Alonso praises Domenicali

2014-04-17 12:43

SHANGHAI, China - Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso paid tribute to former Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, who quit on (April 14).

Domenicali stepped down  following the team's torrid start to the 2014 season, culminating most recently in its drivers trailing ninth and 10th at the 2014
Bahrain GP.


Alonso said: "Stefano is a great man, first of all, and I am a close friend of his that is no secret.

"We still have a close relationship, we have been talking throughout the week, and that will continue because we have known each other for many years."

Domenicali was replaced by Marco Mattiacci, former president and CEO of Ferrari North America, and Alonso confessed he knew little about his new boss.

Domenicali was able to win only one Constructors' championship during his six years in charge but Alonso said that with a little more luck he could have had a hat-trick of drivers' titles.

Alonso said: "As a team principal he made good choices and did good things. We had missed opportunities in 2012  and 2010, and they missed an opportunity with Felipe (Massa) in 2008.

"If not, he would have three championships in the pocket. He brought Kimi (Raikkonen) in. He did the right things."


Alonso also sought to downplay his fist-pumping "victory salute" after finishing a distant ninth behind winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in Bahrain.

The gesture had been interpreted by many observers as being a sarcastic response to the team's poor showing or, with hindsight, even a farewell to Domenicali. Alonso said it was nothing of the sort.

Alonso said: "I was saying thanks to the mechanics. They had been working hard after a problem on the engine unit.

"We didn't have a solution for the problem even at twelve o'clock on Sunday and then in the race we had everything in the place.

"They did a fantastic job and when they were on the pit wall saying 'hello', I said 'hello' too."

Read more F1 stories:
F1 analysis: The 2014 season so far

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