figures are now starting to admit the inevitability of Vettel's 2011 triumph.
"In many ways it's more of a challenge to defend a title," said Vettel's boss Christian Horner. "It's one thing to win a title, another to stay up there," he told Die Welt newspaper.
"Sebastian just gets stronger and stronger."