Montezemolo: ‘F1 needs credibility’

Luca di Montezemolo wants more innovation in Formula 1

Luca di Montezemolo wants more innovation in Formula 1

Luca di Montezemolo believes F1 must to “recover its credibility” in 2010.

Speaking at the launch of Ferrari’s 2010 F1 car the company chairman said the sport should be a “test base” for cutting edge automotive technology and urged the sport to adopt more stable regulations.

Montezemolo argued for greater technical freedom – and more testing:

The first point: a lot of technology is changing because of the environment and pollution. Second, we need consistent regulations that are not misunderstood. And third, the role of justice.

F1 should be a test base for state-of-the-art technology, where we can develop innovations which go onto our cars.

Drivers cannot stop racing on the first of November and then go back racing, or testing, on the first of February.
Luca di Montezemolo

He criticised F1’s increasingly restrictive rules, saying: “I don’t like F1 levelling out performance.”

And in a clear reference to last year’s row over double-diffusers Montezemolo said the technical regulations need to be clearer:

The federation must ensure safety, and this has been done, and also ensuring the right interpretation of the regulations by everybody. They must be clear and not grey.

To do this we need independent sport justice that does not provide judgements without real basis.
Luca di Montezemolo

Ferrari struggled last year because their F60 was not designed to exploit the regulations which allowed double-diffusers to be used.

He also welcomed Mercedes’ return to the sport as a full constructor, saying:

I regret that other teams have gone in the opposite direction. These teams gave credibility to Formula 1. I don’t know if all the small teams are as interested in testing.
Luca di Montezemolo

Asked about Michael Schumacher’s return to F1, Montezemolo said he had urged Schumacher to come back in August last year.

He repeated his belief that F1 should allow teams to run three cars and, perhaps in the hope the FIA will listen, hinted he might offer one to Valentino Rossi in 2011.

Ferrari 2010 launch

Image (C) Ferrari spa / Edoardo Colombo

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86 comments on Montezemolo: ‘F1 needs credibility’

  1. Yeah, credibility! But with Todt as president???

  2. I don’t think some comments have been entirely fair in my opinion.
    Ferrari backed FOTA completely last year when it came to spending and risked their relationship with the FIA. It was Ferrari’s move so I don’t think they are saying ‘FIA get into our back pocket’ more like ‘FIA stop messing about with rules and let’s make things better’.

    I don’t agree with some things that have happened in the passed-the veto rule- but that doesn’t mean Ferrari should just be dismissed.

    Everyone knows they had a terrible time last year and they are desperate to get back on top but I’m sorry but of course they are arguing for rules which will suit them (and they probably believe will suit the sport), it’s what every team would do so can Ferrari stop being the big bad guys all the time? With the whole diffuser rule you didn’t hear Brawn saying ‘oh well this is an advantage we saw but other teams are hurting so we’ll just put it in the cupboard and won’t use DDDs’. Everyone pushes for what will benefit them.

    LdM has some very good points too. I’m happy for the new teams really but I can see why Ferrari have criticised the new teams before and now. What casual fans will be able to name every team? It’s the big teams that bring in a lot of support and interest and most importantly, the new teams have appeared rather shaky. We have no idea who will make it nor for how long so their will be a bit of distance with them. I don’t agree with the comment about testing as I think if the new teams can get around it then good for them, it’s their choice.

    ‘He criticised F1’s increasingly restrictive rules, saying: “I don’t like F1 levelling out performance.” ‘
    Many of us have said we want more freedom and therefore less restriction (which is how the cars are being levelled out) so I don’t see why it is so wrong when Ferrari say it. Ok their intentions will be to get an advantage and make the most of it but in the end if it results in F1 being as innovative again as it used to be then that is fine by me.

    I do think the 3 car rule is madness however. I don’t agree with every word spoken by the team and I am bias as a fan but I do get tired with this idea that they are the big bad wolf of the F1 world. Oh well with Max gone someone has to be :P Sorry for the rant and please feel free to reply as I do love a good debate especially Ferrari ones :)

    • I don’t think some comments have been entirely fair in my opinion

      That’s putting it mildly.

      • CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 15:26

        I don’t think some comments have been entirely fair in my opinion

        Sorry just testing the blockquotes

        • CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 15:38

          I really fail to understant why LDM is so anti-smaller F1 teams?

          He seems to have forgotten what happened at SPA last year. Force India( smallest of all the F1 teams in 09) almost snatched away victory from Ferrari.

          He’s a real idiot to overlook the smaller teams. Even Ferrari started out as a small team back in the 40’s, so did McLaren & Williams.

          Problem with Luca is his false ego. He’s lost Todt,Brawn,Schumacher & all the rest of their best employees & doesn’t seem to have gotten over that.

          Its in his & Ferrari’s best interests that he maintains silence. What if Virgin do a “Brawn” this year & beat Ferrari comprehensively? Where would LDM hide his face?

          • The big problem with the new teams is the uncertainty. The new teams could collapse and there is the small chance that they could go begging for money or help from the FIA or Bernie. If the FOTA vs FIA lines are still drawn (it’s a bit unclear now Todt is president) then that possibility, no matter how small, isn’t good for the strength of FOTA. The manufacturers and big names have much more power and a solid foundation. It also doesn’t look too good if the teams -small and large- keep leaving the sport.
            There’s a chance the new teams may be a massive success but it’s like a doctor will always look at the reality and worse case secario. Sometimes a bit of cynicism is needed. Smaller teams can make it but more have come and gone than stayed and made a success of themselves.

          • CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 16:17

            Agree with the points you make about the smaller teams Steph, but we’ve gotta give them time before we completely dismiss them off.

            Lotus(I hate its run by Proton) seems to have a strong technical line up & a long term commitment. Jarno Trulli himself was impressed with the facilities at their HQ.

            Virgin is the dark horse here. I know it from experience(worked in automation & design industry) that they can click big time. Their all CFD approach might be actually the way forward. Can’t dismiss them as they are owned by multi-billionaire.

            USF1 represents all of the American passion for Formula one. I need not do a discourse on American patriotism. If need come arises, there are plenty of corporations that will step in. Americans cannot stand their pride being hurt. Can’t even rule the possibility of the US govt secretly funding them :P

            Campos are the only team that faces uncertainty.Such a shame cos I desperately want Bruno to outperform all of them.

            Very wrong of LDM to ridicule(he’s done it on numerous occasions) the smaller teams.

            He just has to remember Spa 2009 before he passes judgment on others.

        • Quote me all you like, I stand by it :P

          • I’m not writing them off I just can understand scepticism. I think this could be politics more than anything. If you want something to fail or thnik it may break then the best way to find out is to pile on the pressure. The strongest survives and then they can move on and work with the teams. I could be very wrong though and I would like it if the teams were just left to it but I can understand what is being said.

          • CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 16:48

            I really appreciate McLaren & Martin Whitmarsh. Of course “RonSpeak” can get a bit tedious at times, but they don’t look to impose themselves over others like Ferrari.

            It was Ferrari,BMW & Red Bull that made all the noises over the DDD during the season.

            Since then Red Bull have recovered very very strongly, BMW chickened out & Ferrari? They don’t seem to have gotten over it.

            Luca’s is confused up. He is mixing up issues here. DDD-three cars-rossi-schumi-pollution-justice etc etc.

            And surely NO ONE wants a podium to be filled up with three Ferrari or Mclaren drivers.

          • Why is a team that only uses CFD going to get the better of a team that uses CFD, wind tunnels and testing?

            CFD is old now, Smoothed-particle Hydrodynamics with Large eddy Simulation is the way forward (or so I read).

            Brawn weren’t a new team last year, they had years of development and investment from a major manufacturer behind them. Virgin aren’t gonna rock up and “do a Brawn”. Likewise Force India are a well established team who while small have all the infrastructure in place as well as significant F1 experience and use of the best engine on the grid.

            I’m not saying small teams shouldn’t be allowed to join but for Campos and USF1 the situation doesn’t look too great, maybe Prodrive and Stefan GP would have been better choices.

