Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has defended the squad's "little digs at Red Bull" and also feels Fernando Alonso overstepped the mark with his criticism of the team earlier this year.
Two Italians, who are described as "great fans of Scuderia Ferrari, but not the sort to go easy on criticisms", were invited to experience a day in Maranello and as part of the deal they were "able to ask all the questions they wanted, even the most awkward ones: and this is a faithful account of what was said" with the questions and answers published on the team's official website.
The first piece of criticism was directed at the team over "incorrect jibes aimed at Red Bull that then fall apart. And then there's Alonso complaining about his car after every race. I'd like to see him get his ears pulled about that, but instead you almost seem to share his sentiment. On top of that, it's not nice that in Austin last year, you sabotaged [Felipe] Massa's gearbox to favour Alonso".
Domenicali believes the jibes at Red Bull help the team to get rid of "tension", but he agrees that Alonso should not air his dirty laundry in public and feels Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was right to give the double World Champion an "ear tweaking" a few months ago.
"In all the races, whether you see it or not, I congratulate our rivals," he said. "In Austin, we did not sabotage the gearbox, but simply made the most of an article in the regulations which allowed us to break the seals. The interests of Ferrari come above all else: if we had lost the Championship by the number of points we'd have lost there, the evaluation of what we did would have been different. Unlike the others, we speak openly about what we are doing.
"The little digs at Red Bull? It's a way of relieving the tension and making light of it, as is clear from the tone of it. Alonso? If I have something to say to him, as would be the case with my engineers, I would do it behind closed doors and in a harsh manner. But externally, I will always defend the team. When he crossed the line, president Montezemolo intervened and in private, so did I."
When asked whether or not Alonso is still the man to lead them to another Championship, Domenicali insisted that the Spaniard will deliver if he is given the right machinery.
"If in the past four years we have come close to the title twice, it is partly down to him," he said. "Unfortunately, we have not been capable of giving him a car that matches his talent. You compare him to Vettel, but when you have a better car, everything is more straightforward.
The Ferrari team boss also admitted that they were interested in signing Robert Kubica before the Pole suffered serious injuries during a rallying accident.
"Yes, we were keeping an eye on him," he said. "Unfortunately, I don't think he will be back, because with his physical problem, he would struggle in certain limited situations which require reactivity. It's a shame."