Ferrari’s latest FIA rant attacks “Serbian vultures” and Mosley’s “holy war”

2010 F1 season

Ferrari believes Virgin are "limping" into F1

Ferrari believes Virgin are "limping" into F1

The attack on the FIA published by Ferrari on their website has already drawn some reaction in the daily round-up.

Ferrari has made several such criticisms in the past months but this is the most vociferous yet. It claims Lotus and Virgin “will limp into the start of the championship”, calls Stefan GP the “Serbian vultures” and leaves no-one in any doubt where Ferrari believe the blame lies:

This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president.

Last week the team marked the 112nd anniversary of founder Enzo Ferrari’s birthday. It published a short interview with his son Piero Ferrari which was light on reminiscences about Enzo but heavy on the politics:

Q: What would he have thought about a Championship where the test sessions are concentrated in four weeks and obstructed by lots of rain?

A: He would have been completely against it. That?s for sure. [...]

I completely agree with Luca di Montezemolo when he says that there should be the possibility to start a third car, which can be managed by smaller teams, or maybe even do it like we did in the 1970s, considering the stable rules, private teams often used cars from the bigger teams from the previous year. I really think that it?s absolutely possible thinking about introducing a third car, which could guarantee more suspense and lower costs.

It is clear the Ferrari and the FIA have different interpretations of what caused manufacturers to leave F1 and what the solution should be.

The FIA believes high costs drove the car manufacturers out and the remedy is to change the rules so teams with smaller budgets can compete.

Ferrari believes Mosley’s governance of F1 drove the likes of Toyota and BMW away (and Renault in all but name) and the solution is to allow teams to run more cars.

The problem with Ferrari’s ‘three car teams’ solution is it will stifle variety, make it easer for a single team to dominate the championship and make it harder for existing small teams like Williams and Force India to compete.

Allow teams to enter more than two cars and it’s not hard to see F1 gradually degenerating into a DTM equivalent with just two car makers supplying the entire field.

That scenario would be far worse for F1 than having a couple of uncertain entries at the back of the grid. And it would bring the added problem of races being spoiled by team orders which the DTM has struggled with in recent years (more on that here: Why three-car teams isn?t a great idea).

But what is most surprising is that Ferrari are happy for their point to be put across in this fashion. The hectoring style and grandiose language in the statement verges on comical at times. Perhaps something has been lost in translation.

The wording may be odd but the meaning is clear. The question now is whether Jean Todt will heed the words of his former team.

Here’s the original statement in full:

Maranello, 22nd February – Only less than three weeks to go until the ultimate form of motor sport, the Formula One World Championship, gets underway, while celebrating its sixtieth birthday this year. For many of the teams, this coming week is a crucial one, as the bell rings to signal the final lap, with the last test session getting underway in Barcelona. It is one last chance to run the cars on track, to push reliability to the limit and to try and find some performance. That?s the situation for many teams but not for all of them. Of the thirteen teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year?s Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call, turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but at a much reduced pace. As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal. However, the beneficiaries of this generosity might find the knight in question expects them to fulfil the role of loyal vassal. All this means, it is hard to imagine the Dallara designed car showing its face at the Catalunya Circuit, with Sakhir a more likely venue to witness the return of the Senna name to a Formula One session.

The thirteenth team, USF1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula One paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again. Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.

Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.

This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula One. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand ?ǣ you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith ?ǣ and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it. In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there?s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?

Do you think he should? Is replacing car manufacturers with the likes of Virgin Racing really such a bad thing for F1? Have your say in the comments.

Read more: Why three-car teams isn?t a great idea

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240 comments on Ferrari’s latest FIA rant attacks “Serbian vultures” and Mosley’s “holy war”

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  1. 112nd?

    Haha. I got a kick out of that. simple things.

  2. To sum up everyone: We should get rid of Bernie, FIA, Ferrari, Mclaren, Renault

  3. The Limit said on 24th February 2010, 17:45

    I think the problem here is that the championship has shifted away from the billion dollar manufacturers and more towards the independant teams. What we must remember is that twenty years ago, F1 was made up of a slew of independant teams of the ilk of Force India and Williams. Most of them either went to the wall, or were bought by the big manufacturers and rebranded.
    In Ferrari’s case, they have evolved from and independant team into a huge global brand. It bears remembering that Ferrari were a racing team first, and a car manufacturer second during the early years. That was very important to Enzo Ferrari, and he resisted many attempts by companies trying to buy him out.
    Ferrari are annoyed, as any dominant team would be, to see the grid full of emerging independant teams. They are simply looking after their own interests, which may or may not be in the best interest of the sport, but are certainly in the best interest of Ferrari as a team. When we look back to say 1992 through 1996, we saw the same politics from Frank Williams and his team, as they at that moment were the top dogs in the sport with the best performing racing cars.
    Three car teams would cripple the sport, and make both championships look like jokes. The one thing I don’t like about NASCAR is that teams run up to four cars at each event, and unless you are in a Rick Hendrick machine, you might aswell forget it. I say keep it as it is, and lower the running costs for the teams to try and encourage fresh independant teams into the sport.
    The likes of Honda and Toyota will return, as long as F1 remains a relevant championship.

  4. Couldn’t agree more.Mosley was the problem,ego & family history drove him over the edge.Been following F1 for morem than 30 years so I speak from experience.Said from day 1, USF1 was a dream, never goting to make grid.

  5. the writer of this article sounds like a Hamilton fan, me no like

  6. rabbit said on 27th February 2010, 14:08

    Get rid of Bernie , the vampire sucking the life out of F1 . Limit the cost and workforce . Open up regulations . Stop changing the rules just for the sake of changing them , let there be a review of rules at a fixed interval .

  7. Chaz said on 3rd March 2010, 15:38

    The ferrari baby in the room is clearly not happy. I have begun to deeply loath ferrari. And this is all the more sad as I was a life long fan not so long ago. This latest rant should prove to anyone that no one team should be above or dictate the motorsports law.

    If ferrari ever decided to leave F1 (which would not concern me in the slightest and may well improve the sport), we would see unprofessionality and vitriol in its extreme, which the media will love. What is all the more sadder is that one would have thought that with all their experience, they should no better than this. Shamefull…

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