            I think di Montezemolo’s is sees big manufacturers involvement as a good thing in terms of public interest. He would like F1 to be more experimental with a view to developing more relevant technology for road cars as well being relevant to increasing support amongst the population for “green” ideals. I don’t think any of that sounds that bad.

            His comments about the clarity of rules may be born out of a bias but greater clarity is in the interest of everyone especially the fans.

            Also Ferrari were founded in 1929 and were (basically) a division of Alfa Romeo.

  3. CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 15:10

    Typical LDM nonsense. He moans when Ferrari get it wrong & it appears from his saintly talk that his team might have messed up again.

    I mean why is he going on about pollution & stuff. Formula One post 1992 has never been road relevant to the average man on the streets of NY,London or Paris.

    Then he talks about consistent regulations that are not misunderstood. Of course! It was LDM’s mistake to let of of Ross Brawn in the first place.Would he have been complaining if Ferrari were the first ones to implement DD-Diffusers ?

    And finally he ridicules himself be talking about the role of justice. Why? Why does he indulge in God-Fatherism?

    They now have a Ex-Ferrari man in charge of the FIA & ex-ferrari staffs in technical advisory positions. And still LDM moans?

    Not the first time LDM’s moaned. He’s been doing it for the past 36 years or more:

    • By “moan” you simply mean criticize? You seem to do quite a bit of it yourself! Did you listen to his talk? It sounded pretty reasonable, not at all saintly, nor nonsense. And lots of people on the street are interested in “pollution & stuff”.

      • CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 16:03

        You tell me what has Formula one gotta do with Pollution? It happens all the time.You gotta burn hydrocarbons to move a vehicle & there is nothing we can do about it,except planting more trees.

        Tell me what component of a current F1 car is road relevant.KERS was such a waste of time. It can never be road relevant & sadly all the road relevant stuff were banned after the FW14b.

        I agree F1 is about innovation, not in the sense LDM means. His idea of innovation is an innovation that completely favours Ferrari.

        He’s just got to accept that the glory days are over.

        Welcome back 1979-2000

  4. CounterStrike said on 28th January 2010, 15:53

    This a quote from LDM himself:

    “I believe had the third car been there, with all respect to Mercedes, Schumacher would have been promoting not Mercedes, but Ferraris.”

    You see, he hasn’t gotten over the post-schumacher stress syndrome. This isn’t healthy for Ferrari. They have relayed far too heavily on Schumi,Brawn & co to achieve Success.

    Time to move on dear Luca. Mercedes’ heritage in motor sport is far far greater that your company’s.

    After all it Luca who forced Schumi in to retirement in 2006.

    Sour grapes Luca,very very sour indeed.

    • DanThorn said on 28th January 2010, 17:08

      How do you justify that Mercedes have a greater heritage in motor sport than Ferrari? I don’t think any manufacturer has a greater heritage of racing than Ferrari – they exist purely to race, with the road cars merely being a way of funding the race team…

      • Spot on there DanThorn! As much as people like it or not, there is no motor company with greater motor sport heritage than Ferrari!

  5. The phrase ‘self interest’ springs to mind.

    I do hope that Ferrari have a good season, otherwise we can expect more of this sort of drivel from the man at Maranello.

  6. Robert McKay said on 28th January 2010, 17:12

    The worst thing about F1 is that everything is standardised yet unique, which is the worst of both worlds.

    So a Merc engine and a Ferrari engine are different and yet homologates to be (approximately, not exactly) the same. Everyone could build their own KERS

    If you are going to level the playing field then have the balls to level it by simply having everyone run the same thing. Sure, stick different manufacturers badges on it if you want…homologating different things to the same level is simply pretending, and a more expensive way to achieve a similar objective.

    Either complete freedom or complete standardisation should be the way.

    I think most of the teams would even rather we said “ok, X, Y and Z will be fully standard, but A, B and C will be fully free from a technical point of view”. That way we could at least select certain areas for full freedom, e.g. KERS or an engine or whatever, and yet other things just wouldn’t be touched at all in the regs.

