The two men in charge of Ferrari's F1 operations have clashed over which direction the Maranello team should take in the remaining four races of 2013.

With Sebastian Vettel all but assured of becoming champion for the fourth straight year, team boss Stefano Domenicali was quoted after the Japanese race as saying:

"The 2013 (Ferrari) car will have some new parts, but the technical staff is 100 per cent focused on the new (2014) project."

However, it appears that this has been met with disdain by President Luca di Montezemolo - as the team fights for second place in the constructor's championship, with Mercedes and Lotus closing in.

"I read about assumed bellyaching or about the team concentrating only on 2014," he said.

"I don't even want to hear that kind of talk," he insisted. "There are still four races to go where we will field Ferraris that are fighting for the podium with maximum determination from the drivers and the whole team."

Indeed Domenicali has responded to Di Montezemolo's battle cry by reiterating second place in the championship must be Ferrari's top priority.

"The fight with Mercedes and Lotus has intensified," he told France's L'Equipe. "It is very tight and we must ensure that we improve the car."

Indeed looking at the fight for second Lotus, despite being the furthest behind of the two teams appear to be the greater threat.

"Lotus have achieved a good pace in qualifying," he said. "Very close to ours, or even a little better.

"They control their tyre wear very well, so if they qualify ahead it is very difficult to deal with them.

"Mercedes has an advantage in qualifying speed, so if they are fighting ahead with Lotus, then our task is very difficult," he also admitted.

With millions in prize money at stake the battle for second, third and fourth in the constructor's standings promises to be a major battle in the final four races.

Lotus boss Eric Boullier told Brazil's O Estadao de S.Paulo that his have a "very ambitious plan" that can only be achieved "if we can keep up this pace".

And Former Ferrari driver turned pundit for Finnish TV, Mika Salo, agrees:

"It is still quite possible that Lotus can take second place, because they can now rely not only on Kimi (Raikkonen) for big points, but also (Romain) Grosjean."

As for Mercedes they are much closer to Ferrari with only a ten point gap to the Italian team, though will need a much improved performance than in recent races if they are to overhaul Ferrari. 

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