Stefano Domenicali has been quoted as saying he phoned world champion Sebastian Vettel on the day he stepped down as Ferrari boss.
Until now, Domenicali has been silent since leaving his post at Maranello due to the fabled Italian team’s poor results.
The German correspondent for Sport Bild, Bianca Garloff, claimed on Wednesday that the interview posted on an Italian blog was in fact a fake.
But the interview was posted by none other than the respected Ferrari source Leo Turrini, on his usually-reliable Quotidiano blog.
Domenicali reportedly said that when he quit, he made three phone calls: “In alphabetical order, to Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel,” he said.
“Fernando and Kimi are true friends to me. I regret the results,” said the Italian.
“I did not put them together to make them fight for sixth place, but unfortunately that’s how it went.”
He sidestepped the issue of Ferrari’s highly controversial pit strategy in Barcelona, claiming he did not even watch the Spanish grand prix on television.
“Maybe I will not even watch Monte Carlo,” Domenicali added.
When it comes to Monaco, he recalls 2001, Michael Schumacher’s fifth win in the Principality.
“I remember that night we were all confident that soon Michael would beat Senna’s record of six wins, but unfortunately it never happened,” said Domenicali.
As the conversation turned to the F1 great’s skiing fall and coma, Domenicali admitted: “Sometimes I think that if we (Ferrari) would have had him (Schumacher) between 2008 and 2013, I would have had at least one title.
“But do not misunderstand me: I think Alonso deserved to be champion in both 2010 and 2012,” he insisted.
As for the third driver he called on the day he stepped down, Domenicali was less forthcoming.
“Why I called Seb? You’ll have to find out the answer for yourself, sorry.”
On his own future in F1, Domenicali ruled out returning with another team.
“I have never excluded staying in racing, but I have always excluded working for another team, whether it is Caterham or McLaren or whoever.
“It would not work when I go to the wall and cheer for Alonso and Raikkonen. But in a different area? Why not,” he said.
“I am receiving a lot of proposals, even from different areas, but honestly I have no hurry to decide.”
Domenicali declined, meanwhile, to talk publicly at length about his successor, the inexperienced Marco Mattiacci.
“Mattiacci did not ask me anything,” he admitted. “It’s a good thing to see that he did not need advice.”
© RIF | GMM