Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has dismissed speculation surrounding the future of drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, calling it “unfounded gossip”.
After another difficult season at Maranello, paddock rumors have suggested that Alonso could be set to return to McLaren in the near future. Raikkonen has openly admitted that he is likely to retire from F1 at the end of next season, sparking speculation that he could be dropped at the end of the season to make way for a fresh line-up.
When speaking to Ferrari’s official website, Montezemolo dismissed the speculation and underlined his faith in both Alonso and Raikkonen.
“We are lucky to have two great champions, who are working with the whole team to get back to being competitive again,” the marque’s president said. “Of course, as is the case every summer, there is unfounded gossip about alleged problems with senseless rumours bandied about, such as the ones relating to Alonso’s contract or those of drivers’ salaries.”
According to a report in the German press, Alonso was looking to extend his Ferrari contract to 2019 if the team agreed to double his salary. However, Montezemolo believes that this story is typical of the summer break and ‘silly season’.
“We know that the summer heat always produces silly stories,” he said. “Our drivers must now relax in order to return in top form. The season is still long and we need Fernando and Kimi to be in great shape.
“And on the subject of Kimi, I wish him all the best as he is soon to become a dad.”