If Montezemolo is that offended by ‘slow’ cars, why didn’t he complain in 2006?

This year's new teams are faring better than Super Aguri did

This year's new teams are faring better than Super Aguri did

Fernando Alonso may have come to terms with missing out on a win in Canada but Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo isn’t quite so sanguine.

And he’s taken aim at his favourite target – the new teams – telling La Gazetta dello Sport:

Cars who perform at GP2-level should not be allowed to participate in F1 races because they are supposed to race on Sunday mornings.
Luca di Montezemolo

He added:

Our car’s race pace was good enough for victory [in Canada]. Let’s hope that, in the future, there won’t be mistakes in pushing a button nor in lapping cars that put us at a disadvantage, because we’ve already gone though that.
Luca di Montezemolo

By “mistakes in pushing a button” he’s possibly referring to a perceived delay in backmarkers being shown blue flags, which is partly handled by an electronic system.

Montezemolo’s grudge against F1’s three new teams has been documented here twice before.

And I’ve explained before why Montezemolo is wrong to argue for three-car teams (his preferred alternative to the new teams), that F1 racers already have it much easier than drivers in other series when it comes to lapping backmarkers and why a revival of the 107% rule isn’t needed.

So, as some people asked in the fourm, why bother commenting on this again?

Because Montezemolo’s latest assertions are wildly wrong. The new teams have improved so much since the start of the season that his case against them is redundant.

At Canada Lotus cut their performance deficit to the fastest team to a new low of 4.17%. For the first time, their best lap of the weekend was within 1% of the midfield runners.

Heikki Kovalainen qualified just 0.2 seconds behind Kamui Kobayashi’s Ferrari-powered Sauber. Four of the other new cars (aside from Karun Chandhok’s hobbled HRT) were within 1.4 seconds.

Kovalainen was 2.3 seconds slower than the fastest car in Q1 on Sunday. Go back to the same race four years ago and the two Super Aguris were 3.7 seconds off the pace. Yet Montezemolo didn’t get quite so worked up about them.

Why? Because he wasn’t pushing his dream of a three-car Ferrari team back then: an idea which is not popular among the other teams nor with the majority of fans.

On top of that, while complaining about how hard done-by he thinks Alonso was, he does a disservice to his other driver. Montezemolo overlooked the brilliant, opportunistic pass Felipe Massa put on Adrian Sutil while the Force India driver was preoccupied with a backmarker.

That is part and parcel of racing. The president of a company who are rightly proud of their tradition of motor sport should not need that explaining to him.

Ferrari, new teams and three car teams

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117 comments on If Montezemolo is that offended by ‘slow’ cars, why didn’t he complain in 2006?

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  1. glue said on 17th June 2010, 17:16

    how do you spell nineteen-ninety-three in Italian?..or “hypocrisy” for that matter

    • Zaphod said on 17th June 2010, 21:12

      Or Jerez, for that matter!
      Remember what pressure a Ferrari powered backmarker put on Villeneuve before while lapping? Of course, what happened a little later that afternoon was second to nothing!

      Selective memory Luca!

    • I wholeheartedly agree! Back in ’93 the Ferraris were actually slower (per sec per lap) than any of the new teams are this year.

      Hypocrisy indeed.

      • macahan (@macahan) said on 18th June 2010, 16:34

        Really don’t have to look that far. Luca Badoer anyone? The let him race twice each time starting at the very back of the grid almost 2-3 second slow qualifying then fastest car and a good half a second slower then the second slowest car. But I guess that is ok for them but not for another team since they are the mighty red and everyone should bow to their wishes. Also they complained about not being allowed replacement driver to test extra while teams like Torro Ross and Renault didn’t as far as I know at least even ask for this when they replaced drivers (granted their drivers where fired and Ferraris had a horrible accident).

        Sick and tired of Montezemolo whining on the slower teams (one of them are at the very tail of Torro Rosso a team whom is a customer of Ferrari if he continue this Torro Rosso should start take offense when the Lotus’s starts fighting the TR’s for grid position and position in the race on a frequent basis).
        Once I used to like the Red’s but now I don’t understand why. There is only one team on the grid I like less and that is McLaren with all their lying, cheating and the like. Someone please put a gag on Montezemolo, enuff already.

