Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo admits he shares Fernando Alonso's concerns, but says the Spaniard didn't leave much choice but to rebuke him over his "outbursts".
The double World Champion was publicly wrapped over the knuckles by Di Montezemolo in the wake of the Hungarian Grand Prix after he was critical of the F138 challenger.
Asked what he would like as a 32nd birthday present, Alonso said "someone else's car". That didn't go down well at the Italian stable with Di Montezemolo revealing on the team's website that he "tweaked the ear" of the driver.
Despite the reprimand, Di Montezemolo says he does have some sympathy with Alonso over the team's lack of ability to challenge regularly at the front.
"Fernando is a great driver and I understand him, he is a bit like me: he wants to win," he told Italian paper Corriere della Sera. "He must just remember that one wins and loses together and for its part.
"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..."
Having won two of the first five races of the season, Ferrari have found it difficult to challenge the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes in recent races with Alonso finishing a distant fourth in Germany and fifth in Budapest.
"It doesn't sit well with me seeing our car is not competitive," Di Montezemolo said. "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."
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