Montezemolo: Our rivals will redouble their efforts to beat us 26 July, 2012 Luca di Montezemolo applauds Fernando Alonso Jul.26 (GP247) Ferrari and Fernando Alonso have turned around their season, having started the year with their F2012 way below par, the team have hit the halfway stage with their Spanish driver topping the points standings and the euphoria has been mounting, prompting the team’s president Luca di Montezemolo to temper expectations and at the same time inspire his staff. Speaking to the entire team at Maranello, including the drivers and management, Montezemolo warned, “I am concerned, more so than the day after Valencia. I see very strong opponents: McLaren has made great progress, Red Bull is very strong, Sauber had a race pace that was a match for ours and Lotus is very strong at times.” But the Italian acknowledged, “Therefore, we have to be very careful: after we had a difficult start to the season, maybe our rivals did not expect to see Ferrari capable of fighting back this strongly, but now they will redouble their efforts to beat us. Therefore, we must stay very focused and continue our efforts to improve.” Montezemolo used the opportunity to applaud the entire squad, including the backroom staff, “I want to tell you I am proud of you. When I watched you applauding the drivers, I was thinking that I am lucky to work with people like you, people who have known how to work without fuss, with ability and determination to redress the difficult situation at the start of the season, which was not at the level of the name Ferrari.” In the past, especially when the team appeared to be struggling, criticism of team principal Stefano Domenicali had been fierce, many ‘experts’ in Italy questioning his ability to lead the most famous race team in the world. Montezemolo made his feelings on the matter clear, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Domenicali for his work. When, a few years ago, it was decided to go for a man who had grown from within the company, there were some who turned up their noses at the idea, but today I am pleased to see a true leader of a team that is doing well, which is what I want and which is worthy of the name Ferrari.” Alonso has scored three wins so far this season, amassing 154 points and now leads the world championship standings by 34 points. Felipe Massa has 23 points to his credit. Ferrari lies second in the constructors points table with 177 points, 53 points adrift of Red Bull in top spot. Subbed by AJN. Tweet Related NewsMassa: Kimi’s problem is psychologicalVideo: Ferrari tribute for birthday boy RaikkonenRaikkonen staying at Ferrari amid Alonso departure reportsMarchionne: We’ve got to kick some ass and quicklyMontezemolo: Fernando is leaving Ferrari for two reasonsMontezemolo: The least I expected was a thank youDomenicali joins Audi, will Alonso follow?Berger surprised by Vettel move to FerrariMattiacci: Engine freeze against principles of F1Red Bull marginalise Vettel ahead of his departure Forza Ferrari Keep pushing and working hard, great men and women from Maranello! Nothing is certain till the chequered flag has been waved in Brazil. Go Prancing Horse, goooo!!!