Fernando Alonso is not tempted to join Red Bull next season and is fully committed to a future at Ferrari, says his manager, Flavio Briatore.
After a weekend of speculation about Alonso’s future, with Red Bull revealing that the Spaniard was a contender for a race seat in 2014 after learning that he could be available, Briatore has moved to quash such talk. He insists that Alonso is thinking only of winning championships with Ferrari, and he sees nothing out of the ordinary about comments his driver made about wanting a ‘car like the others’.
“Fernando has a contract and contracts must be respected,” Briatore said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. When asked if Alonso was tempted to make a push for Red Bull’s vacant seat, Briatore responded: “No, no temptation whatsoever.”
Briatore added that Alonso’s remarks about desiring a different car were nothing to be surprised about, even though the comments prompted Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo to rebuke his driver.
“It’s normal for a racing driver to desire a competitive car and the team must work hard to supply it. End of story,” said Briatore. “Alonso has never said he wants to leave. Ferrari-Alonso remains a winning pairing.
“You also need to remember that he’s lost the title twice at the final race and last year in Interlagos luck got in the way, too. After a spin like Vettel’s, usually the engine dies, but it didn’t…”
Briatore also suggested that Alonso would be ready to accept a tougher teammate alongside him at Ferrari if the team believed that Felipe Massa needed replacing.
“Fernando has never had problems with racing with anyone. He’s like Senna. Ayrton would say, ‘Place anyone next to me.’ That’s what the strong are like.”
Briatore said that problems Alonso had when teammates with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2007 were down not to him, but the way the team was run: “That’s because McLaren did everything to create confusion. A top team must be able to manage two strong drivers.”
Looking to the rest of the campaign, Briatore says the key factor going forward is in Ferrari delivering as soon as it can a car that Alonso can qualify nearer the front of the grid.
“He needs to have at his disposal a car that allows him to start from the top two rows. We knew it would be tough in Hungary, as it was when I was at Renault. They need to quickly find the instruction manual at Maranello.”