NOT A GOOD FIT AT FERRARI: Double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso was 'demotivating' when he was at Ferrari, according to former team boss Luca di Montezemolo. Image: AP / Jorge Guerrero
Milan, Italy - Fernando Alonso was not right for Ferrari because he was "demotivating" the team.
That is the claim of Luca di Montezemolo, who was still president of the Maranello marque when in late 2014 the wheels of Alonso's departure were already in motion.
Montezemolo said: "I had the feeling that Fernando had got it into his mind that he could never win with Ferrari and that if he was in a Mercedes he could win with one hand.
"This was very demotivating for everyone," the colourful 68-year-old, who was ousted by Sergio Marchionne and now leads the Italian airline Alitalia, told the forthcoming April issue of Motor Sport Magazine.
'Álonso probably the best driver'
Montezemolo insists that Alonso's exit has nothing to do with his talent.
"Let me be clear," Montezemolo told the correspondent Mark Hughes during an interview in Rome. "I believe Alonso is probably the best driver in the world even today - certainly on a Sunday (race day).
"Maybe not in qualifying, where I think Hamilton and Vettel are maybe faster over one lap, but in the race he is unbelievable - a machine.
The Italian added: "But we needed motivation and it made me think what we needed for the future."
He credits the great former Ferrari champion Michael Schumacher for helping to steer his protege Sebastian Vettel towards the red-coloured team.
Montezemolo said: "I recalled that when I was trying to convince Michael to return with us after Felipe (Massa)'s injury in 2009 he was saying 'The guy you need for the future is Vettel."