Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says his team remains fully confident in Fernando Alonso, despite the criticism that the Spaniard has faced for driving errors this year.
Alonso's driving has come under the spotlight for a number of mistakes in 2010, which include him getting caught up in an accident at the first corner in Australia, jumping the start in China and then crashing in free practice in Monaco, which forced him to miss qualifying.
Yet, despite the points that have been lost through those errors, di Montezemolo says he has had no second thoughts about choosing him rather than persuading Michael Schumacher back for Ferrari.
"Not one bit," di Montezemolo said when asked by Gazzetta dello Sport if there were regrets. "It was good with Michael, but it's over. No regrets. Today I'm very happy with Alonso, both on and off the track. Alonso has team spirit, conscientiousness, attachment to the team; and, when he races, he's a fantastic fighter."
Di Montezemolo says the only error that Alonso had to accept responsibility for was Monaco, but reckons that the fact he remained in a strong position in the championship meant there was no reason to feel too unhappy.
"I consider a mistake only what happened at Monte Carlo, due to excessive confidence," he said. "He wanted to test the limit while thinking of pole, and he crashed. The jump start in China was down to the tension. But we are in a great position for the championship – the game is on."
Di Montezemolo has also offered words of encouragement for Felipe Massa, who he insists will be re-signed by Ferrari if he continues to deliver.
When asked what Massa needed to do for a new deal, di Montezemolo said: "Carry on working with the same spirit while taking care of himself and the team."