Beaten Ferrari hit back at Italian politicians
Milan: Ferrari bosses heaped scorn on Italian politicians on Monday after some called for heads to roll over the team's failure to win the Formula One championship.
Roberto Calderoli, a minister from the far-right Northern League party, had said that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo should quit after a "demented strategy" cost Spaniard Fernando Alonso a possible third title.
"When the statesman Calderoli will achieve in his life one percent of what Ferrari has done for this country in terms of industry and sports, then he'll deserve an answer," declared Montezemolo on the company website www.ferrari.com.
Piero Ferrari, son of the carmaker's late founder Enzo, said he was "astonished and saddened" by certain statements some politicians and a minister of the Italian Republic made after yesterday's race.
"It has never happened in my entire life at Ferrari that politicians intervened during good and bad moments in our life in motorsport, and I want it to stay like this," he added.
"But if we want to have a look at how much Ferrari has done for Italy's image around the world, then I can only say that it is definitely much more than certain politics have done."
Alonso had started Sunday's race with an eight point lead over Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber and 15 clear of the same team's Sebastian Vettel.
Germany's Vettel won the final race of the season to become the youngest champion at 23 while Alonso finished seventh and missed out by four points.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said the team had made a strategic mistake in bringing Alonso in for an early pitstop shortly after Webber. Both dropped down the order and became stuck behind other drivers who had also already pitted.
However he said one such mistake should not define a strong season for the team.
"It's like when you get to the final of the football World Cup and it goes to penalties: if you manage to put away all five spotkicks you're a hero -- if you miss one you're a donkey," he said.
"We will have to know how to accept that sport is a matter of victories and defeats and anyone who works in this field knows that well.”