Montezemolo incredibly happy with Alonso but Vettel in his sights

Luca di Montezemolo speaking at Maranello

Luca di Montezemolo speaking at Maranello

Dec.20 (GMM) Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo on Thursday admitted that reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is next in line for Ferrari’s number 1 race seat, should Fernando Alonso decide to leave or when his time is up with the Maranello squad.

Luca di Montezemolo Fernando Alonso“If, tomorrow, Fernando would withdraw for any reason – let’s say he moves to Hawaii with his girlfriend – then I would want Vettel,” laughed the fabled Maranello based team’s president, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

In reality though, Spaniard Alonso, however, is tied up contractually for years – and Ferrari is more than happy with him.

“I’m incredibly happy with him,” Montezemolo agreed. “He is more than just a driver.”

Referring to Ferrari’s influential past drivers Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher, Montezemolo said Alonso is “a bit of both”.

But he also doesn’t spare his praise of German Vettel, who while contracted to Red Bull has been the subject of long speculation that his future could be ‘in red’.

“He’s young,” Montezemolo started, “he has his feet on the floor, and he has an indomitable will to win. Schumacher made me aware of him years ago because he knew him from his karting years. I must say, Michael was right.”

(L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 23 March 2012. BEST IMAGEMontezemolo admitted that Vettel, 25, is higher on Ferrari’s wish list than is Lewis Hamilton.

“Because he is younger, and because Ferrari would be Hamilton’s third team. And if you’ve reached your third team, your career is already in its second half.”

Indeed, Montezemolo said he doesn’t even mind that Vettel accused Ferrari of playing “dirty tricks” in a bid to beat him to the 2012 title.

“In the heat of battle,” said the Italian, “you can always say something emotional.”

Montezemolo, however, appeared to rule out pairing Alonso with Vettel, saying that sort of star-studded lineup would be “difficult”.

For now, that keeps Felipe Massa in his job, even though Montezemolo hinted he is keeping his eye on the next generation of potential Ferrari drivers.

He suggested that he will be watching Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean very closely.

“Next year, we have two and a half new driving pairings: Perez at McLaren, Hamilton at Mercedes, and the half is the ‘new’ Massa with us.

“I am very curious to see how Hulkenberg goes with our engine at Sauber, and also the young man who on the first laps this year was sometimes a little too fast,” Montezemolo smiled, undoubtedly referring to Frenchman Grosjean.

Subbed by AJN.

  • hillside

    Monty, on a corporate/championship level would prefer a young three time champion than an old former champion.

  • Not Bernie

    Very fair comments from Luca di Montezemolo, much more so that just as the championship finished. Finally admitting he should have listened to Schumacher on Vettel. After watching Vettel win in the Minardi I said exactly that; even though I thought there would be a couple of dry seasons they’d have a winner for many seasons on their hands afterwards.

    I did find the bit about rejecting Lewis “Ferrari would be Hamilton’s third team” as “your career is already in its second half.” Let’s look at Alonso:


    So Ferrari is Alonso’s fifth team! How far in to the second half of his career is he then?

  • Hawk

    VETTEL is good. but it does not mean that his success so far would have been the same with Ferrari or any other team. it is the Red Bull.
    and I am glad he said that about Grosjean; he rightfully deserves his seat on the 2013 grid. he will make a good driver in 2013. it is a given he was faster than Kimi in 2012.

  • Butterfly

    I don’t get it, is Alonso about to be kicked out of Ferrari like Schumacher and Raikkonen?

    What’s going on?

  • Not Bernie

    Not yet, but they have spent a awful lot of money on Alonso and he’s not won a championship yet. It’s partly to motivate Alonso to drive better, destablise Red Bull if they can and to see if they can get Hamilton cheaply in a couple of years too.

    It’s more that he’s lining up who’s going to follow Alonso, as they did when they were going after Alonso in the first place.

  • Butterfly

    @Not Bernie:

    Let’s hope they don’t blame Alonso for the poor designs that came out of Maranello in the last three years.

