On the eve of the Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps, Fernando Alonso played down reports of a fall-out between himself and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo after the Hungarian GP weekend.
“It was wrong information coming to the president. [I said] nothing different to any other grand prix.” explained the double world champion who insisted that there were no problems between him and Di Montezemelo.
Regarding the phone call from Di Montezemolo, in the wake of Alonso’s birthday wish of another race car, the Spaniard clarified, “He is the father of this family, of Ferrari. He is a great motivator, a man who…tells us exactly what he expects from us, what he wants from us. Just that.”
Amid rumours of a move to Red Bull, when asked by the BBC if he would be with the Maranello squad in 2014, Alonso nodded and said “Yes”.
He added, “The president is a very intelligent man (and is able) to separate what is rumour and what can be true. He never asked me [about the Red Bull] rumours. We have both been in F1 for many years now and we know what the summer break means in terms of rumours, etcetera. It was never a question.”
“The President and me, we talked about this as well. Also, we learnt that doing four press conferences in the weekend in different languages; they’re not my mother languages. Even the Spanish – I’m from the north, so I don’t speak perfect Spanish! – means that there can be mistakes and misunderstandings,” explained Alonso.
Meanwhile after the customary Thursday press conference in the Ferrari motorhome the team reported; The Twittersphere can sometimes seem to have taken over as the main form of media communication and so, after Fernando recently tweeted about a true warrior not drawing a sword when insulted, the press went into a frenzy of speculation regarding whom this verbal sword was aimed at.
Turns out it was no one; “I read a lot, sometimes novels, sometimes books about the Samurai and when I see a phrase that might be relevant to everyday life, I sometimes tweet it,” was Fernando’s explanation to the assembled press at this afternoon’s conference in the Spa paddock.”
On to the more serious matters and the Spanish double champion admitted that the Belgian circuit had so far not delivered much for him. “After many years in Formula 1, I have never had a great Sunday here and I would like to finally get a good result,” he said.
“I think [that] our expectations can be good ones as this circuit requires different levels of aero downforce and a very specific set-up and our preparation for this race has been excellent. Physically right now, I’d give myself a 10, motivation 10, determination 10, the team has also worked well on our weak points that we saw mainly in Silverstone, so everything is in place for us to do well here.”
“Whether or not we can win the championship, we will have to wait and see until Brazil, but if we don’t it won’t be for the lack of trying. The current situation is that we must find the parts that give us those missing three or four tenths, as we, Felipe and I and Domenicali, have said before. I believe one hundred percent that sooner or later we will manage it. July was not the best for us, but this situation can change immediately if we find something that makes the car work in a better way.”
“We will try right to the very end, just as we have done in the past, fighting for the championship to the very last lap of the last race. I don’t see why we cannot do that again this year.”
Asked if he feared that the rumours regarding Raikkonen returning to Maranello would make for a difficult situation within the team with two “number one drivers” as the journalist put it, the Spaniard explained that the concept did not exist in the Scuderia.
“When me and Felipe go to Australia for the first race, we are both equal, both with the same car,” he said. “Only towards the very end of the year, if new parts are available for just one car, then they go to the driver who has the most points. I have been fortunate that in recent years it has been me.”
Alonso also pointed out that when Felipe was teamed with the Finn, it was the Brazilian who had the upper hand going into the final part of the 2008 season. “So, whoever drives for Ferrari next year, above all, we need to improve the car, because the two drivers who have the fastest car have the best chances, and I have no fear about who is in the team as long as they work as hard as possible to get Ferrari into the number one position.
“The summer break is a time when the rumours start and I don’t like it when there is talk of possible future team-mates, first and foremost because it shows a lack of respect for Felipe if I comment on this,” continued Fernando.
“We have done four years together, with great teamwork. With all my team-mates, there has been this sense of good teamwork, even at McLaren, there wasn’t a problem with my team-mate, but with the way the situation was managed. So what happens next year, whether it be with Felipe or without Felipe, we will do our best to all work together.” (Ferrari-Apex)
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