Rome - Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso defended his right to privacy on Thursday following the end of his five-year marriage to Spanish singer Raquel del Rosario.
Asked at a news conference in the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio whether the separation had been due to the amount of time he spent at the team's Maranello factory, the double Formula One champion made clear he wanted to keep his personal life out of the media spotlight.
"It's the first time that I find myself the subject of rumour and gossip at this level and I find it very disappointing," he said.
"Raquel and I had asked for our private life to be respected, but just a few hours after the announcement of our separation, we began to read so many sad things and some of them were almost funny they were so absurd," the Ferrari website quoted him as telling reporters.
"I don't think this type of persecution will last long because fashion changes and because I cannot believe there can be so much interest centred on my private life," added the 30-year-old.
The couple announced their separation last month in a statement on Alonso's website.