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Ferrari downplay Alonso exit rumours

Thursday 26th December 2013

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Ferrari downplay Alonso exit rumours

Ferrari downplay Alonso exit rumours

Luca di Montezemolo believes Fernando Alonso is committed to the Ferrari cause, despite ongoing reports linking the Spaniard with a return to McLaren.

The two-time World Champion's future has been the subject of much speculation recently after a public reprimand by the Ferrari president for criticising the team's development efforts during 2013.

Since then, it has become public knowledge that Alonso's management team contacted both Red Bull and Lotus about their driver line-ups while McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted that he is hoping to bring the 32-year-old back to Woking.

Alonso spent one season at McLaren in 2007 before an acrimonious split saw him return to Renault before heading to Ferrari in 2010.

Despite the interest in Alonso from elsewhere, di Montezemolo insists he has no concerns about the Spaniard's commitment - at least until the end of his contract in 2016.

"This [the speculation about Alonso's future] is something good for the press, sometimes good for the public," the Italian revealed to Autosport.

"I am very pleased with Fernando. He has a contract with us until the end of 2016.

"My only concern is to give him a better car.

"I have a lot of problems but the number one driver is not a problem. We will talk in two years time."

Di Montezemolo added that he understands Alonso's frustration, but maintains that for Ferrari to succeed he needs his lead driver to perform at the best of his capabilities.

"I understand, I share, I told Fernando that he arrived second this year, thanks to his capability rather than thanks to the car," the Italian continued.

"On the other hand I want a driver that even in the difficult moments he gives outside and inside stays very, very close to the team.

"This is the effort that I asked of him in the middle of the season. But I am very happy to have him on the team."

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