|© AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan
Fernando Alonso dropped a few hints that he didn’t quite agree with the appointment of a new team principal at Ferrari during the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend.
Stefano Domenicali had taken responsibility for the team’s struggles this season and stepped down from his role making way for the Luca di Montezemolo-backed Marco Mattiacci.
But on Thursday in Shanghai, Alonso revealed that he didn’t even have the chance to meet Mattiacci ahead of the weekend.
“I don’t know if he’s coming here,” he added suggesting that there had been no communication with the management ahead of the Grand Prix. “I don’t really have much to say. I drive the car.”
When Mattiacci finally arrived at the track on Friday, the Italian did manage to spend time in the garage but he wasn’t witnessed interacting much with the drivers.
“After FP1, Alonso and Mattiacci left the garage at the same time, and returned to the Ferrari hospitality suite in silence, walking in step yet metres apart. It was a telling display of body language,” reported Crash.net.
On Sunday, Alonso managed to record Ferrari’s first podium of the season with a third place, crediting the result to Domenicali, who is believed to have been axed by di Montezemolo himself.
"I think this podium should be dedicated to Stefano, as everything we do up to July will also be the result of his efforts," said Alonso, effectively ruling out Mattiacci’s efforts in the next seven races before the mid-season break. "So hopefully we can give him some great Sundays at home in front of the TV."
The Spaniard had sung praises of Domenicali on Thursday, revealing that they were close friends off the track as well.
"We ski together every January 1st in Italy in the mountains," Alonso said. "We still have a close relationship. I think that will continue.
"Then, as a team principal, I think he made good choices, good things. Obviously we missed opportunities in 2010, in 2012. They missed opportunities in 2008 with Felipe (Massa). If not, he could probably have three championships in his pocket," he pointed out.