In the wake of Mercedes heaping praise on Fernando Alonso, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has called his driver the "best in the world."
Earlier this week, Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche said that despite his team leading the Championships, Alonso was "probably the best driver on the Formula One grid."
He added that the Spaniard has "always proven it, and in uncompetitive cars."
Although Alonso was happy with the praise, he stated that it is "sometimes strange to see good comments and compliments from people from the outside and the opposite from people who are supposed to be close to you."
A day later - and amidst rumours that the Spaniard could be looking for a new team - the double World Champion has been hailed by di Montezemolo as the "the best driver in the world, who always gives 200 per cent in the races."
As for Alonso's comments about not receiving praise from Ferrari, di Montezemolo said: "He knows how much I count on him, even away from the race track, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives to the team.
"I think it's incredible there are still some so-called experts who don't understand that and are always looking for a polemical situation that simply doesn't exist.
"The truth is he and (team-mate) Kimi (Raikkonen), another incredible driver, need a competitive Ferrari and giving them that is our sole objective.
"We are working very hard, starting with Marco, who knows what needs to be done and who will instigate many changes at a technical and organisational level and in speeding up the decision-making process.
"That's what I want, as do our drivers and our fans, while all the rest is just idle chat."
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