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Alonso brushes off Ferrari klap

2013-08-23 08:44

MOVING FORWARD: Ferarri driver Fernando Alonso is refocused after the mid-season break and still has high hopes to perform well for the rest of the 2013 championship. Image: AFP


SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Fernando Alonso set the record straight on Thursday (Aug 22) about a rare public rebuke from Ferrari for his unflattering comments in July 2013 about his Formula 1 car.

"I think it was wrong information coming to the president," Alonso said of comments made by Ferrari's Luca Di Montezemolo and published on the team website on the driver's 32nd birthday, the day after the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix.


Ferrari said at the time that Montezemolo had "tweaked" Alonso's ear after the Spaniard, asked by Italian reporters what kind of a car he wanted as a present, had replied: "The one the others have."

Speaking to reporters ahead of the 2013 Belgian GP, Alonso said Ferrari had gone back through recordings of his news conferences and found "nothing different to any other GP, nothing different in the team".

"I tried to push for the best for the team and for our performance," Alonso added.

The double F1 champion also shrugged off speculation about his future, with rumours running wild since his manager Luis Garcia Abad was seen entering the Red Bull motorhome in Hungary for discussions with team principal Christian Horner.

Abad said he had been discussing rising Spanish prospect Carlos Sainz jnr, a Red Bull young driver and son of the former World Rally champion.

"I think the president is a very intelligent man to separate what is rumours and what can be true. He never asked me anything," Alonso said when asked whether he would be at Ferrari in 2014. "We have both been in F1 for many years and we know what the summer break means in terms of rumours so there were never questions.

"He is the man that helps all of us to keep our heads down, our feet in the ground and committed to the team."


Alonso, third overall in the F1 championship and 39 points behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel after 10 of 19 races, said the feverish speculation and intense attention went with the territory of being a Ferrari driver. "The lesson is that anything we do, the repercussion of being in Ferrari or the repercussion of what Ferrari does, is bigger than any other. This is the best team in the world," he declared.

The Spaniard pointed out that he gave news conferences in three languages, two of them foreign. "And I am from the north, so don't speak perfect Spanish," he added.

He said he had remained in close contact with the team throughout the August break and had talked to Montezemolo daily.

"In the first days (it was) because of this news media release (the rebuke) etc and now for different things, not only F1 but also holidays, Real Madrid's start, Juventus that won the Italian Cup," he explained. "It was a very good summer and now we have the batteries full for this championship."

Vettel has won four races this season; Alonso, who led the German at the same point in 2013, has two to his credit.

Alonso, who was pitched out of 2012's race at Spa by Lotus's Romain Grosjean in a first-lap collision that earned Grosjean a one-race ban, said Ferrari needed to keep believing it could turn the situation around. "The previous two or three seasons we have some good examples of what we can do, what we can hope for if we do things right. For this, we need to improve the car, we need to make some parts work," he said.

"The first step in that programme is here in Spa, to try to see some performance gain and try to deliver what people expect from us."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Belgian GP weekend.
Read more on:    ferrari  |  fernando alonso  |  f1  |  motorsport

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