15 December 2013
Ferrari's Montezemolo admits 'I am sick of coming second in F1'
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has called on his employees to give their all in an effort to end the Scuderia's F1 title drought in 2014.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo used the marque's traditional Christmas party to thank everyone involved for their efforts in 2013, but insisted that they needed to raise their game to return to the top of the podium.
With Fernando Alonso having finished a distant second to Sebastian Vettel in the individual driver standings, and Ferrari falling behind Mercedes, as well as Red Bull, in the constructors' table, di Montezemolo blamed the rate of development of this year's F138, which started the year with wins in China and Spain, for the failure to end a championship drought that stretches back to Kimi Raikkonen's 2007 title success.
“As ever, I am very happy to have everyone gathered here today because I will never tire of saying how you are the true asset of our wonderful company,” he told staff of the Gestione Sportiva, “I want to thank all of you for the effort you have put in, even if there is disappointment at not having had the sort of season we would have wished for, especially after a positive start, that we all hoped would continue.
“In part, that was definitely down to some external factors, but it was mainly down to us not bringing the necessary updates to the track, a mistake we must not repeat.
“I, for one, am definitely sick of coming second: we have the ability, the competence and the spirit to return to the top step of the podium. Each one of you must work with great determination and take pole position in your own jobs: that's what's I'm asking of all of you.”
Despite the obvious disappointment, the president paid tribute to team principal Stefano Domenicali after a season in which the Italian's position was sometimes called into question.
“Domenicali deserves the credit for having given it his all and it's thanks to his work - and that of his colleagues - that we are making progress with the tools and technology which will help us return to winning ways,” di Montezemolo said, before turning the spotlight on lead driver Alonso.
“Over the past few years, Fernando has given his all and he deserves to have a competitive car with which he can win a world championship with the 'Reds',” he concluded, “I can understand his occasional moments of frustration, which we all share, but I am sure he is well aware what Ferrari represents and, because of that, he will be even keener to give it his best shot [in future].”
Alonso confirmed that, despite an end-of-season populated by controversial Twitter posts, back injuries and rumours that he may be looking to engineer a move to Red Bull or McLaren, he remains committed to the Maranello cause.
“It's never easy coming second, but we must look ahead,” he confirmed, “Everyone always expects a lot from us. Next year, we will try to do better and I know you are working very hard. There are new rules and extra work for all of you, but you can count on maximum effort from us in terms of our physical and mental preparation to be in 100 per cent shape in March for the opening race. We face an important time ahead and, so, 'Forza Ferrari'!”
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