Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has praised Fernando Alonso as "the best driver in the world" following some cryptic comments from his driver.

Alonso was asked during a media session on Wednesday about comments from Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche which praised him, and responded with some strange words about a lack of support.

"It's always welcome when people see your job in a good way and respect what you try to do and what you try to achieve," Alonso said. "It's sometimes strange to see good comments and compliments from people from outside, and from the other side that are supposed to be close to you there are the opposite comments.

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"So that's motivating. That's motivating for me and it's good to receive good comments, but it's funny when you see the opposite in your closest friends."

Following those comments, a Ferrari press release on Thursday morning carried quotes from Montezemolo praising Alonso's talents.

"Fernando is the best driver in the world, who always gives 200% in the races," Montezemolo said. "He knows how much I count on him, even away from the race track, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives to the team. I think it's incredible that there are still some so-called experts who don't understand that and are always looking for a polemical situation that simply doesn't exist".

With Alonso also having said on Wednesday that he has yet to see any changes made by new team-principal Marco Mattiacci, Montezemolo said his influence will be felt in time.

"The truth is that he and Kimi [Raikkonen], another incredible driver, need a competitive Ferrari and giving them that is our sole objective. We are working very hard, starting with Marco Mattiacci, who knows what needs to be done and who will instigate many changes at a technical and organizational level and in speeding up the decision-making process. That's what I want, as do our drivers and our fans, while all the rest is just idle chat".

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You have to wonder. FA was so desperate to go to Ferrari and what has he done since he got there? I'm not disputing that he is a very good driver, but he's been undisputed number one driver for how many years now? And Ferrari still can't build a car that he likes, when he probably has a huge say in development.