    • Achilles said on 18th June 2010, 6:30

      Probably the same way you spell ‘retirement’

    • Hare said on 18th June 2010, 7:28

      I read Luca di Montezemolo’s comments like this :

      “WHy are we not winning every race? Why why why??! We need more Ferraris on the track so we get more publicity for putting Rossi in a car, and then we can look like god’s amongst men (again). Also : we need to sell more Ferrari’s!”

      The next comment will probably read like this:

      “Why are McLaren in the way, who do they think they are, silver is a stupid colour to have on a car. Speaking of which, Red Bull shouldn’t be allowed the word RED, as we are red!”

      • Maksutov said on 18th June 2010, 8:52

        “WHy are we not winning every race? Why why why??!

        haha

        • Ronman said on 18th June 2010, 10:44

          Classic Hare… but you forgot the point in the scenario where he puts both hands on the mahogany desk in his musky office, grabs a bohemian crystal ashtray with the Prancing horse encrusted within it and hurls it at his “Whoever sponsors the Ferrari team” 52 inch LED TV screen.
          and shouts once more WHY????

      • Zodman said on 18th June 2010, 13:57

        LOL absolute class Hare. LMAO all the way :)))

      • Jahn said on 18th June 2010, 21:58

        ” Red Bull shouldn’t be allowed the word RED, as we are red!”

        muahahaha xDDDD

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 29th May 2011, 11:45

      Millenovecentonovantatre
      1993

  2. I suspect the only thing in F1 that’s too slow is Luca di Montezemolo’s wit.

  3. Pedro Andrade (@pedro-andrade) said on 17th June 2010, 17:24

    I second pretty much everything Scribe said in the forum. Only very recently did the field start qualifying very close, it was not long ago that we had Minardis and Jordans qualifying in the lower places some 4 seconds slower than the top of the field. There will always be small teams. Minardi never really had a chance to become a top team, and nobody had a go at them, and it’s not like the new teams and the other backmarkers through the years were not trying. It has always been like this: there are some established teams, many new ones appear, they try to get to the top, the vast majority don’t make it, and even the few that make it end up being dragged down again sooner or later.

    These comments are becoming annoying because it is always the same argument, and not even a valid one in my opinion (and many other fans’). I understand rampante’s point that he only gets picked up for the negative comments, but if they’re always the same unfair rants, I think that says it.

  4. rampante (@rampante) said on 17th June 2010, 17:30

    As I said in the forum I’m not his biggest fan but he like all of us has an opinion. Bernie saved F1 and turned it into what is is today but while I can’t agree with most of what he does he has a right to say it also.
    Most people on this site think that Bernie, Montezemolo, Max etc are all idiots and incapable of managing ‘our’ sport. We don’t have to agree with any of them and they may be many things but stupid is not one of them.

    • Pedro Andrade (@pedro-andrade) said on 17th June 2010, 17:36

      They are definitely not stupid, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be misguided. They all seem to be caught up more in the political show than the sporting side.

    • PJA said on 17th June 2010, 17:45

      While I agree that Ecclestone, Montezemolo and Mosley are not idiots it does not stop them making idiotic comments.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th June 2010, 19:16

      I am pretty sure non of them are idiots, on the second point i find it harder to judge.

      Eccelstone did do a lot of good to make the sport earn money. He also filled his own coffers most of all. And some ideas he focalizes are pretty nutbag. But with him you always have the feeling he is making fun of you or just finding a way to earn even more.

      Mosley did a lot to pick up on the safety issues after Senna’s death and he did a lot to make the sport more professional. But his power politics and backroom dealmaking were getting from bad to worse and the fact a lot of people in F1 were afraid to say anything for getting punishes somehow tells us why we can be happy he is not active any more.

      As for Luca di Montezemelo, his tribute to the sport is in having Ferrari continue in their great tradition. Making the team succesfull again with Schumi/Todt/Brawn/Bryne and not letting off. Also a great thank you for being pivottal in getting FOTA together and ousting Mosley.

      But these rants with always the same arguments only make him look silly to a large number of watchers.

      Alonso did very well, to state that after 2 days he is pretty happy with the results of the race and continue to say that you just sometimes get lucky with backmarkers and sometimes it hurts you.
      Montezemelo should help the Ferrari team focus on looking at learning where to improve as well or risk of making many people feel he would do better to follow Mad Max into retirement.

