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. 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.

  2. 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”.

  3. 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!

  4. 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 ?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. “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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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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