Montezemolo explains Alonso-Raikkonen switch, denies Santander link (Video)

Montezemolo: "It is not the sponsors that choose the drivers"

Montezemolo: "It is not the sponsors that choose the drivers"

As well as dropping big fat hints about Michael Schumacher moving to Mercedes, Luca di Montezemolo has also responded to claims about his choice of driver line-up for 2010.

He denied bring Fernando Alonso on board purely to keep new sponsor Spanish bank Santander happy:

The role of Santander? Certainly, they are happy, but it is not the sponsors that choose the drivers: we have never operated like that and we never will.
Luca di Montezemolo

It’s interesting that he’s chosen to make such a comment – this is, after all, F1’s most successful team signing F1’s most successful active driver (at least until Schumacher returns).

I never found the ‘Ferrari signed Alonso just to please Santander’ claims very convincing. Regardless of whether Santander wanted Alonso in the car, it’s not hard to see why Ferrari would.

In the same speech Montezemolo played down claims of dissatisfaction with Kimi R??ikk??nen:

Let?s make one thing clear, we were very happy with everything Kimi did for Ferrari during his time at Maranello: he won the world championship in his first year and played a vital part in our taking the Constructors? title in his second year, while in this difficult season he at least managed to secure us one victory.
Luca di Montezemolo

Why drop R??ikk??nen then? Here’s Montezemolo’s explanation:

We realised that our team needed a driver capable of really getting involved with the engineers, a characteristic that was not part of Kimi?s genetic make-up, even though he is an amazingly talented guy.
Luca di Montezemolo

In a special video he also stated he expects Alonso and Felipe Massa to work together:

I expect a lot from both of them. They know that they have to drive not for themselves but for Ferrari, for the team.
Luca di Montezemolo

Watch the full video below:

What do you make of Montezemolo’s speech? How do you think Alonso and Massa will get on in 2010? Leave a comment below.

Ferrari and Alonso

Image (C) Ferrari spa

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49 comments on Montezemolo explains Alonso-Raikkonen switch, denies Santander link (Video)

  1. Forget Santander for a minute. Imagine we are setting up F1 Fanatic GP, which will race for the first time in 2010. If we had (in my little fantasy world) an unlimited budget for drivers, and we had secured Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey together to build us a rocketship of a car, who would we have?

    Alonso would be at the very top of the list, along with Lewis, Vettel and Kimi. Would Massa make the grade as one of the top flight? No.

    The point is that Alonso is awesome, even though I’m someone who was going for Lewis in their intra-team battle a couple of years ago. He is fast, a great passer, great qualifier, great in the wet (hungary ’06 until his wheel fell off, nurburgring ’07 vs Massa)great on setting up a car, and he’ll tell it like it is if he’s not happy (Monza 2006 for example).

    Ferrari would have been mad not to sign him on talent alone. The Santander deal is a bonus. The shame is that Kimi will not be there too. Kimi using Alonso’s set ups to sort the car – lightning.

  2. Carl27 said on 20th December 2009, 0:24

    Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! I know the Mclaren fans are putting down the Ferrari pair, but Mc, Ferr, RedBull and Mercedes are gonna make 2010 a memorable year because there are tonnes of quality.

  3. Net Sticks said on 20th December 2009, 1:52

    Like a cat and adog – mark my words!

  4. Thia what Montezemolo said ‘I expect a lot from both of them. They know that they have to drive not for themselves but for Ferrari, for the team.’
    I doubt Alonso will take this seriously.

  5. wasiF1 said on 20th December 2009, 5:35

    Between them I bet Alonso will be the WC,but I believe Massa can work with the team better than Alonso.

  6. Some people seem to dismiss the idea that after two years in purgatory at Renault, Alonso will have done no reflective review of the Mclaren saga. I am sure there would have been many nights where Alonso has reflected on what happened there, and how he could avoid it again.
    This does not mean it is impossible for such a situation to occur again, but i think he would defiantly try to avoid it again.

  7. Ha, ha, merchant of Ferrari.

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