Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali: No rift with Fernando Alonso

Stefano Domenicali has been team principal at Ferrari since 2008.

Story highlights

  • Stefano Domenicali denies a rift with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso
  • Ferrari team principal Domenicali also rejects claims he is not up to the task
  • Alonso is second in the drivers' standings, 46 points behind Sebastian Vettel
  • Domenicali would not be drawn on Ferrari's rumored interest in Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari team principal Stefano Demenicali has rejected suggestions a power struggle between him and driver Fernando Alonso is the reason behind the Italian team's faltering Formula One season.

Alonso, a two-time world champion, picked up two grands prix wins in the first five races of the season, but he has struggled to match the blistering pace set by Red Bull's three-time drivers' champion Sebastian Vettel.

The Spaniard is second in the drivers' standings and trails the leader Vettel by 46 points after finishing runner up to the German at Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Domenicali, who has been team principal of F1's most successful team since 2008, denied a rift with Alonso and also dismissed suggestions he is too soft for one of motorsport's most demanding jobs.

Read: McLaren chief admits "big mistakes"

"No, no, this is something that I totally reject," Domenicali told the sport's official website. "We want to win together.

Lotus hopeful on Raikkonen
Lotus hopeful on Raikkonen


    Lotus hopeful on Raikkonen


Lotus hopeful on Raikkonen 02:22
Watch adrenaline-filled tour of Spa track
Watch adrenaline-filled tour of Spa track


    Watch adrenaline-filled tour of Spa track


Watch adrenaline-filled tour of Spa track 01:08

"It is a super-competitive environment where you are a hero when you win and a zero when you lose -- there is not really something in between for us. Be sure that we are united to win -- because that's what we are here for."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has not been shy in expressing his dissatisfaction with the team.

He "tweaked" Alonso's ear last month when the driver sarcastically remarked he would like "someone else's car" for his birthday.

"He is our chairman and he is very passionate about this part of his job, this side of the business," Domenicali said of Di Montezemolo.

"It is normal that he is very pushy with us because we had a really difficult July. It was a sign of attention from him -- I read it this way, that's it.

"We know we need to be focused -- and he reminded us of that -- and that we have to be united to pass this difficult moment."

Read: Lotus chief -- "Raikkonen wants to stay"

Domenicali was also coy on rumors Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen could be in line for a return to the team he won the world championship with in 2007 -- Ferrari's last drivers' title.

"Kimi is a very fast driver and everybody knows how I rate him. But if I make a comment now it will be taken as a direct answer.

"As I said, there is no rush and we will make the right decision in the right moment."

Meanwhile David Ward has announced he intends to stand in the FIA's presidential elections later this year.

Ward has resigned from his post as director general of world motorsport's governing body's charitable foundation to run for the post currently held by former Ferrari chief Jean Todt.

"After much careful thought I have decided to stand," Ward said in a statement. "The election period begins in September and it will be necessary for me to approach FIA members to secure nominations.

"In these circumstances I think that the correct course of action is to resign.

"Election processes inevitably involve robust and lively debate, and whilst the foundation is independent and there is no legal requirement for me to resign, I believe that it is in the best interests of the charity that I stand down now."

Frenchman Todt, who has been president of the FIA since 2009, has yet to announce whether or not he intends to run for reelection.