Ferrari chief shocked by poor start

Madrid: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said on Friday that he was shocked by the Italian giants` poor start to the 2014 Formula One season.

Di Montezemolo spoke to reporters in the paddock at the Spanish Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were a distant fourth and fifth fastest and more than a second slower than the pace-setting Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

"I did not expect a team so less competitive compared to my expectations at the beginning of the season. It has to be clear that I am not happy with where Ferrari is. Not at all," he said.

It was his first appearance at a race meeting since the resignation of former team chief Stefano Domenicali.

He said he had faith in new boss Marco Mattiacci, who he believed was the right man to lead Ferrari`s recovery.

Alonso and Ferrari have not won a race since last year`s Spanish Grand Prix.

"I am sure Ferrari has all the capabilities, and all the opportunities, to come back," he said. "For me it is also important to be closer to the team as in the past, to understand better.

"I am sure Mattiacci will do a good job, even though he has just arrived. But I don`t believe in a one-man show.

"I believe in a good group and we are working very well at the moment to try to improve the situation. I expect an improvement in the car in Canada, but I know from the meetings that I have had in the last few days that it is important to improve the organisation, and improve the relationship with the suppliers.

"We want to be a team of fighters with determination, no panic. But calm and work knowing what we have to do."

Di Montezemolo distanced himself from speculation suggesting that former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn might return as team boss.

"The situation is that I spoke only to Stefano Domenicali on the Monday (after Bahrain) who said he wanted to resign and I said `listen, wait for three more days because it is better if you think on this`.

"Stefano is a fantastic person, very loyal, very professional and very good, but unfortunately in sport, as in life, results are important and he made a very responsible decision. On the Thursday he told me, `no I am sorry, I think this is a good decision`.

"So immediately I looked inside the company. We are not only a team, we are a company, and inside the company we have very good people. And I think Marco, for his characteristics, what he has done in the past in Tokyo, in China, in America, he has the capability to manage people.

"No other alternative. To be honest I took the decision, and I didn`t even have time to think of anybody else as I didn`t want to leave an open position. And 99 per cent of the time I am happy when I can to help grow up people inside the company. So there were no other alternatives."

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