Whitmarsh admits Alonso loss a 'massive regret' UPDATE #2 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh "apologized" for declaring recently that Fernando Alonso is set to switch to Ferrari for the 2010 season.
"Martin apologized for that," the Italian team's boss Stefano Domenicali said during an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt.
"If there was a clear position from our side, we would announce it," he added.
In the interview, Domenicali also admitted it is Ferrari's fault it is currently effectively a one-car team following the injury sustained in Hungary by Felipe Massa.
"Yes, that is a weak point of ours," he said, referring to the team's need to turn to its struggling test driver Luca Badoer.
"In the last years Ferrari missed the opportunity to install a young driver program, but we are going to work on that," the Italian announced.
|Alonso is happy to be rid of McLaren team that so heavily favored Lewis Hamilton|
Domenicali also confirmed that both Renault and McLaren support Ferrari's efforts to allow three car entries beginning next year.08/28/09 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh on Friday laughed as he played down wild rumors that Fernando Alonso might be set to return to McLaren. Although the Spaniard is expected to move to Ferrari, we reported this week that McLaren may have made a last ditch bid to convince sponsor Santander to stay put by asking if Alonso returning to McLaren might change their mind.
Asked about the rumor by BBC's Five Live radio, McLaren team boss Whitmarsh laughed as he began saying: "I don't think he'll be coming back here quite so soon. I haven't spoken to Fernando or his management."
Alonso fell out spectacularly before departing McLaren mid-contract at the end of 2007, but Whitmarsh said recently that one of the biggest regrets of his career is not making the union work. According to the new rumor, the situation may be vastly different now that Ron Dennis is no longer boss.
"As Whitmarsh has said, it was no single person's fault, I guess it was everyone's fault (what happened in 2007)," Alonso told the Spanish newspaper AS at Spa. "As I said when I left, I prefer to finish fourth or fifth with Renault than to win with McLaren and not enjoy it," he added.08/22/09 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh has singled out Fernando Alonso's acrimonious departure at the end of 2007 as a "massive regret" of his 20-year McLaren career.
Whitmarsh, now team principal, was Ron Dennis' deputy two years ago, when Spaniard Alonso notoriously clashed with Dennis and rookie Lewis Hamilton and fled back to Renault after a single season under Mercedes power.
"A massive regret to me is losing a star like Fernando," Whitmarsh told the German news agency DPA. "He's one of the greatest racing drivers. I regret that we didn't make it work: we failed to manage the situation.
"This a good team, he is a good driver. We could have had more success than we've had."
His praise of double world champion Alonso, 27, is not an immediate bid to woo the driver back to McLaren, given that at Valencia on Friday he said confidently that Alonso is bound for Ferrari in 2010.
Whitmarsh is however running McLaren with a different style to that of his predecessor Dennis, and it seems reuniting with a driver like Alonso cannot now be ruled out.
"Sometimes we've been too arrogant, we have to accept it," he admitted. "I have been always very open in the company, my style is completely open."