Ferrari admit defeat as Fernando Alonso loses his temper (Update) UPDATE As Lewis Hamilton qualified only 12th for today's Italian Grand Prix after admitting that he drove "like an idiot", and the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber crushed their opposition, the pressure on Ferrari ramped up even further as Fernando Alonso angrily declaimed his team after managing only fifth place on the grid for the race he must win if he is to stay in the world championship hunt.
Not only was he out-qualified by teammate Felipe Massa after some slipstreaming tactics went awry, but both were upstaged by Nico Hulkenberg – in a Ferrari-engined Sauber – who qualified third.
Monza, the sport's 'cathedral of speed', is always a pressure cooker for Ferrari. Such is the passion with which the tifosi follow the Scuderia that when they win, their joy knows no bounds; when they lose, tempers flare and the criticism can be vocal. zzzz
But it was Alonso's criticism that was most brutal today. Ferrari have been losing for a long time. Sure, they have won races and been in the title fight many times since Kimi Raikkonen snatched his crown from beneath Hamilton's nose in 2007, but Dietrich Mateschitz's bull has gored the prancing horse for the last three years and will almost certainly do so again this season.
In the final qualifying session the plan was for Massa to go out ahead of Alonso and give him a slipstream tow to enhance his chance of a front-row position.
Instead, Alonso was released too late by his crew and could not keep up with the teammate he usually calls too slow whenever he finds himself behind him.
According to Italian sources, Alonso either said to his crew over the radio: "You are scemi, you ruined my qualifying," or else used the word 'geni'. Scemi means morons, geni means geniuses, so either he was being harsh or sarcastic. Either way that did not go down well with team president Luca di Montezemolo, watching on the pit wall, who had already rebuked Alonso publicly after the recent Hungarian GP when the Spaniard replied, when asked what he wanted for his birthday, that he wanted a car like the Red Bull.
Whether Alonso's latest outburst of frustration increases the team's desire to lure Raikkonen back as his 2014 teammate remains to be seen, but sources say that they have already accepted they have lost another world championship, barring a miracle Sunday afternoon, and that once Monza is done their focus will switch to developing next year's car for the complex new regulations. The Independent
(GMM) A furious storm, with Fernando Alonso right in the middle, is brewing at Ferrari.
Earlier at Monza, even though the Red Bull switch rumors have ended, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone let slip he thinks the Spaniard is "not happy" at Ferrari.
The Italian team has been playing down reports of tension between Alonso and Luca di Montezemolo, but the Ferrari president was visibly furious after qualifying at Monza -- and refusing to give interviews. zzzz
Alonso had complained on the radio that teammate Felipe Massa did not cooperate in an attempt to give the 'number 1' a high-speed slipstream.
He qualified fifth, behind Massa, and reportedly slammed the team on the radio afterwards. According to former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi, the Spaniard told his team members they are "stupid".
Another report quoted him as saying in Italian: "You have to let him (Massa) go!"
Although he put on a brave face when speaking to reporters afterwards, insisting it had been "a good qualifying", it is possible Alonso's dream relationship with Ferrari is over.
Earlier on Saturday, McLaren's Jenson Button was quoted by Brazil's Totalrace: "I heard an interesting rumor today.
"Someone told me about Fernando going to McLaren.
"I don't know if it will happen -- he didn't exactly leave McLaren in a good way (in 2007)," he added. "Let's wait and see."
After Saturday's events, Eddie Jordan also smells a rat.
"Fernando's not a happy boy," the former F1 team owner said on British television BBC.
"We could be watching something unfold here that we were not expecting."