Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2013

Montezemolo rebukes Alonso for critical comments

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2013Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has rebuked Fernando Alonso for comments the team disapproved of.

According to a report on the team’s website, Montezemolo told Alonso: “All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own.”

“This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one?s own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it.”

Alonso’s comments, believed to have been critical of the team’s recent performance, “did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team” according to Ferrari. Alonso’s manager was also observed talking to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner during the weekend, provoking speculation Alonso is trying to switch teams.

Earlier today Ferrari announced the hiring of former Lotus technical director James Allison who worked with Alonso during his championship-winning years at Renault.

Montezemolo told team principal Stefano Domenicali, “the Ferrari I saw in yesterday?s race doesn?t sit well with me” at a meeting with the team’s engineers.

The report added: “Montezemolo did not mince his words when it came to asking the team to step up a gear. Each one of the engineers present received a ‘gift’ of a knife, along with an invitation ?ǣ metaphorical up to a point ?ǣ to put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the second half of the season.”

The Ferrari article pinned the blame for the team’s recent downturn in performance on the alterations made to the tyres following the failures seen at the British Grand Prix:

“Pirelli’s choice contributed to artificially altering the hierarchy in the field, something that has not pleased the president or the men of the Scuderia. This topic will be the subject of further debate in the near future.”

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

193 comments on “Montezemolo rebukes Alonso for critical comments”

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  1. Alonso is political. Not a criticism but an observation. Ferrari invented politics. You can’t play a player.

    1. Jubameister
      30th July 2013, 7:02

      COTD material.

  2. Looks like LDM has grown tired of Alonso’s games. The Ferrari was the strongest car up until Silverstone, yet Alonso had failed to capitalise with some lacklustre races and mistakes in qualifying.

    Alonso’s the highest paid driver in F1 and hasn’t lived up to it. Ferrari sacked Raikkonen and brought Alonso in for his supposed technical input, for his ability to work with engineers and get the exact car he needs. He’s failed with all these resources at his disposal. He even failed at McLaren. All he had to do was beat his rookie teammate he would have been a 3-time world champion.

    Schumacher in his prime was the highest paid and he always delivered. And people can’t use the excuse that Schumacher didn’t win until his 5th season because Ferrari were a complete shambles that had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Alonso slipped into Raikkonen’s seat. The only reason the Ferrari couldn’t compete for the championship in 2009 was because of their interpretation of the double diffuser rule. They were back on track and delivering championship winning cars in 2010. First race of 2010 Ferrari finish 1–2.

    1. You seem to forget that Vettel was going to win the first race in 2010, until his engine blew. Red Bull had a very competitive car in that year, which was only hindered by its unreliability. Yes, it was Alonso’s to lose in the end, but it was Ferrari that made the call, not Alonso.

      1. You seem to forget that Vettel was going to win the first race in 2010

        he seems to forget and ignore and even make up so many things.
        Right, Ferrari was the class of the field in Monaco…

      2. Sure, but Massa was behind Alonso in his comeback race. Where was Webber in the same machinery as Vettel? And remember that at this point it wasn’t Vettel’s team. Vettel had only been at Red Bull for one season.

        The 2010 Ferrari was a strong car. In Vettel’s hands Ferrari would have won the drivers championship.

        1. look at who is talking !!!!!!!

      3. ramy (@ramysennaf1)
        30th July 2013, 11:05

        please spare this unrealiability of redbull, it’s funny, since he only had 2 dnfs+1 his fault when he hit webber in turkey.

    2. Please tell me what have you been smoking.

      1. Have you been watching the last 4 years of f1? Alonso has almost single handedly carried the team during his time with them.

  3. I think all this Alonso critical/leaving Ferrari is sucked out of the finger really. Not any supporting evidence that it might be true. Ever since he joined Ferrari Alonso was singing the same rhymes – we have to improve, our car is slower that our rivals’ etc. And suddenly after 3 years the journous decided to make a sensational story out of this. I think it was David Coulthard starting all this speculation or it could be a ‘dirty trick’ from RedBull (as they like to call it) to distabilize the situation at Ferrari. But really with the tire saga over, the story about Webber’s succesor all consumed, what a great story to fill the pages and blogs for the summer break – Alonso’s war with Ferrari. I don’t buy it at all.