    You know, I just realized this guy kicked Schumacher out at the end of 2006, yet the following two years they had really fast cars.

    That sure was a dumb idea. I don’t know what this guy’s thinking.

  • Not Bernie


    he sure did! Wanted Kimi desperately. Also didn’t want Massa either.

    I think the lack of speed by the Ferrari has been played up by the media a heck of a lot. Thoughout 2012 it’s been quick, perhaps not the quickest all the time but certainly not slow. 2011 not so good, but 2010 quick enough.

    Ultimately it’s Montezemolo choice of No. 1 driver that’s to blame. Alonso is good, very good, but he’s not great. Kubica could have been great, Hamilton has been great, Button very good, and even Webber very good. But great has to be reserved for Vettel. Schumacher had greatness, and I won’t criticise his return. Kimi is somewhere between very very good and great. Simply put Alonso can get a car round the circuit and consistently collect points, and is often still running when others are tripping up for a win.

    My prediction for the future is that Perez won’t be able to become great, or even very good, but Grosjean might. The difference is although Perez can fight like a true racer, Grosjean has raw speed.

  • Butterfly

    @Not Bernie:

    Well, nobody’s saying the F2012 was the same as the HRT. It’s just that the gap to the fastest was around 7 tenths, which is huge. I’m talking qualy times, of course.

    Regarding Alonso’s “great” status, I would say he’s reached that. So has Hamilton, even if he has a single title.

    Can’t say Vettel is great or at least very good. Him crashing into every obstacle you put in his path is a show-stopper. I used to bash Jenson for being clumsy, but even he’s avoiding some of the mistakes Vettel is making.

    I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve those titles or anything like that.

  • Butterfly

    @Not Bernie:

    You’re right about Perez being mediocre and Grosjean being good material.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    @Bittersprite wrong, Ferrari was faster than red bull mid season, outqualified them several times. Alonso has his chance but scre it up running into Raikkonen for no reason at suzuka.

    He lost 2 titles for Ferrari already.

    Monti feels they need a winner instead of this guy, and this will be Vettel. Sooner than many think.

  • Forza Ferrari

    Calm down, nobody at Ferrari wants to kick Alonso anywhere. There has been nothing but praise coming from Luca about Alonso. For now Alonso is completely safe and as long as he keeps driving like this then Ferrari is even willing to put up with Alonso’s little quirks and caprices, but if Ferrari manages to build the fastest car on the grid and Alonso still doesn’t win the championship then things could change very quickly. Ferrari’s only target is winning, winning and WINNING. At the moment Ferrari understands that it’s up to them to provide Alonso with a really good car, but when that happens and Alonso still can’t bring home the WDC title then there’s no reason why Ferrari should keep him around. Hopefully Alonso can keep on driving as superbly as he drove this season and then everything will be just fine.

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    @Not Bernie and @Butterfly

    For your information, you got your facts wrong, you assh****…. Ferrari did not kick Michael out of Ferrari… He wanted to retire… You guys sure are crap when it comes to facts about F1… And they did not spend an awful lot of money on Alonso… He did his best trying to win the championship, but Ferrari did not produce a fast car.. YOU BOTH ONLY KNOW HOW TO CRITICIZE OTHER PEOPLE… BUT DON’T EVEN GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT, BUT WANT TO COMMENT BAD THINGS ABOUT THEM… NEXT TIME GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT, THEN COMMENT… JERKS!!!!

  • Butterfly

    Matthias O’keeffe:

    Michael wanted Ferrari & Fernando to lose in Brazil. To him, it’s personal.

    My guess is Montezemolo back-stabbed Schumacher by forcing him to retire. He then came back with Merc for some unfinished business, namely, to defeat Ferrari/Luca & Fernando.

    The revenge part is obvious for all to see.

    Luca is a back-stabbing snake, that’s what he is. And now, something’s going to happen to Fernando. I reckon he won’t reach 2014 at Ferrari in this manner.

