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Mattiacci plays down Alonso exit rumours

Fernando Alonso & Andrea Stella
Fernando Alonso & Andrea Stella

Ferrari's new boss on Friday played down suggestions Fernando Alonso might be looking to leave the struggling Italian team.

Although car upgrades appear to have pushed the Spaniard closer to the pace in Shanghai, it wasn't enough to calm speculation Stefano Domenicali's exit might be one of the final straws in Alonso's fifth year in red.

Some reports suggest the relationship between Alonso and Domenicali's successor might not have got off to the best start.

But Marco Mattiacci said in Shanghai: "Alonso is a great professional, a superb driver, probably the best in the championship.

"I think Fernando wants to win a world title with Ferrari," he is quoted by the Spanish sports daily AS.

At the same time, however, Mattiacci on Friday refused to rule out making some changes at Maranello.

"First, I need to see what is good in the team," he told Sky Italia. "I can make interventions, but only if it will for sure give us strong additional value, because we have an excellent team.

"It is at my disposal to do whatever it takes to ensure a solid future," added Mattiacci.

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