Two figures have defended Fernando Alonso following a verbal jibe by Ferrari's new president Sergio Marchionne. Just as Marchionne swept into Maranello last winter, Alonso was racing to the exit, and the new president now says Ferrari could not be happier with the Spaniard's successor Sebastian Vettel. "In only one year, I can say he (Vettel) became more 'Ferrarista' than Alonso did in five years," Marchionne charged.
There is no love lost between Marchionne and his own predecessor, and so former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was quoted by Italy's Autosprint as defending Alonso after the jibe. "Alonso would have been more 'Ferrarista' if we had managed to win the world championship in 2010, when it was easier for us to win it than lose it," Montezemolo said.
He is referring to the strategy calamity during the 2010 finale that cost Alonso the title and his engineer Chris Dyer his job. Montezemolo added: "When twice in three years you lose the championship in the last race, I think it's necessary to understand these things."
Also defending Alonso after the Marchionne insult is his manager Luis Garcia Abad, who said: "I'm glad for Marchionne that Ferrari is competitive and strong again -- so we're all happy. I think in twenty years it will be Fernando who is remembered more than many others at Maranello," he added. "Ferrari talks but they are in our hearts still."
"We continue to have many friends in Maranello," said Garcia Abad, "who know that we only want the best for Ferrari. And in the spirit of Christmas, there is no controversy. Happy holidays to the Rossa (red)," he concluded. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing