Problems at Ferrari?


All is not well at Ferrari as Luca di Montezemolo takes issue with negative comments made by Fernando Alonso.

While most are of the opinion that the talk of Fernando Alonso being on Red Bull's wish list is a smokescreen, speculation linking the Spaniard with the Milton Keynes outfit received a boost when Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo rebuked the driver for appearing to publicly criticise his team.

Talking to the Italian media, asked what he wanted for his birthday – he is 32 today – the Spaniard replied: "a faster car, like the others have". Subsequently, when asked what he will be doing over the summer break, the Spaniard quipped "I will be praying".

This clearly did not go down well with Montezemolo.

"All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own," Montezemolo is quoted as saying by the team website, the Italian having called his driver to wish him a happy birthday.

"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.”

At the same time, on the back of a race which saw Ferrari lose further ground to Red Bull, and even Mercedes, Montezemolo also laid into his technical team, allegedly giving each member a knife along with an invitation to "put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the second half of the season".

This came hours after the Scuderia had confirmed James Allison's appointment as technical director.

While the technical staff are sure to have been left fearing for their jobs, Montezemolo's position is also under spotlight, the (hysterical) Italian media rapidly losing patience with a team that shows no signs of moving forward and, indeed, shows signs of slipping back into the abyss it populated for much of the 80s and 90s.

Famously, in 1991, Ferrari fired Alain Prost after he criticised the team, publicly describing his car as a truck. Having won five Grands Prix in 1990, taking the title fight down to the wire with Ayrton Senna, the Frenchman failed to score a single win the following year.

After his sacking, former Ferrari winner Patrick Tambay said the move was one of the craziest in the team's history, stating that if Prost couldn't win the title in a Ferrari nobody could.

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Published: 29/07/2013
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