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F1: Montezemolo Rejects Ferrari Quit Reports, Alonso Denies Career Rumours Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Aug, 12 2014 | 1 Comment

Luca di Montezemolo has rejected claims he could be set to quit his post as Ferrari president.

Reports late last week suggested the Maranello marque's long-time and colourful figurehead had decided to leave Ferrari in order to lead the Italian national airline Alitalia.

Alitalia chief executive Gabriele Del Torchio told the Corriere della Sera newspaper last week he was ready to leave the airline in the wake of a rescue deal with Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

Etihad, buying nearly half of Alitalia, has solid links to formula one and Montezemolo, including having sponsored the fabled Italian team.

According to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo, however, Montezemolo rejected the speculation on the basis that "after my family, there is nothing more important than Ferrari".

But the same report claimed Montezemolo had been "instrumental" in the Alitalia-Etihad merger, and is not ruling out joining the board with a non-executive role that "does not interfere" with his responsibilities at Ferrari.

(GMM)

 

Alonso Denies Rumours Over F1 Future

Fernando Alonso has taken time out of his summer vacation to deny speculation about his future.

Currently on a cycling tour in the Italian Dolomites, the Spaniard has obviously read rumours about his potential switch to McLaren, or perhaps his demands for $50 million a year to sign a new Ferrari contract.

Without referring specifically to either of the rumours, Alonso told his more than 2 million Twitter followers: "A thing that's not true, even if is copied a thousand times, will remain false.

"Always helpful to remember this," the 33-year-old added.

Another rumour floating about during the August break and F1 team factory shutdown period is that Honda, McLaren's returning works engine supplier for 2015, may be eyeing a Japanese driver for the foray.

26-year-old Naoki Yamamoto, currently carrying the number 1 for the Honda-linked Mugen team in Japan's premier open wheel Super Formula series, told Japanese TV it is "not impossible" he will play a role.

(GMM)

 

Vettel buys father a Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel has bought his father a Ferrari.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, publishing a paparazzi photo of Red Bull's reigning quadruple world champion during the transaction, said the German picked a Ferrari California and a personalised number plate.

At grands prix, 27-year-old Vettel commutes to and from the circuits in a road car supplied by Red Bull's title sponsor Infiniti.

But for a gift to his father Norbert, Vettel chose the iconic colour red and the personalised number plate HP N1 -- 'HP' representing his birthplace Heppenheim, and 'N1' for Norbert.

"A sign of a future at Maranello? Who knows!" read the Gazzetta report.

"In 1995, Michael Schumacher was seen roaming the streets of Monaco at the wheel of a F355. And we know how that turned out."

(GMM)

 

Bank rejects Ecclestone's compensation offer

Bernie Ecclestone's legal troubles are not yet over.

Before he ended his corruption trial in Munich by agreeing to pay $100 million to the Bavarian state, it emerged that the 'F1 supremo' was also willing to compensate the state-controlled bank BayernLB to the tune of EUR 25 million.

It was reported that the compensation offer to the bank, a former shareholder of F1's commercial rights, was valid only until last Friday.

One of Ecclestone's lawyers said at the time that the EUR 25 million offer was not an admission of guilt, nor compensation for any alleged damage done to BayernLB through the disputed $44 million payment to jailed Gerhard Gribkowsky.

But as the deadline expired, the German news agency DPA reported that BayernLB had rejected the offer.

It is believed BayernLB turned it down on the basis that it paid Ecclestone a consultation fee of no less than $41 million after the rights sale.

And earlier, the bank was seeking a whopping $400 million in damages due to Ecclestone and Gribkowsky's alleged undervaluing of the shares.

A spokesman for BayernLB confirmed DPA's report about the rejection of the offer.

(GMM)

 
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