Ferrari has acknowledged that Fernando Alonso referred to his team sarcastically during Italian Grand Prix qualifying, but the Spaniard underlined that he was not unhappy with its tactics overall.
Alonso’s radio traffic during the session has been a major talking point at Monza, with several transmissions during Ferrari’s efforts to get its cars to slipstream each other on hot laps appearing to feature criticisms of the team.
Ferrari confirmed that Alonso had said, “So we will have to let him by then. You’re really geniuses, guys”, but in reference to joining the track ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, rather than while talking about the team strategy with Felipe Massa.
In an official statement later released by Ferrari, Alonso said his remark was not representative of his overall mood.
“The radio messages have been misunderstood, as is often the case when you don’t experience something first hand,” he said. “The word ‘genius’ refers to the fact that we could have got out before Rosberg had gone by on his quick lap, but this should not raise any doubts about the impeccable job from the whole team.”
Alonso had earlier said that radio traffic in which he appeared to intimate that Massa was too far ahead to provide a tow was broadcast at a misleading time and that the strategy had worked perfectly.
The Italian GP intrigue came a month after Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had admonished Alonso for criticisms of the team in Hungary. But di Montezemolo insisted on Saturday at Monza that his relationship with Alonso was now “very good” again, and in light of suggestions that Alonso had considered leaving Ferrari, joked that his driver was chasing a Marussia drive.
“When you are the father of a family, sometimes you have to tweak your son’s ear, because it is important for the family,” said di Montezemolo. “He is a very important member of the family and I sometimes share his attitude that he would love to have a better car sometimes.
“But at Spa he did a very good race with a Ferrari not with a Marussia and I am sure he will do the same or even better [at Monza].”