2013 F1 season
Ferrari 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 – metaphorical up to a point – 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