    • leon said on 17th June 2010, 20:02

      I don’t believe that many of us ever made out
      that Ecclestone is or was stupid. He’s a
      cold-blooded business man…’coin operated’
      as one of us memorably put it. He and
      Mosley created the world of F1 that we know
      today and though both of them are clearly
      past their ‘sell-by’ dates, the things they
      achieved were simply amazing.

      But, IMO, Montezemolo is not in the same
      league. He appears to be presiding over a serious decline in the fortunes of the most
      famous marque in F1 history. That is not a
      good record to have attached to your name.
      You’d think, if he had any nous at all he’d
      keep his head down, his mouth shut and
      drive the team back to the top.

      How an allegedly intelligent man can’t see
      the irreparable harm he’s doing to
      Ferrari’s reputation by his pathetic
      whinging is simply beyond belief.

      • rampante (@rampante) said on 17th June 2010, 21:28

        He’s been at Ferrari since 1972. A lot has happened since then

        • Rob said on 18th June 2010, 9:03

          It seems like the Schumacher years ‘spoiled’ Di Montezemolo, and now he cannot take the team being off the front and off the pace (although of course in Canada they made a good leap forwards).

          To answer Keith’s question at the top of the page, I think it is simply that in 2006 they were in the title race, and there was no need to complain about the injustices Ferrari suffered – except of course for the perceived one inflicted by Renault at Monza which nobody other than the stewards agreed with – because they were competitive.

          I’ve said it before, but Ferrari are shaking off the perception many held – rightly or wrongly – of being the favoured team by the FIA and being able to pull strings to gain an advantage, but Di Montezemolo seems to be finding it hard to take that they are just one of the teams (although with the most famous name) on a level with all these upstarts and riff-raff.

  5. PJA said on 17th June 2010, 17:36

    Its all very well saying Alonso’s race pace was good enough for victory in Canada but F1 isn’t just a time trial drivers are supposed to do things such as overtake as well, it is all part of racing.

    We have often heard how a team decided to bring in their driver early so as to avoid traffic, either slow cars they were due to encounter if they stayed out or to make sure they left the pits to rejoin the race on an empty bit of track.

    Red Bull said that what helped the drivers who started on soft tyres and pitted early was that drivers who started on the harder tyres also stopped early so they were not held up and had a clear track.

    The way F1 is at the moment a driver will never go flat out for the entire race they will no doubt try to look after their tyres, engines or gearboxes or conserve fuel at some point during the race so I don’t even think it is a valid argument to say that Alonso would have won without the backmarkers.

    We saw that when Button got second and started to close on Hamilton late in the race Hamilton just put in a fastest lap as a response to show he had plenty in reserve.

  6. GQsm (@gqsm) said on 17th June 2010, 17:37

    Will he give it a rest, we know he doesn’t like the new teams. He should stop repeating himself now.

  7. Marc Connell said on 17th June 2010, 17:39

    Tbh i bet the new teams have brought more development to there cars than ferrari. He might be scared that someone like HRT will start gaining more points than them.

    • kowalsky said on 17th June 2010, 18:57

      and senna performing at a higher level than his two drivers. Not very far from reality.
      He is a political animal, after a three car team. He’ll keep talking nonsense, until he either gets what he wants, or realizes the posibility is not there anymore.

  8. TerryMac said on 17th June 2010, 17:45

    Montezemolo is a poisonous character.F1 doesnt stand for (Ferrari 1). This guy seems to be against any new initiative in F1. He doesnt care one bit about the spectacle of F1 racing.When do we hear C Horner, R Brawn,M Whitmarsh or F Williams coming out with such drivel.Anything that doesnt suit Ferrari he will complain about..Max had this guy down to a tee..a member of the “Loonies”..F1 needs a full grid..It doesnt need the F1 of the early 2000’s Ferrari dominance..Just shud up Luca!!

  9. Let them run the third car but require that the driver can only take part in three races and do not permit it to gain constructors points.

  10. he is always against new teams,keep poking around even his comments do not make any impression on new teams.

