Ferrari insists there is no breakdown in its relationship with Fernando Alonso, despite president Luca di Montezemolo’s unhappiness at comments made by the Spaniard.
Di Montezemolo issued a rebuke of Alonso’s conduct after the Hungarian Grand Prix, when the Spaniard told interviewers that he wanted “a car like the others” as a birthday present. The president’s comments calling for unity prompted speculation that Ferrari was facing an internal crisis. But a team spokesman said on Tuesday that despite the flashpoint, di Montezemolo and Alonso were unified in their desire to push Ferrari on to a stronger second half to the campaign.
“Di Montezemolo is the first to support our driver’s call to improve the car’s competitiveness as quickly as possible,” said the spokesman. “He fully understands Fernando’s frustrations after what has been the most challenging race of the year. He is his chief supporter and has full trust in him.
“His words must be viewed as a positive injection. They were a boost in motivation to inspire the team and to be united toward our common objective.”
FERRARI PLEDGES COMEBACK FIGHT
Ferrari has already begun ramping up its efforts to ensure that it can deliver the car that Alonso needs to fight for the championship. It has been testing this week at Magny-Cours with a 2011 car to complete a program to check its simulator and track correlation. The test is taking place on Pirelli’s demonstration tires, and the team has completed the necessary approval process with the FIA for running the car.
Furthermore, the team is upbeat about the impact of the technical restructure that will take place following the imminent arrival of James Allison as its new chassis technical director.
Allison will work alongside director of engineering Pat Fry, and is to take charge of all design aspects of the car as well as aerodynamic development. Fry will be in charge of vehicle dynamics, simulations, trackside engineering and strategy.
The bid to separate the roles come amid a realization from team principal Stefano Domenicali that the structure needed to be reinforced, and that Fry should focus on the area where he was strongest.
The Ferrari spokesman added: “James’ arrival alongside Pat is surely a boost and sets the basis for a very strong and balanced technical team. James has always been a highly regarded engineer and he completes a process initiated by Stefano Domenicali to reinforce the technical department.”