Flavio Briatore says Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is not angling for a 2014 Red Bull seat
"No temptation whatsoever," insists head of management team
Last Updated: 08/08/13 12:55pm
The sport's rumour mill was sent into overdrive last Sunday at the Hungarian GP after Red Bull boss Christian Horner refused to deny that a meeting between himself and Alonso's representative, Luis Garcia Abad, had been about the chance of the Spaniard filling the vacancy that will be created by Mark Webber's retirement at the end of the season.
When the speculation was put to him directly, Alonso insisted he was "very happy" at Ferrari, where he has a deal that runs to the end of 2016, with the team themselves also making clear the 32-time grand prix winner is under contract.
Now Briatore, Alonso's former boss at Renault but who still heads the management company that represents the double World Champion, has told the Italian media that the Spaniard isn't angling for a move away from Maranello.
"Fernando has a contract and contracts must be respected," Briatore told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Alonso has never said he wants to leave. Ferrari-Alonso remains a winning pairing."
And asked whether the Spaniard was tempted to join Red Bull, Briatore replied: "No. No temptation whatsoever."
Nonetheless, despite the highly unlikely nature of any 2014 Red Bull switch, the state of Alonso's relationship with Ferrari has come under the spotlight after the team took the unprecedented step of making public a rebuke that was delivered to the 32-year-old by their President Luca di Montezemolo for negative comments made in the aftermath of the team's poor performance in Hungary.
Ferrari have since attempted to play down the nature of Montezemolo's criticisms - insisting they should be viewed as a "positive injection" - but Briatore has argued that what Alonso said was nothing out of the ordinary as he needed a quicker car to compete for the title.
"It's normal for a racing driver to desire a competitive car and the team must work hard to supply it. End of story," said Briatore.
"He needs to have at his disposal a car that allows him to start from the top two rows.
"We knew it would be tough in Hungary, as it was when I was at Renault. They need to quickly find the instruction manual at Maranello."