Montezemolo rebukes Alonso for critical comments

2013 F1 season

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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193 comments on Montezemolo rebukes Alonso for critical comments

  1. 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.

    • puneeth Bharath (@puneethvb) said on 30th July 2013, 6:57

      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…

    • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 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.

  2. bruce (@eliy) said on 29th July 2013, 20:06

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

  3. DM0407 (@dm0407) said on 29th July 2013, 20:12

    “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.

  4. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 29th July 2013, 20:20

    It’s been a long time coming

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 29th July 2013, 20:31


    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…

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 30th July 2013, 10:33

      +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 ?

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th July 2013, 21:04

    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

  7. Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 29th July 2013, 21:06

    “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

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 29th July 2013, 21:19

      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.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th July 2013, 23:26

        @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.

        • Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 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.

          • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 30th July 2013, 13:32

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

          • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 30th July 2013, 15:25

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

  8. Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 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.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 29th July 2013, 21:53

      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?

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 29th July 2013, 23:31

      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?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 30th July 2013, 2:08

      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.

  9. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 29th July 2013, 21:56

    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.

  10. Kim Philby (@philby) said on 29th July 2013, 22:20

    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.

  11. Swindle94 (@swindle94) said on 29th July 2013, 23:43

    Ferrari’s lack of performance all down to one thing… The Kimi Curse. No championships since kicking him out. LOL

  12. F1rollout1 said on 30th July 2013, 0:32

    Lets evaluate both scenarios:

    1. Dirty game from Redbull : They ran Daniel in young test to show he is a genuine contender to Raikkonen so that they can negotiate with Raikkonen. But after an interview from Raikkonen in which he said “He is in no rush and may choose an option which may sound stupid”. Redbull brought Alonso in picture. Considering Alonso would never like to partner with a very strong driver, this is the most likely scenario. Now Ferrari may think this is happening and is warning Alonso that if you are leaving, we would not keep you even for this season.

    2. Alonso’s management did talk to Redbull. Redbull will give it a thought because if they can desire Raikkonen, they can desire Alonso as well because both are top drivers and give Seb a challenge. Redbull has made it clear they want the strongest line up.”There has not been any pressure that we must take a junior driver, it is a matter of fielding the best team. Of course, the junior drivers are under consideration but there is no pre-requisite it has to be a junior driver for next season. We want to put the strongest drivers in the car that we can” said Horner. Certainly Seb would not like to see Alonso in the team because if not exposed, he will have tough time against him. Redbull has two advantages in bringing Alonso 1. A constructors title even if they are bit weaker next year(new rules) 2. Santandar..

    I think in both of the scenarios, the move is unlikely. I think Raikkonen would go there first and Alonso will replace him later just like they have been doing before.

  13. yuya (@john-locke) said on 30th July 2013, 0:51

    I remember Montezemolo once said
    “I was soo disappointed by Kimi’s performance. I destroyed a mount of TVs after watching races(in 2008 season). …..

    • No confest said on 30th July 2013, 8:20

      Wow, that shows great control and must be a sure sign of impressive management skills.
      Is it just me or does LdM seem really imcompetent and a bit of a liability for the entire Ferrari operation? Alonso is a bit of a weasel, but he has my sympathies on this occasion.

    • erix said on 30th July 2013, 13:40

      Kimi was also disappointed by broken exhaust, tire strategies, and gear problem. He was awesome in first race with Ferrari in 2007, but they gave too much money to chew in one’s lifetime, and became 12kg heavier than Massa. If only they paid Kimi with points basis just like Lotus, it could have been different.

  14. Datangjualbeli said on 30th July 2013, 3:26

    It’s time to move on Alonso! jump to Red bull that has winning car!

  15. zoom (@zoomracing) said on 30th July 2013, 4:35

    Sorry but this is a stupid move by Montezemolo, he has not right to criticize Alonso, they guy has saved their ass for 4 years now, starting with Massa and Stefano, even if he wants to criticize Alonso he should do it in private.

    Alonso is going to be very mad, and he has all the summer to think, Santander will back him no matter what, Ferrari is in trouble.

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