Stefano Domenicali has likened the contribution of Fernando Alonso at Ferrari to that of Michael Schumacher’s in the past, but slammed suggestions their earning power is also comparable.
“He is flawless and accurate in working with his engineers, and a reference for the whole team,” the Maranello marque’s team boss, referring to Spaniard Alonso, told EFE news agency. “He has much in common with Michael from the professional point of view. He is very, very good,” Domenicali insisted.
“We cannot ask for more. His level of competition is fantastic, like his attitude.”
Domenicali admitted he was instrumental in bringing Alonso to Ferrari from Renault at the end of 2009, when Kimi Raikkonen was ousted.
“Yes, absolutely,” the Italian said.
As for reports Alonso earns upwards of EUR 30 million, however, Domenicali’s mood changed. In Ferrari’s ultra-successful past, the famous marque paid similarly staggering sums to Schumacher, but Domenicali insisted those days are over.
“I read about Fernando’s salary and (the report) was utterly ridiculous and wrong. It in no way corresponds with the level of investment by Ferrari in the sport. “It’s easy to talk about money, but people can be very misleading and sometimes it’s on purpose,” he said.
Domenicali’s obvious anger on the subject comes as Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo recently called on the FIA to impose immediate and drastic measures to reduce costs amid the worsening European crisis.
“The president’s plea,” wrote Kevin Eason in the Times newspaper, “will be greeted with a certain amount of scepticism in the paddock”.
The journalist said Ferrari is set to be the “biggest winner” in the new Concorde Agreement because it is “in line for the lion’s share of payments”.
And the bosses of struggling smaller teams, Eason argued, “will take the entreaty by the president of a team that has spent hundreds of millions of pounds to win championships over the past 20 years with a pinch of salt”.