Dry on form for years, Ferrari now running out of patience
By Tim Collings ,AFPLONDON -- Formula One may be on its summer vacation, but that hasn't stopped Ferrari promising more major stories as they fight a mounting crisis over their lost form.
August 12, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo felt it was essential that he reprimanded two-time champion Fernando Alonso for airing his disappointment in public.
He also made clear that the team is in dire need of inspiration after three years of Sebastian Vettel-led Red Bull domination.
Di Montezemolo's intervention, following Alonso's misjudged outburst, reminded many observers of a similar set of events more than 20 years ago.
Then three-time champion Frenchman Alain Prost was fired by the Italian outfit for comparing his car to a lorry.
This came about in 1991 when Prost said his Ferrari 643 was no pleasure to drive — and suggested it would be easier to drive a truck.
He made the comments after the Japanese Grand Prix and was promptly dropped for the final race in Australia and replaced by Italian Gianni Mobidelli, the team test driver.
Prost did not drive again for Ferrari.
After sitting out 1992, he won his fourth title with Williams in 1993.
Alonso, following the Hungarian Grand Prix where he finished fifth, was asked what he would like to be given as a gift to celebrate his 32nd birthday (on the Monday after the race) and replied by saying “someone else's car.”
It may have been tongue in cheek — given that his friend Mark Webber is leaving Red Bull at the end of the year — but it was enough to make Montezemolo phone him personally and make his feelings clear.
The Spaniard can consider himself fortunate to have escaped a stronger sanction.