    This half-way house thing we have right now is just a bit, well, pathetic.

  7. Robert McKay said on 28th January 2010, 17:14

    Oops, jsut to finish the sentence…”Everyone could build their own KERS, but only to the same limits as defined by the FIA in terms of energy recovery and power usage”.

  8. Complete freedom of technology and budget…..hmmmm.

    I do hope that Ferrari will allow diesel engined cars into F1 the next time that manufacturers want a say in what sort of innovative, fuel efficient, relevant technologies should be allowed. In the meantime 4 mpg isn’t a lot less than you get from most road going Ferrari’s!

  9. f1 fan said on 28th January 2010, 20:04

    I think teams should be able to spend what they want I think the biggest problem is Bernie and his prices.

    • The teams were spending what they wanted. Usually on millions eeking out another couple of horsepower or £800 for an ever-so-slightly-lighter-than-a-£50 wheelnut.

      You can’t have free budgets and free regulations. The cars would simply get too fast.

      You can have free budgets and tight regulations or tight budgets and free regulations. But you certainly can’t have both!

      Free budgets and tight regulations results in what we have seen over the past 18 months, teams leaving because it’s getting too expensive and only one team in any given season can win a championship.

      Tight budgets and free regulations never got to see the light of day. More’s the pity really, because the best ideas usually always come from people who don’t have large wads of cash.

      • Complete freedom of technology and budget…..hmmmm

        Teams would have the freedom to find cheaper solutions as well as spend more.

        The teams were spending what they wanted. Usually on millions eeking out another couple of horsepower or £800 for an ever-so-slightly-lighter-than-a-£50 wheelnut.

        That’s because they can’t spend the money on more effective solutions.

        You can’t have free budgets and free regulations. The cars would simply get too fast.

        What’s wrong with fast cars? Isn’t that the point of F1? The only real barrier is safety but it’s currently very good and could be significantly improved.

        • Why not make the teams find cost effective solutions? Wheelnuts are wheelnuts and one of the points of F1 isn’t to try to unlearn the lessons that were learnt from accidents in the past. Just because F1 is safer doesn’t mean to say that you should push your luck. Just because your road car has ESP doesn’t mean to say that you should drive it faster.

          • Just because your road car has ESP doesn’t mean to say that you should drive it faster.

            That’s because it’s illegal and you might hit someone.

            In F1 slower speeds do not equate to better safety.

            I don’t think a budget cap is a bad idea but it doesn’t need to be that low.

      • George said on 29th January 2010, 6:33

        I agree, for Formula One the best solution is a budget cap (since technical innovation is what differentiates it from other open wheel series), but it should be higher than the smaller teams can afford, say £100-120m.

        As for the other issue, I think F1 cars could probably afford to become 5% or so faster, much more and they would be too difficult to drive.

        • Why should a budget cap be higher than the smaller teams can afford!!!!?????

          And what ‘real’ difference would 5% ‘faster’ have on the spectacle that is F1 ?

          5% faster could also possibly mean 50% less safe. ‘Faster’ and ‘Safer’ are not linear properties in F1. 5% faster doesn’t necessarily mean 5% less safe.

          And could anyone really tell the difference of ‘5%’ unless they were using some sort of timing system ?

  10. Prisoner Monkeys said on 28th January 2010, 22:56

    He repeated his belief that F1 should allow teams to run three cars and, perhaps in the hope the FIA will listen, hinted he might offer one to Valentino Rossi in 2011.

    Excellent disguise, Flavio!

    Has anybody else noticed that a by-product of Luca’s calls for “more credibility” is the fact that Ferrari will be in a better position? Favio Braitore used to do this: whenever Renault was not winning, he’d claim the sport was in dire straights,but when they were winning, the sport was stronger than ever.

    I disagree with di Monetzemolo because I feel he is trying to manipulate things in Ferrari’s favour. Why has he suddenly decided that Formula 1 needs this extra credibility? What changed between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2010 to prompt this? The answer is simple: Ferrari had their worst season in nearly twenty years. With three-car teams, Ferrari could afford the three best drivers. They’d stand a better chance of cemeting a position as the top team (or runner-up). It’s the same with his calls for USF1 to be allowed to run a Ferrari chassis: that way, if the teams succeed, they’ll have Ferrari to think for it.

