Ferrari president plays down Alonso comments

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MONACO (AP) – Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has played down what appeared to be a veiled criticism of the team by Fernando Alonso and has given his full backing to the two-time Formula One champion.

Responding to praise that was heaped on the Spanish driver last week by Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche, Alonso said: "it’s sometimes strange to see good comments and compliments from people from outside, and the opposite from people who are supposed to be close to you."

Montezemolo issued a statement Thursday, saying Alonso "knows how much I count on him, even away from the racetrack, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives" the team.

Alonso had a strained relationship with Ferrari last year.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!