Luca slaps down Alonso on Jerez
TIME OUT: Fernando Alonso says he simply needs a break before the season starts.
MARANELLO, Italy - Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo has stepped up to put an end to the 'Jerez controversy' by insisting Fernando Alonso does not call the shots at Ferrari.
The rumours started when with suggestions that Alonso, Ferrari's undisputed No.1, picked Spanish countryman and former McLaren colleague, Pedro de la Rosa as his test driver for 2013. Soon afterwarads it emerged that Rosa would stand in for Alonso as this week's official test action begins in Jerez.
Montezemolo insisted “decisions are taken by Ferrari, not Alonso.”
JEREZ PLAYED DOWN
Alonso explaineded he simply needed a break. He told Italy’s Autosprint: "After the end of the last championship, a very hard championship, we had many promotional activities. I was also travelling a lot for a number of commitments in the first half of January. As it was not possible to be ready for the first test, we decided to use that time for physical training in a hot country."
He played down his Jerez absence. "The first test of a season is to get a general impression, there is no real work aimed at performance, so I doubt I’m missing a lot. I will still be in contact with the team and will be informed about everything, even from a distance.
"These are the last weeks in which you can relax, because it will be flat out until November."
Montezemolo had the same idea: "Attention will focus on performance (of the car) for the Barcelona test, which is why Fernando will only start then."
VETTEL READY TO RUN
Alonso also said, accordinng to Spain's AS newspaper: "At Ferrari we are very fortunate to have other guys who are like an extension of each of us. With Felipe(Massa) and Pedro it’s almost like we are all the same person."
World champion Sebastian Vettel is getting ready to run the new Red Bull at Jerez this week, too. "Testing is limited but Jerez is different in that it is a circuit you don't race on so I don't think you miss a lot if you don't test there."
Speed Week's Mathias Brunner says only "a few harmless clouds" are dotting the skies in Jerez but a dry and sunny - albeit windy - week of weather is forecast for the opening test.
El Mundo Deportivo newspaper also reported that McLaren and Toro Rosso had been checking the running systems of their new cars at the Idiada test facility ahead of testing.