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Ferrari slams Alonso over car comments

Spanish formula One driver Fernando Alonso has been ticked off by his bosses at Ferrari after he slammed the cars he had been given to drive.

Ferrari slams Alonso over car comments
The Formula One paddock is abuzz with rumours that Alonso's manager has already held talks with Red Bull chief Christian Horner. Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP

Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo reportedly called the driver on his 32nd birthday on Monday to tell him off for his negative comments.

The call came after Alonso was asked after the recent Hungarian championship what kind of car he wanted for his birthday.

"The one the others have," said the disgruntled driver.

Check out The Local's List of Spain's top ten sexiest sportsmen.

When asked what he would do after over the one-month Formula One summer break, he said "I will pray," according to the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Ferrari were quick to respond, stating on their website that Alonso's comments "did not go down well with the president Luca di Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team".

The racing team said: "This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one's own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it."

In the wake of Lewis Hamilton's dominant victory for Mercedes in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, the Formula One paddock was abuzz with rumours that Alonso's manager had already held talks with Red Bull chief Christian Horner.

As the teams packed up ahead of the sport's four-week break, the better-established tradition of "silly season" speculation was ignited — and sent Ferrari into denial overdrive.

Ferrari claim that Alonso is under contract with them until 2016.

Both Horner and Alonso avoided direct statements to kill the story when they were confronted with it by reporters and Vettel himself talked openly about the prospect of partnering his Spanish rival.

Horner said: "Any conversations between any of the drivers and any of the parties will always remain confidential… But, of course, there have been quite a few drivers who have expressed an interest in the seat, as you can imagine."

Asked about the potential dynamics of an Alonso–Vettel partnership, he added: "It would be interesting. At the end of the day, you have to think about what is right for the team.

"Obviously the pairing that we want to put together for next year has to be right for the team. Last week, there was speculation about Kimi (Raikkonen). This week it is about Fernando.

"I think, for us, we want to make sure that nothing waivers in our mind of putting together the right team package for next year with the two fastest drivers that we can, who will work collectively well together and achieve the best results for the team."

The rumours began after Alonso's representative, Luis Garcia Abad, held a meeting with Horner at the Hungaroring on Friday.

It is believed they discussed the future of junior driver Carlos Sainz Jnr but also mentioned Alonso, who is known to be disappointed with Ferrari's inability to match Red Bull's pace

The Red Bull vacancy has arisen following Australian Mark Webber's decision to leave F1 for sportscar racing with Porsche next year. Webber and Alonso are also close friends.

"Is he (Alonso) available?" said Horner. "I don't know. You ask him."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali claimed that Alonso was locked into a contract with the Italian team but conceded that current performances did not impress him.

"First of all we have a contract with him," Domenicali said. "No doubt, Fernando is an asset for the team. We need him to work very closely with everyone, because after all this is a difficult moment in the season.

"We have to deliver a job. Full stop. This is the same for everyone, not only for him."

Alonso laughed when asked about a possible future at Red Bull and insisted he was "very happy" at Ferrari while Vettel said, if given a choice between Alonso or Raikkonen of Lotus, he would prefer the Finn.

"I'd prefer Kimi," he said. "I have to be careful now. Nothing against Fernando — I really respect him a lot as a driver.

"I respect Kimi on track and off track because he has always been really straight with me. From that point of view, it might be a bit easier."

Horner added: "There is quite a lot of interest…We'll take a bit of time over the summer to reflect on the options that are open to us and look to make the right decision to put the right driver alongside Sebastian before next year."

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FORMULA ONE

F1’s former world champ Alonso to leave Ferrari

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso's five-year spell with Ferrari will be over at the end of the season after the Italian 'Scuderia' confirmed the Spaniard's departure on Thursday.

F1's former world champ Alonso to leave Ferrari
Fernando Alonso has been widely tipped to join McLaren next season. Photo: Tom Gandolfini/AFP

In a statement that paid tribute to Alonso's contribution to the Formula One giants, Ferrari ended months of speculation regarding Alonso, who has been tipped to return to the McLaren team.

"Scuderia Ferrari and Fernando Alonso announce that, by common consent, they have ended their relationship," said a statement.

"Fernando Alonso leaves the team at the end of this season, after a five year period which, with one race remaining, saw him score 1186 points, 44 podiums and 11 wins.

"Everyone at Scuderia Ferrari thanks Fernando for his great contribution on both a personal and professional level."

Alonso, who won two world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, ultimately failed to bring a world drivers' title to Ferrari having come runner-up three times for the team whose logo is the Prancing Horse.

The 33-year-old Spaniard has recently been tipped to return to the McLaren team, where he spent a turbulent season in 2007. But he admitted leaving Ferrari was not an easy decision to make.    

Alonso said: "Today is not an easy one for me, because even if I always look to the future with great enthusiasm and determination, at the end of this season my journey as a Ferrari driver will come to an end.

"It was a difficult decision to take, but a carefully considered one and from start to finish, my love for Ferrari was a prime consideration.

"I leave Scuderia Ferrari after five years, during which I reached my very best level professionally, tackling major challenges that pushed me to find new limits.

"Thanks to the efforts of the men and women of Maranello, on three occasions we came second in the Formula 1 World Championship, two of them fighting for the title right up to and including the final race, running in a championship winning position for many laps."

"Now I look to the future with great enthusiasm, knowing that part of my heart will always belong to the Prancing Horse.

"I want to thank each and everyone of the team for the trust they showed in me."

Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, said: "We offer him our heartfelt thanks for what has been an extraordinary adventure with the Scuderia, when in the past five years, he twice came so close to winning the world championship.

"I am sure that a great driver like Fernando will always hold the Prancing Horse dear to his heart and I also expect the Ferrari fans will continue to hold him in high regard in his future endeavours."

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