  4. ferrari has been going backwards since they fired nigel stepney !
    brawn wouldn’t accept the treatment he got and quit
    however they have started to re-anglicise the team again so in a couple more years……

  5. I think that these news more than anything else means that Alonso isn’t going to go to Red Bull. If Montezemolo truly believed that his biggest asset considered leaving the team, he wouldn’t be making such comments, at least not on Ferrari’s website.

    As crazy as it might sound, Alonso probably has nowhere to go. Red Bull most likely don’t need a second, more political Vettel. Mercedes already have two top drivers. McLaren’s door might be closed to Alonso forever, given what happened in 2007. Lotus might be the most realistic option, although the chances that the Enstone team is going to have a championship-winning car in the upcoming years seem to be even smaller than Ferrari’s hopes to build one. Moreover, they still might keep Raikkonen and also decide that one world champion (and one high salary) is enough for a team of their size. And where else could Alonso go? Ferrari needs him but he probably needs the team even more.

    1. McLaren’s door might be closed to Alonso forever, given what happened in 2007.

      I wouldn’t be so sure about it. Remember that F1 is all about money and anything is possible. McLaren are so in trouble with their current drivers that I think they would be (secretly) happy to take Alonso back.

      1. Nah. Dennis is gone. Whitmarsh would cry tears of joy if he could get someone who could bring money and speed to the team. Problem is, McLaren is going down. Lost the engine deal with Mercedes, losing technical people while not adding anyone of note.

    2. If Santander would move from Ferarri to where ever his next destination, then I’m sure that team would be happy to accept Santander’s money.

      1. Santander has been a Maclaren sponsor as well and they do a lot of business in Britain. Alonso in a Maclaren would suit them fine now that Lewis is gone. They will have the best of both, the English and Spanish speaking, worlds. Alonso may be also thinking beyond 2014, to 2015 when Honda will come into play.

    3. I think the top teams are all basically competing for 4 drivers to maximize their chances: Alonso and Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen. On that basis Ferrari would be insane to let Alonso go, they’d be in much the same position as McLaren right now, left with two solid drivers who aren’t going to make enough of a difference to a so-so car. Unless of course Ferrari snatch Vettel or Hamilton, or re-sign Raikkonen. Or produce a storming car for next season. All very unlikely.

      I think Red Bull would happily take Alonso, and he’d happily go there. Vettel will veto the move much as he did Hamilton, though. And I doubt he’ll really accept Raikkonen either. Which Alonso must know by now, so this is all probably no more than internal Ferrari squabbling and pressurizing that will fizzle out along with their season.

      1. Vettel will veto the move much as he did Hamilton, though.

        Says who?

  6. I think this is the first time I’ve seen either Fernando criticise Ferrari or Ferrari criticise Fernando. Maybe there is some truth to the Red Bull rumours. I still think he’d be unwise to make the move, though.

    1. Alonso criticized his car frequently last season. I remarked at the time that Ferrari had once fired a reigning champion for such an offense.

      1. @jonsan @jackysteeg I’m trying to think of the last driver to criticize Ferrari who didn’t end up getting sacked for it. Prost tried it and got sacked – before the season ended! Arnoux tried it and got sacked – after the first race of the season! Lauda tried it and, while he didn’t exactly get sacked, ended up leaving the team (before getting pushed of it anyway). This feels like a slippery slope to me. Unless Alonso and Ferrari start winning races – and fast (Monza would be ideal), I struggle to see how their relationship will fully recover out of this.

  7. eventually Alonso will end up back at Lotus with Seb at Ferrari and Kimi at Red Bull…

    1. Given the current knife show…..Vettel would rather stick to RBR with his friend Kimi

      Ferrari and big luca will reinstate Massa as their no 1 driver

  8. For a die hard Ferrari fan his words sound bitter but his frustration is justified.

  9. I am picturing a crowd of hyper-competitive Italians bearing knives- “Et tu, Alonso?”

  10. Thing is.. Alonso has never been the strongest qualifier. His ability to set the car up and his racecraft however are world class. So Ferrari could be right, Alonso might not be extracting the absolute maximum, but I don’t think he is that far off.

    I wonder if he could end up leaving Ferrari and returning to Lotus(previously known as Renault), when Kimi moves to Red Bull. I would say we could see some big moves all depending on what Horner decides. If Ricciardo gets the seat, I don’t expect much else to change on the grid.. But Kimi could set the ball rolling.

    1. When did Ferrari say Alonso is nt extracting the maximum from the car?

      When he had faster cars he has qualified very well(his first stint in Renault).. yes, he was beaten by Lewis in 2007 (10-7, was the head to head if I am not wrong) which was nt a disastrous showing either considering Lewis is probably the best qualifier out there… he has decimated Massa in their time together in Ferrari and Massa himself was considered something of a qualifying specialist before Alonso joined Ferrari… I just dont get by what logic people come up with the notion that Alonso is a weak qualifier… I dont think there is any driver who is a better qualifier than alonso in today’s grid bar Vettel and Hamilton…

    2. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      30th July 2013, 15:12

      I honestly never bought that idea that Alonso is an average qualifyer.

      On only two occasions, 2004 with qualy specialist Trulli, and 2007 with new Bridgestones and quick Lewis, he was regularly _slightly_ behind…
      …In 2001, in 2003 against Trulli, in 05 and 06 against FIsichella, in 08-09 with Renault, and in the Ferrari days he was a supreme qualifier versus his teammates.

  11. alonso will always take kimi ‘s racing seat wherever he goes starting from mclaren days

    1. That is true always behind Kimi in the line…..

  12. “This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one’s own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it.”

    Just like Shumacher allowed Barrichello to win in Austria in 2002, I mean its all about the team right? Also if its about putting the team over ego, then why post this statement on the website in the first place? Keep it in house.

  13. It’s been a long time coming

  14. Funny…

    Alonso, the guy that made Ferrari look much better than they deserved since 2010, gets the punch in the face…

    OK, Luca, sure, you made things a lot easier to yourself, right? Not quite ! you’ve been a failure since Schumi left. Give Alonso what he wants. He’s the only one that can bring you back to titles, and hurry up because he can just bore himself waiting for you clowns to fix the wind tunnel (after 3 years, come on ! “greatest f1 team ever” my ar..) and walk out the door.

    It’s not like he’s out of options… and it’s not like you guys can afford another 21 years without a title…

    1. +1 All this talk of ferrari being the best ever is worrying me.BY the way what’s wrong with the oldies ?

      Ferrari , Mclaren , Williams , Sauber all doing badly ?? Is it E G O ?

  15. This talk of Alonso going to Red Bull feels more like Red Bull trying to pressure Raikkonen into making a decision because he doesn’t consider Ricciardo to be a genuine contender for the seat and so can take his time with it, rather than a genuine attempt to get Alonso.

    I’m surprised Luca doesn’t see that

    1. @prisoner-monkeys Then why did alonso play to this with the media ?

      you sound as if Alonso tried his hand at British Humor with the journalists and Luca said to Alonso “we are Italian , you Shmuck “

      1. To shift focus away from Ferrari’s struggles on the track.

  16. “Normal” drivers would stay quiet if driving for top teams, hoping they last as long as possible. Champions like Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso, Kimi, Ayrton etc are only there to win championships and if the team doesn’t provide the with the tools, they scream out loud to either make it work or to find some other seat. I think it’s very understandable

    1. They should do their screaming behind closed doors; thats what Schumacher always did.
      Screaming in the press makes them look like spoilt brats. If they want to tell the team something, then they should do it to directly to the team, not via the media.

