"Drivers come and go" - Montezemolo
3 August 2013 – Luca di Montezemolo has expanded on his reasons for delivering a public rebuke to driver Fernando Alonso, reiterating that the success of the Ferrari ‘family’ depends on everyone pulling in the same direction, and that no one person is bigger than the team.
In the wake of a disappointing performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso had claimed, apparently in jest, that his ideal birthday present would be ‘someone else’s car’. Although the comments went unnoticed by the majority of the Formula 1 paddock, Ferrari released a statement the following Tuesday stating that the Spaniard had been admonished by Montezemolo. In an interview with Italian paper Corriere della Sera, the Chairman has now expanded on his reasons for issuing the reprimand.
“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,” he began. “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.
“Therefore the right attitude, the one I am taking from now on is as follows: understand the mistakes, fix them and after this careful analysis develop the car in the right direction. We must put our heads down in this return match, as I describe this second part of the season after the break, a break I don’t like, but we have to adhere to it.”
Montezemolo also noted that the Italian marque has seen many drivers pass through the doors at Maranello throughout its illustrious history, a statement that may serve to further alienate Alonso. Despite winning the title with Renault in 2006, he left the team soon after, complaining about feeling ‘alone’ at the squad.
“Let me make it clear that it’s Ferrari I’m interested in," added Montezemolo. “Drivers, we’ve had a lot, some very good, some great, but drivers come and go, while Ferrari remains.”