  11. He keeps banging on new teams being too slow so I’ll just reuse my argument from earlier backmaker debates – after putting Luca Badoer in a car Ferrari really shouldn’t argue about slowness of others…

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 17th June 2010, 19:39

      Haha, good point! Very hypocritical

      • JerseyF1 said on 17th June 2010, 20:05

        Badoer was 2.8s off in Q1 at Valencia ’09

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th June 2010, 20:11

          So he was pretty much on par with the new teams!

          The argument about the new teams being too slow or making too much crowded qualifying sessions is just nonsense.
          We had exactly the same number of teams/cars years ago and the time difference from 1st to 6th could be over 3 seconds, not to mention the 10 second difference to the backmarkers.
          And yes, they did have a hour long period, but front runners only started running in the last 15-25 minutes when the track was rubbered in properly.

    • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 18th June 2010, 11:51

      I really want a journalist to put this question to Luca (DeMontezemelo) and see what his response is, i’m willing to bet it will go something like this.

      “Well, it was not the cars fault, Luca (Badoer) was just out of practice”

      Well, I’m sorry but if he tried that then it is bull****, if your driver is that crap, then what is he doing in F1 in the first place, at least the new teams have decent drivers that are putting the car on the limit and developing the car constantly to improve it and they are adding value.

      As, has been mentioned above if you can’t get a Ferrari past a Virgin or an HRT , (Lotus i’d put on par with Torro Rosso now simply because they LAPPED the other new teams, surely that must show just how good Lotus is)then what are you doing in F1, seriously even with overtaking being hard overtaking a “GP2″ car in a Ferrari should not be hard to do.

      Luca knows his team suck this year and he is trying like mad to bring up all sorts of things to distract from Ferrari’s crap perfomance

  12. Antonio said on 17th June 2010, 17:56

    It seems to me that this Ferrari team is made out of “crying babies” who blame everyone and everything but themselves!
    They dont know how to loose!!! Especially Alonco! Just like in 2007 when he was outpaced and outclassed by rookie Hamilton!!
    Give them one or two races like Indianapolis 2005 to get their spirits up!! Who knows maybe they can race against a Lotus or a Toro Rosso! :)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th June 2010, 20:16

      Well firstly, i can understand Lewis being upset during the race. Alonso would have been perfectly fine to have said something alike.

      But Alonso did not say anything overtly critical after the race. Even in the press conference he only said to be disappointed he lost out from that on 2 occasions, but he gained at other races, so no big deal.
      He even issued a further statement 2 days after the GP, saying he is not upset by those guys being in his way at the wrong moment for him and repreats, that he has profitted in other races, hey that’s part of racing.

      This rant by an official comes after that and ignores what his own top driver and team manager said about the situation and makes it a farce only for political reasons.

  13. tharris19 said on 17th June 2010, 17:56

    If you review Mclaren’s web site you will see where Lewis was frustrated by slower cars, screaming “blue flags!”. So Ferrari had no manoply in manouvering through slow traffic they just could not get through it as well as some of the other teams.
    If you watch the replay of Buemi on his in lap you will see that Lewis was behind him on the racing line while Fred was on the dirty inside with no where to go. Buemi had no choice since he was pitting and Hamilton was not giving up the line. People, that’s racing. And by the way Buemi was in the lead when he entered the pits.

  14. mvi said on 17th June 2010, 18:02

    How come lapped cars are not always shown a blue flag when the leading, faster cars are approaching them?

    Who decides to show a car the blue flag? Is it under human or software control?

    I had the impression from the bit of live commentary on the McLaren site during the race, that McLaren asked race control for blue flags to be shown to the lapped cars in front of them as they were catching them. Unfortunately the commentary is no longer on the site, so I don’t know if I just imagined this!

  15. Jim N said on 17th June 2010, 18:05

    Montezemolo is just complaining again to detract from the fact that Ferrari are not dominant, as he usually does. This year he has complained about just about every team at one time or another. About the only team I don’t think he has moaned about is Sauber… and perhaps it’s just a coincidence that they have Ferrari engines…

    As for cars being 2 to 3 seconds off the pace not being allowed to start…. because that’s effectively what he is saying. Over the years Ferrari have been MUCH more off the pace than that whilst Montezemolo has been involved and I never heard him suggesting that his Ferrari’s shouldn’t start because they are too slow…… He is just a joke and just brings disrespect Ferrari which after all is a truly great team despite Montezemolo’s ridiculous words.

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