  11. Phil T said on 29th January 2010, 0:12

    I am sick of hearing about three cars. He only came up with that to try and get Scummy back, when they forced him out of the car in the first place, he was undecided about retirement when Ferrari took the opportunity to sign Kimi, a move which he obviously now sees as a big mistake. Same as he is only moaning about the regulations because Ferrari dropped a ******** there as well. He has not got a clue what F1 needs, only what Ferrari needs.

    And I think MS would have chose Merc anyway, cos of RB, and cos its a home team.

  12. “In F1 slower speeds do not equate to better safety.”

    I wasn’t aware of the fact that only in F1 did the laws of physics not apply.

    • Newton’s laws of motion don’t govern personal safety!

      Speeds in F1 have continually risen (with the odd initial blip when new rules have been introduced) but safety has improved. A faster car can still be safe if safety is prioritised.

      • maciek said on 29th January 2010, 8:20

        That’s true, in theory, but at some critical point, speed + type of materials used + human flesh = really too freakin’ dangerous.

        • Tango said on 29th January 2010, 9:30

          Actually, speed doesn’t kill. Near-infinite deceleration (or as you could say: hitting a wall)does.

        • I suppose we could give them turbos, ABS, TC, ESP and all of those things just to feed some peoples thirst for more speed. I would personally be happier to see better racing rather than more speed.

      • The “odd blips” are there to slow the cars down.

        A good way to improve safety would be to equip all of the cars with ABS, ESP, TC and a hundred or so other acronyms that would no doubt make F1 more akin to a roller-coaster ride than a racing series.

        If you want more speed then expect the drivers to be even more ‘cocooned’ than they already are.

        • I know being an open top formula is a big part of F1 but it is fundamentally dangerous.

          There’s a lot more technology like ground effect, un-neutered KERS etc. If you open up the rules anything becomes possible, hybrid/”green” technologies.

          I know new rules are often introduced to to slow cars down but it only ever works for a year at best, we’d be better off focusing on safety.

          I think you can have better racing and greater speeds.

          • “If you open up the rules anything becomes possible, hybrid/”green” technologies.”

            Opening up the rules is great. Watching the richest teams with more money spending it on refining other peoples inventions is not.

            KERS was not an invention of F1, but many wanted to see Ferrari, BMW, Renault and McLaren use unrestricted systems to decimate those who could not afford to use them. Result..four teams in F1.

  13. american stig (but thinner) said on 29th January 2010, 1:33

    i don’t know why everybody wants all the downforce taken off the cars. I you took the downforce off f1 would be incredibly slow, and giant tires would not make up the difference. The main reason i watch f1 is because it is the fastest thing out there, i personally do not want to see glorified go karts that lap slightly faster than touring cars, even if that would mean more overtaking.

    • sato113 said on 29th January 2010, 2:37

      ‘The main reason i watch f1 is because it is the fastest thing out there’
      my thoughts exactly!

      • The fastest thing out there isn’t F1. Go to a Dragster meeting if you really want to get ‘blown away’ by ‘speed’. Believe me, there is a difference! And even IRL cars, on average, give their fans more ‘speed’ than F1 cars do. So there are other ways of getting your “fastest” fix. MotoGP bikes also reach ‘faster’ top speeds than F1 cars do at the circuits they both use. MotoGP bikes don’t have the aid of downforce however, which means that they go around corners much more slowly, but far more interestingly.

        • american stig (but thinner) said on 3rd February 2010, 5:09

          well yes i know cars go faster…but take a f1 car, and indy car, and a dragster, or any other car on the same track (not a drag strip obviously) and the f1 will be fastest, so therefore..they are the fastest cars which is why i watch.

  14. Doh! Well here’s a thought… how about developing kers and stop moaning about it. F1 needs credibility and so does Montezemolo…

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