Ferrari rebuke Alonso

Ferrari dealt Fernando Alonso a rare public rebuke on his birthday on Monday for critical comments after Sunday’s Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix.

“All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own,” the team website (www.ferrari.com) quoted president Luca di Montezemolo as telling the Spaniard in a telephone conversation to wish him a happy 32nd birthday.

“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,” he added.

Alonso finished fifth at the Hungaroring and slipped to third in the championship, 39 points adrift of Red Bull’s triple champion Sebastian Vettel with nine races left.

Asked afterwards what kind of car he wanted for his birthday, the double world champion told Italian reporters: “The one the others have.”

Asked also what he planned to do over the August break, with the season now at its midpoint, the Spaniard had retorted: “I will pray.”

In a blunt assessment, the Ferrari website said Alonso’s comments “did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team” and said the president had “tweaked” the driver’s ear in their conversation.

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