Skip to main content

Ferrari chief rebukes Fernando Alonso for recent comments

updated 6:14 PM EDT, Mon July 29, 2013
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo reminded Fernando Alonso of his duties on the Spaniard's 32nd birthday
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo reminded Fernando Alonso of his duties on the Spaniard's 32nd birthday
  • Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo rebukes Fernando Alonso for recent comments
  • Spaniard is asked to put interests of the team above his own
  • Rare public criticism comes after media speculation linking Alonso with a switch to Red Bull

(CNN) -- The future of Fernando Alonso at Ferrari has been thrown further into confusion after the Spaniard was publicly rebuked by the Italian team's president Luca di Montezemolo on Monday.

The two-time world champion probably did not expect to receive such an unwanted gift as he celebrated his 32nd birthday.

Rumours linking Alonso with the possibility of a move to Red Bull, given the departure of Mark Webber at the end of season, had swirled around the Formula 1 paddock in Hungary this weekend.

Read: Ferrari chiefs dampens Vettel-Alonso pairing

This followed news of a meeting between Alonso's manager Luis Garcia Abad and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner on Friday.

The waters were further muddied on Sunday when Alonso, asked what present he would like for his birthday after dropping to third in the championship standings - courtesy of his fifth place at the Hungaroring, replied: "someone else's car."

Red Bull Show Run
A country club for exotic sports cars
Engines on, Formula 1 returns!
Lorenzo: Motorcycling is like dancing
2010: Russia's Putin in the fast lane
Hamilton's McLaren future

The Spaniard added that improvements were needed if the Ferrari was to win the world championship.

It is unclear precisely which remarks prompted Ferrari to place a statement on their website explaining how the president "tweaked" Alonso's ear in a telephone conversation, after comments "which did not go down well with Montezemolo, now with anyone in the team."

"All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own," Ferrari's official website quoted Montezemolo as telling Alonso in a birthday call.

"This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one's own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it."

Since joining Ferrari in 2010, Alonso has failed to build on the world championships he won in 2005 and 2006 with Renault.

He has twice come close to triumphing with Ferrari - only to be beaten by Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel by the narrowest of margins on both occasions.

Alonso lost out by four points in 2010, while last season's championship saw the German win an even closer contest - pipping his rival by just three points to win his third straight title.

Read: Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix

Following comments made by Montezemolo last year, there would be considerable irony if Alonso were to end up as the stable mate of his major race rival.

As media reports suggested that Vettel would move to Ferrari in 2014, the Ferrari supremo reacted by saying he did not want "two roosters in the same hen house."

"I don't want problems and rivalries," he added last October.

Vettel added further intrigue to the situation on Sunday by declaring that he would prefer to be joined at Red Bull next season by Kimi Raikkonen, rather than Alonso, on the premise that the Finn has always been "very straight" with him.

After ten races of the season, Alonso lies third in the standings - his 133 points one fewer than Lotus driver Raikkonen - while Vettel leads with a tally of 172.

The Spaniard's contract with Ferrari is not due to expire until 2016.

In a separate development on Monday, Ferrari confirmed that former Lotus technical director James Allison will join the team in September.

Allison's departure from Lotus was revealed in May and he will assume the role of chassis technical director.

"At the same time, Pat Fry will take on the new position of Director of Engineering," Ferrari said in a statement. "Both men will report directly to the Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali."

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.