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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo plays down cryptic comments made by Fernando Alonso

  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, arrives at pits prior to the start of the first free practice session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Thursday, May 22, 2014. The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, arrives at pits prior to the start of the first free practice session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Thursday, May 22, 2014. The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, waves his fans as he arrives at pits prior to the start of the first free practice session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Thursday, May 22, 2014. The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, waves his fans as he arrives at pits prior to the start of the first free practice session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Thursday, May 22, 2014. The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the first free practice at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Thursday, May 22, 2013. The  Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the first free practice at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Thursday, May 22, 2013. The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

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.