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GP Week : Issue 188
EDITOR: Kate Walker email@example.com MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott F1 NEWS EDITOR Abhishek Takle TECHNICAL EDITOR Paolo Filisetti RACE EDITOR Trent Price CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Leigh O'Gorman BUSINESS EDITOR Caroline Reid PRODUCTION ARTIST Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Daniel Kalisz PUBLISHER Chris Lambden email@example.com PUBLISHED By: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton email@example.com n se Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) firstname.lastname@example.org .com WEEK Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and star driver Fernando Alonso have patched up their pre-holiday tiff. The two had engaged in a very public and heated exchange of words following the Hungarian Grand Prix, with both sides ramping up the title pressure after three unsuccessful seasons together. Alonso’s fifth-place finish in Budapest, over half a minute behind winner Lewis Hamilton, capped a series of disappointing results for the Spaniard as Ferrari seem to have fallen away from their rivals after a competitive start to the year. When he was asked what he would like for his birthday – which fell on the Monday after the race – Alonso replied, “What would I like for my birthday? The same car as the others,” and many believe it was this comment that triggered di Montezemolo’s rebuke. “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,” di Montezemolo is quoted as telling Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview, excerpts of which were posted on the Ferrari website. “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.” At the Belgian Grand Prix, however, Alonso dismissed Montezemolo’s comments: “I think it was wrong information coming to the president,” Alonso said during his Thursday press briefing at Spa. “We looked back to all the press conferences – these days with recorders, etc., it’s easy to check exactly what you say – and it was nothing different to any other grand prix and I tried to push for the best for the team and for our performance.” Alonso last won at his home Spanish Grand Prix in May and has only stood on the podium twice in the five races since. The double-world champion lies third in the overall standings 39 points behind title rival Sebastian Vettel with nine races left but has Lewis Hamilton in a resurgent Mercedes breathing down his neck. Alonso and Ferrari have come close to winning the title twice since he moved to Maranello in 2010 – only to lose out at the final round on both occasions –and the Spaniard has grown frustrated at not having added to his two titles thanks largely to a car that hasn’t been able to match the Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull which has allowed Vettel to claim three championships in succession. It had been rumoured that Alonso might be looking to move to the reigning world champion team after his manager, who also manages the Red Bull-backed youngster Carlos Sainz Jr., was spotted heading into the Red Bull motorhome for a meeting with Christian Horner. Red Bull have done nothing to dampen the speculation but it could well be a ploy to sow confusion among their rivals’ ranks and a tactic by the Alonso camp to ramp up the pressure on his team. Meanwhile, Ferrari are also rumoured to be in talks with Kimi Raikkonen – who won his sole title with the squad in 2007 – which could see the Finn return to Maranello next year. With Felipe Massa having been put on notice again, there is a potential vacancy at the outfit even if Alonso doesn’t leave the team. However it remains to be seen if a deal can be agreed between the two parties especially given their bitter parting at the end of 2009 when Ferrari sacked Raikkonen to make way for Alonso and paid him not to drive. Paddock chatter also sees Nico Hulkenberg firmly in the frame for the drive. PEAcE BREAkS OuT F1 >>> nEWs 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: