Di Montezemolo attacks new teams and calls for shorter races and more testing

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Luca di Montezemolo is still dreaming of three Ferraris in an F1 race
Luca di Montezemolo is still dreaming of three Ferraris in an F1 race

Luca di Montezemolo has repeated his criticism of the sport’s new teams, calling them “a joke” in an interview with Autocar.

The Ferrari boss said:

There is a need to have competitive teams. F1 is like soccer. It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalize everything. We need to avoid having too many small teams as it means too many compromises.
Luca di Montezemolo

As shown here last week, the new teams have made considerable progress since the start of the season, reducing the gap to the midfield teams by more than a third.

Di Montezemolo repeated his argument in favour of three-car teams and argued for sweeping changes to race weekends:

Do we need to race at two in the afternoon when everyone is at the sea? Could we have two races per meeting? Do races need to last so long? F1 is not an endurance race. We need races to be short and tough.
Luca di Montezemolo

But yesterday McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh admitted having three-car teams “hasn?t been discussed recently” by the Formula One Teams’ Association. Whitmarsh added:

If you introduce a third car McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes would all be, probably happy to have it. But I think in fairness to the smaller teams it would only disadvantage them further.
Martin Whitmarsh

In a poll of over 4,500 F1 Fanatic readers in February, 62% were against three-car teams.

Di Montezemolo also urged the return of in-season testing – hardly a surprise given Ferrari’s difficulties keeping up with the pace of development this year, while owning a test track its F1 team cannot use for most of a year.

And he said Ferrari would consider entering a series of Le Mans-style endurance races if enough manufacturer interest could be found.

Much was made of di Montezemolo’s visit to the Le Mans 24 Hours last year during the height of the conflict between the FIA and the teams, when he participated in the ceremonial start of the race.

New teams and three-car teams

131 comments on “Di Montezemolo attacks new teams and calls for shorter races and more testing”

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  1. I Suppose this has a lot to do with not being able to brag much abou this own team at the moment.

    They started focussing on the car more then a year ago, were good at the start, but failed to bring uptdates in time and with the right focus to stay at the front.

    The new teams started from scratch, compared to RedBull, Force India and Torro Rosso (and Mercedes/Brawn) all carrying on with an existing team. Still, all of them took several years to get where they are now. A couple of years ago Minardi were a lot slower than the new teams are. Good job for getting where they are and i am looking forward to having them try to go forward from that.

  2. A grand prix was originally 10 hours, minimum. When the Commission Sportive Internationale defined a new formula, Formula A in 1946, it contineud on primarily with the pre-war grand prix regulations, though races were more around the 5 hour range.

    When in 1950 the World Driving Championship was established and Formula A became Formula 1, races were shortened to 500km/300 miles. Beginning with the 1958 season, races were shortened further to the current 300km/200mile distance.

    When di Montezemolo speaks of history and heritage, he refers to Ferrari and seemingly is quick to (conveniently?) forget the history and heritage of Formula 1.

    If he wants shorter races, then let him buy GP2 from Ecclestone & Briatore, and he can run in all the short races he wants. Leave Formula 1 alone–it isn’t broken, Luca, don’t try to fix it !

  3. IMO, Montezemolo needs to drop the spliff.
    But I agree that F1 needs competitive teams. Maybe Ferrari could do something about it.

  4. Here’s an idea, Luca: come to terms with he fact that you’re not Bernie and concentrate on getting your team back to the top again.

  5. It looks to me like his problem is that Ferrari don’t compete in any series where the races are less than 1 1/2 hours, and the GT races where Ferrari cars compete are both longer and get less media coverage and public attention.

    An alternative is to enter competitions with either shorter races or comparable prestige – unfortunately for him GP2/GP3/F2 take away most of the manufacturer element as they are pretty much spec series.

    Le Mans Series LMP-class would be an option, as he says, but the ‘manufacturer support’ thing smacks of making excuses. Audi, Peugeot and Aston Martin are already involved; Porsche, BMW and Mercedes have all competed in recent years, and possibly would return to compete with Ferrari. I suspect he knows that Ferrari would get badly beaten until they had been running a car for a few seasons. And again the general coverage outside the 24 hours of Le Mans is minimal.

    His only options are to throw tantrums until F1 changes to suit him or put up and shut up. I think we can tell which route he has chosen to travel.

  6. I have no respect for Ferrari as a team. They’ve completely lost what little respect I had for them.

    They’re no better than any other team on that grid. They’re not even the fastest car! They’re being beaten by a little team run by an energy drink company! Red Bull were seen as jokes at first, look at them now.

  7. Newnhamlea1
    9th June 2010, 14:11

    I agree with him about testing, i find it ludicrous that a top motor racing series like f1 bans any form of in-season testing. Everything else he says though is utter tripe.

  8. F1 needs heroes? Maybe its a perspective of a colonial, but many people seem to find the smaller, poorly-funded, and pedigree-free competitor to be more heroic than the established empires.

    1. I agree – to me the biggest ‘heroes’ of the season so far are Bruno Senna, Karun Chandok and the HRT team.

      They put together a car that passed all the safety requirements in a matter of weeks, and which would have only just failed to beat the old 107% rule for the first couple of races (Alex Yoong at Minardi fell foul of that one even when Minardi weren’t a new team). You can see from in car footage that the car is a nightmare to keep pointing in the right direction yet with only one or two exceptions when the car has held together it has finished the race. Both drivers have kept their chin up and got on with things without constantly whining about a lack of testing time, and Chandok in particular you can tell is having a ball this season, if his twitter feed is anything to go by!

      Here’s hoping that Lola, Prodrive and ART do come into the championship soon!

  9. Wow. LDM is a moron. I guess someone needed to fill the void left by Flavio Briatore; ‘keep his seat warm’ so to speak.

    However, I dont see anywhere in your article or the autosport article where he says the new teams are a joke. I understand that he is being paraphrased, but I still dont see any of his assanine remarks referring to the new teams in such a way. Again, not trying to defend him, but I think the headline is a little misleading.

  10. I may be wrong but doing a million laps a day isn’t reli cutting edge technology at its best its just trying some innovation ant then tweaking it until the cows come home.now the true test is who can innovate and implement in the least amount of time…I think this is cutting edge!mclaren can do it and some other teams too.why can’t ferrarri?they got all the resourses in the world with the longest running f1 experience!they should be the last to ask for extra testing.I think the new rules regarding testing adds to the spectacle.tho for the racing I do think the tyres shoulkd degrade faster.

    1. Il have to disagree with you, it does not matter how you get the cutting edge technology it is purely based on what you come up with. the current situation is a joke, you need to test new parts on the track while using simulators and wind tunnels as well.

      1. I don’t think its really necessary to bring back the in-season testing these days. Cos I think there will be an over-development of the cars, and thats dangerous for the sport.

  11. Stop it, Luca!
    I love Ferrari and I know that its Renaissance is mainly due to him, but all these ideas, such as two shorter races per GP (F1’s not Superbike!), 3 cars for the bigger teams and so on, are absolutely rubbish. Maybe I could accept more testing, but the other things sound like they could have been pronounced by Briatore. And i fear he could come back in F1 thanks to Ferrari…

  12. This guy can’t shut his trap…can he?

  13. It may just be me, but I find Luca’s seeming lack of knowledge about the actual Le Mans series rather embarrassing. I think it just comes across as him not wanting to enter a series where Ferrari will probably get stuffed by both Audi and Peugeot whilst being the ‘new Boys’ Themselves.

  14. TheGreatCornholio
    9th June 2010, 17:54

    Personally i love Di Montezemelo. Did you know they keep him in an old folks home most of the time then wheel him out on special occasions! Just like an elderly relative who comes out with inappropriate words at the worst time! Lol. Ferrari have their own version of Prince Phillip!

  15. Here’s an idea Luca, get used to the idea that Max Mosley is no longer bending the series to your every idiotic whim, and get back to improving your team.

    What Luca really fears is being overtaken in the standings by some underfunded new team. Can’t beat ’em, try and get rid of ’em!

    Without Max or Flava-Flavio around it is kinda nice having at least one loose cannon around for amusements sake!

  16. Charles Carroll
    9th June 2010, 19:02

    Luca seems to be feeling the heat from the smaller teams, which is why I believe he speaks the way he does.

    Ferrari are not what they should be, and he is shifting the blame away from where it should truly lie.

  17. this fool needs to grow up
    the more teams in F1 the better as long as they have the finances and are able to close to the gap to the top teams lets say within 2 or 3 seasons.
    he needs to worry about how slow the ferrari is at the momemnt than about the new teams

  18. Michael Griffin
    9th June 2010, 22:36

    I love how Luca hates Max Mosley and his constant, yet all Luca seems to do is moan.

    Plus, the new teams, on tiny budgets with inexperienced staff, zero infrastructure and in some cases rookie drivers, are bringing more updates than Ferrari, the supposed kings of F1 with a budget that few can even aspire to, two amazing drivers, the best infrastructure and best staff.

    Pot, kettle and all that.

  19. There is a need to have competitive teams. F1 is like soccer. It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalize everything. We need to avoid having too many small teams as it means too many compromises.

    So, we should allow Ferrari to spend as much money as they want and completetly out-class small teams like Williams, Sauber, Lotus, etc., etc.?

    That’s a total joke. What team is going to want to participate (and who’s going to sponsor them) in something they have no chance of winning (or possibly even scoring points)?

    While I’m not always the biggest fan of leveling mechanisms, I think they are clearly needed to keep the gap between the haves and the have-nots from getting too great.

  20. Hahahaha is funny to see how sensible some people could be to the words of a “clever politician”…..

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