“We have faith in the FIA” – Montezemolo
After a low-profile winter for Fernando Alonso, some experts think 2013 is Ferrari’s very last chance to give the Spaniard a truly top car.
“I believe his motivation will run out if he does not get the right material very soon,” former driver Gerhard Berger is quoted by the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was told by Italy’s influential La Gazzetta dello Sport that Alonso, the 2012 runner-up, appeared almost “in hiding” throughout the pre-season period.
Felipe Massa, who clocked the fastest overall time at last week’s Jerez test, has declared the Ferrari F138 “better” than its predecessor.
“It’s more consistent, better in braking, in and out of the corners and easier to understand,” he is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper. The Italian team’s experienced new test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who tried the 2013 car on Friday, agreed: “The car is well balanced and responds well to changes.”
Luca di Montezemolo has moved to play down the ‘Jerez controversy’ by insisting Fernando Alonso is not in charge at Ferrari.
First, some suggested that Alonso – Ferrari’s undisputed number 1 – had hand-picked Spanish countryman and former McLaren colleague Pedro de la Rosa as his test driver for 2013. Then, it emerged that de la Rosa would be standing in for Alonso as this week’s official test action begins at Jerez.
Scuderia Ferrari launches F138 Formula One™ car
The event was attended by Luca di Montezemolo, Stefano Domenicali, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. The new car, which will be driven by Alonso and Massa during the 2013 Formula One season, was revealed to a packed room of international journalists all eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of the Ferrari F138.
Christian Horner was not at Maranello recently to discuss his or Adrian Newey’s possible switch to Ferrari.
When the Red Bull team boss was spotted at Ferrari’s fabled headquarters, it fired into action the speculative minds of the Italian and – in turn – the international press. Actually, according to German correspondent Michael Schmidt, also at Maranello for the very same meeting were Bernie Ecclestone, Martin Whitmarsh and Niki Lauda.
Bernie Ecclestone has admitted his bosses at F1 owners CVC would probably oust him if he is pursued by German prosecutors.
With convicted bribe recipient and ex F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky already in jail, it is reported F1′s 82-year-old chief executive could be next in the firing line. Last month, German reports said “detailed preparations” were being made to potentially replace Briton Ecclestone, if prosecutors decide “as expected” to charge him.
Red Bull also has a clear number 1 driver, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has alleged.
The fabled Italian team is open about its policy of hiring a clearly superior top driver – presently Fernando Alonso – alongside a capable ‘number 2′ such as Felipe Massa. In Austin last month, this policy was highlighted when Ferrari deliberately incurred a gearbox penalty on Brazilian Massa’s car in order to give Alonso a better grid position.
Ferrari will develop the aerodynamics of its 2013 car exclusively in Cologne.
After encountering problems with its Maranello facility this year, Ferrari’s wind tunnel will be closed next year until August. International reports, including in El Mundo Deportivo newspaper (Spain) and Kolner Express (Germany), said Ferrari has now turned its attention to Cologne, where the former F1 team Toyota rents out its state-of-the-art facility to clients.
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