MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said his former team mate Lewis Hamilton (right) was great to work with at Mclaren in 2007, Nico Rosberg (left) is in a title race with the Briton. Image: AFP / Giuseppe Cacace
MONZA, Italy - Fernando Alonso found himself in the curious role of peacemaker on Thursday as he sat between title-battling Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Given his own difficult experiences with Hamilton when they were both at 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 GP.
'BOTH FIGHTING FOR THE TITLE'
Alonso said: "Well, 2007 didn't work as we wanted, 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. I'm sure these guys will move forward. Each is in a privileged position of fighting for thechampionship and the sport is made of these kind of things."
Hamilton welcomed his old team mate/rival's comments. "Definitely, Fernando is right. When you are young, you don't always make the right decisions and don't say the right things... I still don't always say the right thing - I'm still learning - and I bet in 10 years I will look back and say' I could have done it better'."
Rosberg is leading Hamilton by 29 points as they go into Sunday's Monza showdown.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Italian GP this weekend.