    Fernando Alonso at Red Bull Racing? Why not? :-)

  • Butterfly

    Matthias O’keeffe:

    For your information, him “wanting to retire” is PR-speak for being forced to want to retire.

    Drivers like Schumacher don’t lose the need to race. Heck, he could have continued with Merc into his late 40s had the car been good enough – his fitness is top-notch, so that’s not an issue.

    Maybe you should calm down and get your facts right next time.

    Have a nice day & a Merry Christmas.

  • Nowhereman

    The old addage “just win baby” means a lot here also.
    No matter who you are, if you win more than the other guy, your the best and they want you.
    Keep winning and the world is yours.

  • Butterfly


    That’s the way it is, but you’d expect someone like Montezemolo to tell the difference between the car and the driver.

    The way he says it you’d think Vettel is the ultimate racing driver, not that the Ferrari has been vastly inferior the the Red Bull for the last four years.

  • Petrol Head

    All will become clear in 2013.
    Ferrari & Alonso are rubbish!
    Come on Fan Boys get your hate out!
    I do not care as i know i am right!!!

  • Lol.

    Actually Matthias, Schumacher was told to leave. Twice now, infact.

    Also, Alonso is on more money than any other driver in F1. Just got this quote from June 2012:

    “citing information compiled by Business Book GP – revealed that Alonso remains on a retainer of €30 million, although this will of course be supplemented by external endorsements”.

    While Hamilton has just signed a more lucrative contract with Mercedes, Alonso has earned more than any driver since 2010, meaning yes, Ferrari spend a lot of money on him. At least 30 million euro a year, in fact.

    Whether you want to accept it or not, clearly wouldn’t know a fact if it slapped you in the face, which is quite alarming considering you’re insulting the people who actually do have their facts right by telling them to “get their facts right”.

    In short, stop being ignorant.

  • Forza Ferrari

    Why are you so ignorant and stupid? It seems you don’t know anything about anything! Michael definitely didn’t want Ferrari to lose, he just wanted his friend and fellow countryman to win the WDC title. But he certainly didn’t want Ferrari to lose because of some “revenge” like you said it LOL. Michael even said that he wanted Ferrari to win the Constructor’s championship. If anything he wanted revenge against Alonso because Alonso was the one who denied him the last possible title in 2006.
    You are just a blinded Alonso fanboy and you’re trying to turn everything against Ferrari to keep Alonso looking like a victim. If Ferrari really had kicked Michael out then he definitely wouldn’t have stayed with Ferrari as a technical advisor in 2007 and 2008, and helping them win more titles. The only back-stabbing snake here is you! You’re such a little Alonso fanboy, with your pathetic attempts to undermine Ferrari by talking sh*t about them to make Alonso look like a poor suffering hero. Just stfu dumbass!

  • Forza Ferrari

    “No driver is bigger than the team.”~ Get that through your head Alonso fanboys! Everything that Ferrari does is in the best interests of the TEAM, it’s always been that way, and if a driver can’t deliver then out he goes.

  • Butterfly

    Forza Ferrari:

    If you waren’t such a Ferrari zealot you’d see what happened there. Sure, the team is bigger than the drivers since it pays the bills, but treating Schumacher and Raikkonen like that is wrong.

    To people like you, that’s justified because to you Ferrari is a religion, but for the rest of us (i.e., normal people) it’s just a company treating its people like dirt.

    What’s more, Luca – the great spiritual leader of Ferrari – is milking the company for all its worth to get into politics so he can rule Italy.

    If this is what being a tifosi is all about, then you can have the “honor”. This crap ain’t for me.

  • Stoner

    @Forza Ferrari
    Alonso is technically a paid driver at Ferrari, he brought in Santander’s 15 million to oust Kimi and forge in a way to Ferrari, he was dreaming of getting a success like what Michael got, but that sorry A$$ Mofo never got anything other than putting Kimi out of F1. Kimi was way faster driver than Alonso. Alonso was slower than Kimi then and now again Kimi proved that he is better driver by driving for a slow Lotus car and came just behind Alonslow in Drivers championship.