'Alonso should be proud of his season'

Thursday 28-November-2013 12:00

Luca di Montezemolo says it is up to Ferrari to give Fernando Alonso a race winning car and one that is "even better than Red Bull".

Alonso's move to Ferrari in 2010 coincided with the rise of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing.

While the German has claimed four Drivers' Championship titles in a row, Alonso has finished runner-up on three occasions with this year being the third.

The Spaniard, though, has given his all with many, including Ferrari's president, conceding that it is the car that has let him down.

Next year, di Montezemolo is adamant Ferrari will make amends.

"He is right to be proud of second place: he had a great season. We must give him a quicker car and he will get the most out of it," he told Italy's RAI Uno.

"Eight out of ten, instead of ten? My eight is worth a ten because it's a score I give as an incentive: I hope to give it him next year and to give an eight, at least, to the team.

"For next year I would like to present him with a car that's even better than Red Bull. Let's not forget we know how to do that: one only has to think of the five year period from 2000 to 2004 and the wins in 2007 and 2008.

"I thank him for all his efforts and the determination he showed this year and for the fact he would have been prepared to let Massa get onto the podium last Sunday back in Brazil, as it testifies to the nice atmosphere in our team.

"Newey isn't his opponent: there are the drivers, starting with Vettel, then Hamilton and Rosberg, who has improved a lot, and there's Raikkonen who will be trying to win, which will give us a boost and should bring the points we were missing this year."

Next season will also see Alonso face a new team-mate in Kimi Raikkonen, who is Ferrari's last World Champion having won the title back in 2007.

"Whoever has the honour and responsibility of driving for Ferrari must think of the team first and foremost and not of himself. None of our drivers could ever hurt the other one," di Montezemolo said of the pairing.

"Alonso is maybe the strongest race driver I've ever met, even if it is always difficult to make comparisons with the past.

"We have taken Raikkonen back for his experience, for what he has done over the past two years and because he is much loved inside and outside the team.

"I was very pleased to see the enthusiasm that greeted the news of his return, again both internally and externally. I am sure they will help one another."

The Italian also weighed in on Vettel, saying he could one day have a future with Ferrari.

"Better than Senna? Ecclestone says what suits him but there is no doubt he is a great driver. He is a serious young man who has won a lot and therefore he deserves respect.

"I congratulate him and Red Bull. Vettel at Ferrari? Who knows what the future holds? But for now, drivers are definitely not a problem for us."

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