      1. @xjr15jaaag I don’t wish to nit-pick but the interesting thing for me is they’re not even doing it in the press, they wrote it up on their own website. Without that no one might have known about it.

        1. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
          30th July 2013, 3:53

          Ferrari got quite history about that. We all know the story of Ferrari and Prost relationship. But there’s more to that. Some say that they pushed a little bit towards Schumacher’s first retirement. Some say, that they started a story of Raikkonen’s lack of motivation.

          I’m not sure about this unstability caused by Red Bull vacant seat, it might be the case, but surely some ideas of revolution have popped into Montezomolo’s head given lacklustre form in many years.

          1. That’s just absurd ! There is a difference between telling the car is slow and going against the team !

          2. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
            30th July 2013, 15:25

            Haven’t been following F1 from that early on, but what was so special between the Scuderia and Prost?

  17. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    29th July 2013, 21:39

    A Vettel for Alonso straight swap would be attractive to everyone involved, although perhaps Red Bull least so. Vettel moving to Ferrari once Alonso goes has been rumoured for a while and now Alonso appears to want to go the opposite way.

    Although Seb would be walking away from a fantastically successful setup at Red Bull, he would have the opportunity to succeed in winning the championship where Alonso has failed and shake off the tag of only winning because he happened to be driving the best car, Adrian Newey’s car. With major rule changes coming next season and Mercedes’ progression there is no guarantee of the continued success Red Bull have enjoyed over the last 4 or 5 seasons and surely Seb’s stock would take a big hit if he stayed at Red Bull and they started sliding down the order.

    As far as Ferrari are concerned, Fernando may well have ‘carried the team’ for the last 4 seasons but the effort has not resulted in any championship success and now the relationship seems under increasing strain. A swap would negate the need for Alonso’s contract to be ‘bought out’, Red Bull could possibly add Santander to their ever increasing roster of external sponsors and it is just hard to envisage the pair as teammates at Red Bull.

    1. Hmmm, great comment @jackisthestig. Very interesting. It might just make sense.
      I’m also sure Hamilton’s switch to Mercedes and how it is starting to add more credibility to his career hasn’t gone unnoticed by Vettel. I think maybe this is one for 2015, but who knows?

    2. surely Seb’s stock would take a big hit if he stayed at Red Bull and they started sliding down the order.

      Right, the way Hamilton’s stock took a hit when he stayed at Mclaren and they started sliding down the order. Except that never actually happened, did it?

    3. Vettel may have a huge ego but he also has an eye for records in every category, I don’t think he would risk his chance to be “The Greatest” just to drive a Ferrari, at least not until his 8th.WDC or until Ferrari have a car better than a Red Bull.

      1. A lot of this silly season would be easier to unravel if we knew how good the RBR would be next year , which we honestly don’t ;)

  18. If the relationship does get to a stage where he feels he has to leave, I don’t see what options he’d have. Realistically, he isn’t going to Red Bull. McLaren have both Button and Perez tied down and could previous experiences with the team also hinder of a move there? Mercedes aren’t going to change their line-up anytime soon. Reuniting with the Enstone team could be as unsuccessful as his previous stint in 08 and 09, and at this time of his career, he can’t waste seasons in the midfield if he wants more titles. I think even if the relationship gets strained, he will remain with Ferrari. I just can’t see the alternatives.

  19. I just realized something “sensational moves”, as in fancy driver swap between big teams happen every 3 years! Perhaps I should add it in the statistics column… here goes 2013 Hamilton to Mercedes, 2010 Alonso to Ferrari and Button to Mclaren, 2007 Raikkonen to Ferrari and Alonso to Mclaren plus introduction of Vettel and Hamilton and of course Schumi retirement, 2004 (exception), 2001 introduction of Kimi, Fernando, Montoya…
    Well obviously it isn’t an exact science but for 13 years 2001-2013 only these 4 (01,07,10,13) we had significant changes. So in theory wait for the summer of 2015 for a really hot silly season.

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