Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo dealt Fernando Alonso an unusual public rebuke on his birthday on Monday for significant comments following Hungarian Grand Prix.
Following the Hungarian GP Alonso was quoted in the Italian press saying he would like a faster car for his birthday on July 29 even as he told English reporters that Ferrari had produced new parts at recent races that were not working.
After the comment Montezemolo replied that “there is a need to close ranks, without giving in to rash outbursts that, while understandable in the immediate aftermath of a bad result, are no use to anyone.”
Ferrari website quoted President Luca di Montezemolo as telling the Spaniard in a telephone conversation to wish him a happy 32nd birthday.
“That was a reference to the latest comments from Fernando Alonso, which did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team. So, when Montezemolo called the Spaniard this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he also tweaked his ear.”
The editorial went on to straight quotation part of what Montezemolo said to Alonso. “All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own,” the Ferrari president told his driver.
“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.”
“At Silverstone we did a step backwards with the performance of the car,” he said.
“For the Nurburging we came back to some old parts on the car and the behaviour was much more normal, and then at the Young Driver Test we had the confirmation that we needed to go back to some parts we used previously.
“Now we understand the car, we understand the problems.We know that we produced a car that was not working and in a way it is normal to have this deficit now because the car we are driving is with the very old parts.
“Over the summer we need to make the step forward that we thought we should make at Silverstone. We need these couple of tenths that did not appear to come immediately for Spa and Monza to have the same performance with the cars we are fighting for the world championship.”