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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo continues to emulate the Duke of Edinburgh, in terms of foot in mouth moments, claiming that Red Bull has failed to show the proper respect to the Italian team.
"I see people who have won world championships who don't quite know how to behave as champions," he told reporters at Madonna di Campiglio today. "When they have won 10 percent of what we have won, then we'll respond."
While Red Bull's in your face attitude might antagonise some, there is no arguing with the fact that the Milton Keynes outfit is a team to be taken very seriously. In the last two seasons it has shown a level of professionalism, commitment and determination second to none, proving the sceptics, including Pitpass, wrong.
Having made his feeling about the team clear, di Montezemolo also took the opportunity to have a dig at its world championship winning driver, Sebastian Vettel, who - against all odds - won the title at Abu Dhabi.
"I wake up in the night and think of that race," admitted the Italian. "I don't want to say who is the best driver in the world. But I know who is."
While di Montezemolo might not feel that the best man won, the fact is that aside from a major strategic error, Fernando Alonso's failure to win a title that was all but in the bag was due to his failure to take on rookie Vitaly Petrov. The Spaniard, having failed to get to grips with the Renault driver, thereby losing out on the title, subsequently embarrassed himself by angrily gesticulating at the Russian during the slow down lap.
Looking ahead to the forthcoming season, di Montezemolo said: "We must make a good start, both in terms of reliability and, above all, on the performance front.
"Last year, we lost the championship in a first half that found us failing to live up to our expectations," he admitted. "I think this will be a very interesting championship: there are a few question marks regarding the new rules and therefore we will have to wait and see how competitive are our rivals."
Asked about Alonso's comment the Michael Schumacher could be his biggest threat this year, di Montezemolo said: "I think we must wait for the first few races, but these tales are good for the media and the fans.
"Alonso says Michael, Felipe says Hamilton," he continued, "maybe Michael will favour Vettel, so there's nothing new under the sun! But, Michael is still close to my heart and part of Ferrari's history and I have no doubt he is still a fantastic driver. His team-mate out-paced him last year? So, sure, there's also Rosberg. In fact, I expect three teams, maybe even four to be fighting it out at the top in 2011."
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