|Is Montezemolo setting us up for Alonso's departure to Red Bull or Massa's retirement?|
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has cast doubts over Felipe Massa’s future at the Scuderia after warning the Brazilian that he needs to up his game if he wishes to stay for 2014.
Massa, whose contract expires at the end of 2013, has raced for Ferrari since 2006, but his recent results have left much to be desired, with a dip in form after what had been a strong start to the season.
Montezemolo has warned the Brazilian that his results must improve if he is to remain at the Maranello based squad next year.
“Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy," Montezemolo told Corriere della Sera. “But in the past days, we were very clear with him: both he and us need results and points. Then, at some point, we will look one another in the eye and decide what to do."
The 32-year-old faced a similar proposition last year, but turned his season around in the second half of the season, finishing in the points at every race and picking up podium finishes at Suzuka and at his home race in Interlagos.
Montezemolo also dismissed any idea that Ferrari were struggling to find drivers for 2014 and was insistent that Fernando Alonso would soon prove his championship winning qualities again.
“Sooner or later, every driver sends messages to Ferrari, a dream to be made reality for every champion. Even Ayrton Senna did it. However, even if I have lots of problems, finding drivers for the future is not one of them. Fernando Alonso is a true great, as I’ve said before. He has proved it and will prove it again, very soon."
08/03/13 Luca di Montezemolo has expanded on his reasons for delivering a public rebuke to driver Fernando Alonso, reiterating that the success of the Ferrari 'family' depends on everyone pulling in the same direction, and that no one person is bigger than the team.
In the wake of a disappointing performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso had claimed, apparently in jest, that his ideal birthday present would be 'someone else's car'. Although the comments went unnoticed by the majority of the Formula 1 paddock, Ferrari released a statement the following Tuesday stating that the Spaniard had been admonished by Montezemolo. In an interview with Italian paper Corriere della Sera, the Chairman has now expanded on his reasons for issuing the reprimand.
"Fernando has given a lot in these last years and I repeat, his disappointment, which came about mainly after Silverstone, where all of us expected to be more competitive, is understandable," he began. "But I didn’t like some attitudes, a few words, some outbursts. And I said so…I reminded everyone, including the drivers, that Ferrari comes before everything, the priority is the team. Rather like a family father pointing out the need to respect some family rules: I wish to underline the concept of family values.
"Therefore the right attitude, the one I am taking from now on is as follows: understand the mistakes, fix them and after this careful analysis develop the car in the right direction. We must put our heads down in this return match, as I describe this second part of the season after the break, a break I don’t like, but we have to adhere to it."
Montezemolo also noted that the Italian marque has seen many drivers pass through the doors at Maranello throughout its illustrious history, a statement that may serve to further alienate Alonso. Despite winning the title with Renault in 2006, he left the team soon after, complaining about feeling ‘alone’ at the squad.
"Let me make it clear that it’s Ferrari I’m interested in," added Montezemolo. “Drivers, we’ve had a lot, some very good, some great, but drivers come and go, while Ferrari remains."