STAYING POSITIVE: McLaren's Fernando Alonso says he remains positive despite criticism following his performance at the 2015 China GP. Image: AP / Vincent Thian
A presenter for F1 broadcaster Sky has been suspended for insulting Fernando Alonso.
Referring to the Alonso's Barcelona test crash, Paola Saluzzi's offending tweet during the 2015 Chinese GP said Alonso had now recovered his memory to realise he is "arrogant" and an "imbecile".
We reported that the tweet, which was removed and for which Saluzzi apologised, caused Alonso to refuse to speak to Sky Italia at Shanghai. Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Sky suspended the journalist.
The sports newspaper said Sky has not officially confirmed the news, but Saluzzi reportedly did not appear in her usual place on a SkyTG24 programme.
Her colleague Gianluca Semprini is reported to have said: "I greet with affection Paola Saluzzi - see you in a few days".
Meanwhile, Alonso's manager Flavio Briatore has blasted former F1 driver Jean Alesi, who similarly mocked the McLaren-Honda driver in China.
Media reports suggest Alesi joked that Alonso "fainted again" when he was lapped by the two Ferraris on Sunday (April 12).
Briatore hit back: "In five years, Fernando finished (the championship) second three times, losing one time due to someone else's error. Alesi got no results for Ferrari."
Former F1 driver Emanuele Pirro, however, said it is no coincidence that Ferrari's resurgence happened straight after the departure of Alonso.
Pirro, a former Benetton driver, told Italian radio Rai: "Two decisive changes by Ferrari were the engine, and the driver. Alonso had become more of a problem than an asset because he was always dissatisfied.
"Now a young and enthusiastic driver who is always smiling (Sebastian Vettel) has come and he is driving so well. In Bahrain, where it will be hot, the Ferrari will be very good again."
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