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Montezemolo: Ferrari comes before everything

NEWS STORY
03/08/2013

As speculation, much of it wild, over Fernando Alonso's future with Ferrari continues, Luca di Montezemolo has turned to the Italian media to clarify the situation, whilst sending out a clear warning to his team.

Earlier in the week, the Ferrari President's gentle rebuke for the Spaniard after criticising his car, led to a media storm. At a time when attention was focussed on who will partner Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull the comments from Montezemolo caused sections of the media to go into speculation overdrive, a situation not helped by the lack of real news over the summer break.

Clearly keen to settle the situation before it gets out of control, Flavio Briatore now having weighed into the debate, Montezemolo turned to Corriere della Sera to explain why he publicly criticised his driver.

"Fernando is a great driver and I understand him, he is a bit like me: he wants to win," he told Daniele Dallera. "He must just remember that one wins and loses together and for its part, Ferrari must give him a car capable of starting from the front two rows.

"It doesn't sit well with me seeing our car is not competitive," he continued. "That's why I intervened, even if I didn't want to abuse my authority over my men. However, it had to be done.

"Fernando has given a lot in these last years and I repeat, his disappointment, which came about mainly after Silverstone, where all of us expected to be more competitive, is understandable. But I didn't like some attitudes, a few words, some outbursts. And I said so... I reminded everyone, including the drivers, that Ferrari comes before everything, the priority is the team. Rather like a family father pointing out the need to respect some family rules: I wish to underline the concept of family values.

"We started so well, we had begun the world championship with a very competitive car, maybe even considered the best. But something happened and instead of moving forward we went backwards. Therefore the right attitude, the one I am taking from now on is as follows: understand the mistakes, fix them and after this careful analysis develop the car in the right direction. We must put our heads down in this return match, as I describe this second part of the season after the break, a break I don't like, but we have to adhere to it.

"Our DNA, Ferrari's and mine, has a characteristic that we never give up," he continued. "We must get back on the path we were on up until Barcelona. We can do it. Secondly, Spa and Monza are two circuits that could suit the characteristics of our car. Yes, the conditions are in place to give a strong signal of a recovery and, on top of that, I expect results from our engineers who must demonstrate their worth. Then, please, let's not forget that last year, at the last race, for a few laps, Alonso was the virtual world champion, at the wheel of a Ferrari and definitely no other car, which confirms this team knows how to be competitive."

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