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'Drivers come and go, Ferrari remains'

Saturday 3rd August 2013

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'Drivers come and go, Ferrari remains'

'Drivers come and go, Ferrari remains'

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has made it clear that it is Ferrari that matters at the end of the day, not the drivers.

Tension rose at the Italian stable in the wake of the Hungarian Grand Prix when Fernando Alonso told reporters that he wanted a car that "the others have" as his 32nd birthday present.

His remark did not go down well at Ferrari with di Montezemolo reportedly phoning the Spaniard to let him know all about it.

This minor rift comes amidst speculation that Alonso could be seeking a move to Red Bull Racing as Mark Webber's replacement.

But rather than sooth any ruffled emotions, di Montezemolo has made it clear in an interview with Corriere della Sera's sports editor Daniele Dallera where his priorities rest.

"Our fans should never be forgotten, they deserve respect and therefore they are entitled to get satisfaction. We must work for Ferrari and for them," said the Italian.

"Let me make it clear that it's Ferrari I'm interested in.

"Drivers, we've had a lot, some very good, some great, but drivers come and go, while Ferrari remains."

Speaking specifically about the Alonso situation, he said: "Fernando is a great driver and I understand him, he is a bit like me: he wants to win.

"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... It doesn't sit well with me seeing our car is not competitive.

"That's why I intervened, even if I didn't want to abuse my authority over my men. However, it had to be done. But how? We started so well, we had begun the World Championship with a very competitive car, maybe even considered the best. But something happened and instead of moving forward we went backwards.

"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."

He added: "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...

"Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy. 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."

However, it's not just his drivers who need to pull their weight, team boss Stefano Domenicali also needs to show results which di Montezemolo believes he has done even though the team is still lacking a Drivers' title under his reign.

"Stefano was born and raised with us from all managerial points of view. But as a sportsman, he knows he needs results.

"However, when one talks about Domenicali, one truth is king: under his management we have one one Constructors' title and come very close to three Drivers' titles. Two of those we could easily have won and then people's opinion of Domenicali would be very different.

"There's one thing I remind him of very often: he has to get the most out of every individual in his organisation, never be satisfied and if necessary, take some drastic and painful decisions."

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