Alonso hits back at Schumacher's criticism of karting track

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Fernando Alonso has hit back at Ralf Schumacher after the ex-Formula 1 driver criticised the Spaniard’s karting facility in Oviedo.

Alonso's circuit is hosting the CIK-FIA European Championship, the most prestigious event in its short history, this weekend.

However, Schumacher, who owns the KSM team, has complained that the venue is not up to standard, and that karts were being damaged and drivers risked injury.

He insisted on the team's Facebook page that he had already voiced his concerns after testing earlier in the year.

"I'm very disappointed about this race because we face a very unusual situation," said Schumacher. "For the first time since I joined karting back 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 the 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 been taken by people that don't understand the need 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 that we can avoid this in the future."

Alonso made it clear that he was not happy with the criticism.

"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," he said.

"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 [standards] we built the circuit, and we are hosting this weekend a fantastic event with more than 200 drivers there.

"I saw Ralf 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."

He then suggested that Schumacher may have another motive: "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."

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About this article
Series Kart
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Fernando Alonso
Article type Breaking news