Ferrari boss calls Fernando Alonso the best driver in the world

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Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has described Fernando Alonso as "the best driver in the world" - after the Spaniard had previously hinted he was unhappy with the lack of support forthcoming from the Italian team.

Alonso aimed a barbed remark at his team when he was told about praise from Mercedes chief Dieter Zetsche, who said the 32-year-old was "perhaps the best F1 driver" on the grid.

When his remarks were put to the two-time champion, he said: "It's good to receive good comments but it's funny when you see the opposite in your closest friends."

Ferrari and Alonso have shared a somewhat uneasy relationship since last year when the former McLaren driver said he would 'like a new car' to drive for his birthday, in reference to his inability to compete at the front of the grid last season - a remark which received an admonishment from Di Montezemolo.

However it appears as though he has tried to smooth things over with his star driver, by insisting that he remains the best on the grid.

"Fernando is the best driver in the world, who always gives 200% in the races," he said.

"He knows how much I count on him, even away from the race track, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives to the team.

"I think it's incredible that there are still some so-called experts who don't understand that and are always looking for a polemical situation that simply doesn't exist."

Ferrari have had a mixed start to the 2014 World Championship - Alonso is currently third in the Drivers' Championship behind Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, but new team-mate Kimi Raikkonen has only accumulated 17 points after five races.

The sixth race of the season, the Monaco Grand Prix, takes place this weekend.

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