Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has stood by his decision to rebuke Fernando Alonso following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
A team statement described how di Montezemolo “tweaked [Alonso’s] ear” after the Spaniard joked to Italian television reporters that his ideal birthday present would be his rivals’ cars. The spat came on the same weekend that it emerged that Red Bull was considering Alonso as a potential 2014 driver.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra, di Montezemolo remained adamant that Alonso had overstepped the mark.
“Fernando is a great driver and I understand him, he is a bit like me: he wants to win,” said di Montezemolo. “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.
“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.”
Di Montezemolo also ramped up the pressure on Felipe Massa, who is 72 points behind Alonso, last won a grand prix in 2008 and is once again in jeopardy of losing his Ferrari seat.
“Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy,” said the team president. “But in the past days, we were very clear with him: both he and us need results and points. Then, at some point, we will look one another in the eye and decide what to do.”
Team boss Stefano Domenicali’s record received praise from di Montezemolo, with the caveat that his personnel management might have to get more ruthless.
“There’s one thing I remind him of very often: he has to get the most out of every individual in his organization, never be satisfied and if necessary, take some drastic and painful decisions,” said di Montezemolo.