Fernando Alonso says he must forgive Sebastian Vettel for calling him an "idiot" during practice for the Mexican Grand Prix on Friday, after the Spaniard ran wide and rejoined the track ahead of the Ferrari driver.
Alonso blamed the "very frustrating period" Vettel is enduring with Ferrari as the reason for the name-calling, something Alonso understands first-hand given Vettel replace him at the Italian team after a number of promising yet disappointing seasons when Alonso came close to taking a third title, only to fall short.
"I heard what Vettel said on the radio but I don’t make an issue out of it," said Alonso. "He’s living a very frustrating period, for himself and for Ferrari, so we have to forgive him."
Meanwhile Alonso is expecting a tough weekend of his own after he was only just tenth quickest in second practice, leading him to believe a Q3 appearance will be difficult.
"It was a difficult Friday for everybody because the tarmac lacks grip like last year. In FP1 there was a lot of dust, we tried a few things in the car and then, in FP2, we tried the tyres for the race – softs and supersofts – but we had to cut our run short as a precaution as there was something with the brake system and that had to be checked.
"I’m with the old engine, I don’t have the latest version on my car, so to get into Q3 would be a surprise. We’ll try our best but it won’t be easy to get into Q3."