Luca Cordero di Montezemolo does not strike us as the kind of person we’d want to cross. We imagine the Chairman of Ferrari as sort of like an automotive Don Corleone, a thought that is further confirmed when we hear about the aftermath of last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso made some unsubstantiated remarks that have angered his team, with The Daily Mail reporting that when asked after the race what he wanted for his birthday, the Spaniard responded “Someone else’s car.” And while no one seems to know exactly what was said, it was enough to prompt a personal phone call from the boss of Ferrari on Alonso’s birthday for a dressing down.
Montezemolo reminded Alonso that, “All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own. 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.”
The Italian wasn’t done, though, presenting each of the team’s engineers with a symbolic gift – a knife to put between their teeth. We think there’s a pirate reference here, but aren’t certain. According to Sky Sports, he opened the post-race meeting by informing team principal Stefano Domenicalli that, “The Ferrari I saw in yesterday’s race doesn’t sit well with me.” We aren’t the only ones imaging the threatening undertones here, right?
Formula One is entering its summer break, meaning that each team has four weeks to get itself sorted out before the end-of-season grind kicks in. There’s no doubt that after this very public display from Montezemolo, that Ferrari will have its nose to the grindstone.