Big boss believes Ferrari can rally

Luca di Montezemolo says that Ferrari can still bounce back in 2013 – and has made it clear once again that Fernando Alonso has to remember that the team has priority.

Montezemolo was speaking in a lengthy interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera, which was republished on the Ferrari website.

“Fernando is a great driver and I understand him; he is a bit like me – he wants to win,” said Montezemolo. “He must just remember that one wins and loses together, and for its part, Ferrari must give him a car capable of starting from the front two rows.

“It doesn’t sit well with me seeing our car is not competitive. That’s why I intervened, even if I didn’t want to abuse my authority over my men. However, it had to be done. But how? We started so well, we had begun the World Championship with a very competitive car, maybe even considered the best. But something happened, and instead of moving forward we went backwards.

“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.”

Asked how that would happen, he said: “Firstly, our DNA, Ferrari’s and mine, has a characteristic that we never give up. We must get back on the path we were on up until Barcelona. We can do it. Secondly, Spa and Monza are two circuits that could suit the characteristics of our car.

“Yes, the conditions are in place to give a strong signal of a recovery and, on top of that, I expect results from our engineers who must demonstrate their worth. Then, please, let’s not forget that last year, at the last race, for a few laps, Alonso was the virtual World Champion, at the wheel of a Ferrari and definitely no other car, which confirms this team knows how to be competitive.”

Elaborating on the subject of Alonso, he said: “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. 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.”

He also made it clear that the future of Felipe Massa is up in the air.

“Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy. But in the past days, we were very clear with him – both he and us need results and points," Montezemolo said. "Then, at some point, we will look one another in the eye, and decide what to do.”