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Surprised Alonso backs Briatore amid 'crash-gate'
(GMM) Fernando Alonso on Thursday said the 'crash-gate' scandal caught him completely by surprise because he knew nothing about his former teammate Nelson Piquet crashing on purpose during the Singapore grand prix last year.

Spaniard Alonso won the inaugural night race by having pitted on an unusually low-fuel strategy just before the Piquet safety car, and at Monza twelve months on he strongly backed his under-fire boss Flavio Briatore.

"He's always been a nice boss with me. A friend, a boss, he supports my career always," said the 27-year-old double world champion.

"Flavio is one of the good people here and he has all my support, always."

Alonso also had nothing bad to say about the sacked Piquet, and was cautious when asked about what he knows about the saga that could result in hefty penalties or consequences for Renault and its team management. Zzzz

"This comes as surprise for me. I am not commenting on it," he told reporters in Italy.

"I'm very surprised. I cannot imagine these things, these situations," Alonso added. "It's something that never entered my mind."

When asked by the media ranks to say specifically that he knew nothing about the deliberate crash, Alonso did so, but deferred further comment until after the September 21 hearing of the World Motor Sport Council.

"After the hearing, everything will be clarified and will be the time to say something. But now there's no sense," said Alonso.
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