May 10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Ferrari is a hotbed of rumours at the scene of the Spanish grand prix.
The first rumour was that Ross Brawn, the team’s ultra-successful technical director during the Michael Schumacher years, could be on the way back to Maranello full-time following a recent visit during his retirement.
But Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari team president who is stepping up his presence in the wake of boss Stefano Domenicali’s exit, shook his head disapprovingly when asked on Friday about the Brawn speculation.
“I am sure (Marco) Mattiacci will do a good job, even though he has just arrived,” said the Italian, referring to Domenicali’s inexperienced successor.
“But I don’t believe in a one-man show.”
Indeed, Montezemolo did little to quell the Brawn rumours when he suggested that Mattiacci was only selected to replace Domenicali because “there was no other alternatives”.
“To be honest I didn’t have time to think of anybody else as I didn’t want to leave an open position,” he said in Barcelona.
The Brawn rumour is not the only one swirling around the Circuit de Catalunya.
France’s L’Equipe reports that Fernando Alonso is looking for a way out of his 2016 Ferrari contract in order to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.
The publication cited “Spanish sources”, but it may also have been fuelled by Toto Wolff’s recent description of Alonso as a 2014 title contender and “race monster”.
“Absolute nonsense!” Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda rapidly fired when asked about the Alonso connection.
“Both of our drivers, Nico (Rosberg) and Lewis, have long-term contracts and we will hold to them. We see no reason to replace either of our drivers,” he is quoted by Sport Bild.
Montezemolo, however, at least acknowledged that Alonso is currently frustrated.
“When we give him a very competitive car again, he will be extremely happy,” he said.
“My problem is not my drivers, it is making the team competitive again,” Spain’s El Mundo quotes Montezemolo as saying.
The third Ferrari rumour, meanwhile, is linking Red Bull’s technical boss Adrian Newey – the highest paid and most highly rated engineer in F1 – with Maranello.
The rumour has been repeated by numerous Italian sources including La Repubblica, but also the respected correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, Michael Schmidt.
“Newey is said to have received an offer,” Schmidt said. “It would not be the first.”