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Whether or not Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen stay at the Italian team is not really up for debate according to the marque’s leader, Luca di Montezemolo, telling BBC:

“Of course, as is the case every summer, there is unfounded gossip about alleged problems with senseless rumours bandied about, such as the ones relating to Alonso’s contract,”

Of course we could consider them silly or goofy stories like Progressive’s “Flo” guessing who’s going where or bundling Ferrari’s driver package. But are they silly?

Many suspect that most driver contracts have performance clauses that work both ways. The team has options should the driver not perform vice versa. Many suggest that Alonso could exercise his clause if a better offer is made with more money and more opportunity.

For a team that has always sought the best drivers, letting Alonso wither on the vine is not a good thing because he’s not Eddie the Eagle out there, he’s liked the human version of an entire GNC supplement store on Red Bull. Ferrari would do well to retain Alonso because they don’t get much better or bigger profile than the double champion.

As for Raikkonen, he knows how to drive but he hasn’t sorted this year’s chassis and that could have one of two effects. As we saw at Lotus, Kimi was an integral part of the team in developing that car and became a clear leader. Ferrari has a clear leader now and it remains to be seen how motivated Kimi will be in sorting out his issues with the car.

Kimi is a professional but he’s also not one to get too emotionally invested in causes bigger than himself so Ferrari may be wise to put all eggs in the Alonso basket and a new egg in the remaining seat should Kimi not work out in 2015.

Regardless, Ferrari are making changes…big changes:

“We are making in-depth changes on both the organisational side, in our approach and culture,” he said.

“We have taken important decisions and have made significant progress, even if, at the moment, the results of all this work are not always visible.

“The aim is to get back to being as competitive as we were before in the shortest possible time.”

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • A thinly-veiled release reaffirming a marque/company’s stature as it falters is expected, but this strikes me as particularly pathetic. Refute the rumors, okay, but dismissing them as negative nonsense, then furthering with insinuation his team is leading “F1 change for fans” reads as petty from Montezemolo. Brand Ferrari is a hallowed commodity; its image and president should rise above blame-deflection and defensive dismissal. Acknowledge Alonso’s desirability, an appreciation Ferrari has him contracted, and forecast a return to eliteness as the 2 giant work through a difficult time. Job done.

    Montezemolo deserves great respect for turning around first the Scuderia, then more importantly the road car division. In both cases he ignored tradition and head-in-sand inflexibility and placed, then enabled new staff to adapt to changing environments. Under his stewardship, the road cars transitioned from engine-before chassis customer products and an Italian nationality /V12 race team into dynamic emotional cars and victories, respectively. What happened to Montezemolo?

    From reports, Amadeo Felisa rules with an iron fist over the road car division, furthering Montezemolo’s fine work transitioning Ferrari out of the crap can 80’s-early 90’s. As I don’t see a similar figure since the Todt and Brawn departures, perhaps time’s simply caught up with Montezemolo? Like Ecclestone and P. Head before him, maybe he was a novel, innovative thinker who should encourage another “Maverick” taking the reins.

  • Firts_Stint

    As a Ferrari fan it would be wise for them to do everything possible to keep Alonso. He proves every week that he is the best driver on the grid; hasn’t translated into any wins but the team is to blame for that. I look forward to Silly Season! Every year Alonso is linked with a move from Ferrari; every year Luca di says it’s nonsense, but that doesn’t make it any less true. At this point Alonso; like Newey, can go wherever he wants.
    As for Kimi, who really knows what’s going on with him. Maybe he’s thinking about Mini-Kimi, and another buy out from his ol’ buddy Luca di. Can’t wait to hear him answer those questions, again.

  • jonnowoody

    “Interviewed separately, both Alonso and Raikkonen poo-pooed the idea that Mr Di M was to be replaced by the imminent arrival of a Mr Agnelli.”

  • Rik

    In reality, it’s di Montezemolo that needs to leave the team. He has delusions of grandeur and is unwilling to look at the problem from within. He constantly seems to blame external factors for Ferrari’s problems when it’s obvious that Ferrari are not up to par with others and it’s their own fault. Ferrari has dismissed what other teams were doing and how they too could improve but when was the last time you have heard the terms “Innovative and Ferrari” in the same sentence?

    Alonso has a car that has been built around his needs, likes and wishes and this doesn’t fit his teammates very well as both Massa and Kimi can attest to. For a team that publically states that the TEAM comes first they have a history of shorting one driver for the fate of another which is not very team like. Look no farther than RB that state it’s a team effort to win the “Constructors championship” yet Ferrari like to sandwich the grid with one on top and one on bottom of the grid.

    So if the current driver’s leave, it would not promote nor hinder Ferrari as the team simply needs a new approach and new ideas in order to compete better.

    Wasn’t it di Montezemolo that also forced out Shumacher? When he left the “team” changed forever and it’s not been the same since.

  • Rik

    Also based upon the behavior of Marco Mattiacci constantly promoting Kimi for 15′ season either he is gone or Alonso is.

  • Frank Rapisardi

    If the tv broadcasting wasn’t so biased , Alonso’s immeasurable and incomparable ability would be MORE EVIDENT to everyone , even an unlightened fan , never mind Ferrari !

  • rapierman

    It’s kinda hard to come out smelling like a rose when you’re completely surrounded by manure.