Montezemolo hits out at Red Bull

2011 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Luca di Montezemolo, Fernando Alonso, 2011

Felipe Massa, Luca di Montezemolo, Fernando Alonso, 2011

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has hit out at Red Bull following claims the team exceeded the FOTA-imposed Resource Restriction Agreement in 2010.

Speaking at Ferrari’s “Wrooom” media event di Montezemolo said:

I have heard these stories, but I don?t know if they are true. If they turn out to be correct, then it shows that our long held view that we are against an artificial cap is the right one: it is impossible to run checks when for example, there are companies involved which can manufacture in various countries.

Plus there are always polemical situations in Formula. I am pleased to see that, after the Brawn comet and its titles which, might I say came with some technical ??drug taking?? we then had another team taking both titles last year, one that is maybe not yet in the habit of winning: it?s part of the game and its great, but maybe when others have won 10% of what Ferrari has won, then they can also have their say.
Luca di Montezemolo

He also admitted the team’s last-round defeat in Abu Dhabi last year still keeps him awake at night. But he said it was the team’s performance in the first half of last year which really cost them the championships – and that’s what they need to improve this year.

Believe me, I often still wake up at night thinking of the race in Abu Dhabi, so it goes without saying that we must absolutely look to the future

We must make a good start, both in terms of reliability and, above all, on the performance front. Last year, we lost the championship in a first half that found us failing to live up to our expectations.

I think this will be a very interesting championship: there are a few question marks regarding the new rules and therefore we will have to wait and see how competitive are our rivals.
Luca di Montezemolo

He praised the “calmer” atmosphere in F1 politics but stressed the importance of keeping the sport at the forefront of technology:

If the teams know how to remain united and work in constructive fashion, as part of the virtuoso triangle alongside the FIA and the commercial rights holder, than this organisation has a future. When I was president, it was a different more difficult time, whereas now the atmosphere is calmer.

The fact remains that Formula 1 has to be the highest level of this sport therefore there cannot be too big a gap between the big and small teams in terms of how competitive they are.

I expect Formula 1 will remain as the highest expression of technology, of motor sport and in terms of the spectacle. There needs to be constructive dialogue between the International Federation, the commercial rights holder and the teams.

These latter have to be competitive, must be able to invest and to maintain themselves at a high level. On top of that, you need stability in the regulations so that the teams can plan their investments and in order for the public to understand what is going on.

I do not believe in the budget cap or cost control, which are always impossible to verify: reduction in costs comes through regulation changes, both on the technical and sporting front, without forgetting the links to industrial production and technical innovation for the motor industry of the future, because we want cars, not rockets.
Luca di Montezemolo

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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86 comments on Montezemolo hits out at Red Bull

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  1. Faraz said on 14th January 2011, 18:35

    I hope that this year they have a season without controversies.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th January 2011, 18:43

      Yes. But if both Massa and Alonso are both title contenders as Domenicali wishes, then they will be “forced” to use Team Orders. So what Domenicali says is a contraddiction.

      • Anything goes this season so long as they don’t fall foul of article 151c. So let’s not start complaining when crap like Hockenheim happens again.

        • The permitting of team orders won’t reduce complaints one iota because the only reason for the permission is because the FIA decided it didn’t want to do the fairly straightforward enforcement necessary to make the previous rules function. Also, the bad wording of the regulation means that false positives (people accused of secret team orders when no team orders, or even strategy, was intended) are very likely to occur at least once in the 2011 season.

      • Calum (@calum) said on 14th January 2011, 20:18

        Pfft. Like they have never been been forced to undertake ‘team orders.’ No wait, that was Massa voluntarily.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th January 2011, 19:21

      And without useless Monti rants. His comments on Brawns success as well as saying nobody should speak until they win at least 10% of what Ferrari did are disgusting IMO.

      • bosyber said on 15th January 2011, 13:47

        I agree, I found that pathetic and showing him a bit of a sore loser. I hope that Red Bull have a decent KERS this year, but these “drug taking” comments from Ferrari remind me of Red Bulls constant 2009 “magic button” whine (without which I might say, Ferrari likely wouldn’t have had a single win that year). Just get a faster car guys at Ferrari, with all your history, you are able to get there on the track, come on!

      • So anyone who’s won three titles (McLaren, Mercedes, Williams, Renault, Lotus) can complain on that logic! Also, if we mean proportionately, we should all be listening to Ross Brawn instead of Luca, because Ross is the only person in the paddock who’s captained a team that won 100% of the titles for which it entered. I’m not sure that’s what Luca meant…

    • and I hope Luca Di Montezemolo stops being such a sore-loser… I don’t really think Ferrari “lost” the championship”, it was Red Bull who won it, deserved it, and incredibly, almost lost it against Ferrari

    • controversies? First one… Ferrari does something that many think brings the sport into disripute… Ferrari disagree and all of the ferrari fanboys at FIA HQ agree with Ferrair and they are let off. 3 years later McLaren tries the same thing and is blasted into the next dimension.

  2. What is that guy on?!!

    Pat Symonds said today:

    “The sport has been too conservative in the past, and that is because in the past one team was always able to veto the rules. With FOTA that has changed and now there is majority rule – so if 70 percent of teams think something should happen it goes. So let’s see how it works.”

    In effect, Ferrari stifled innovation.

    Symonds also said:

    “F1 needs to have that technical image – and it is a very important part of the DNA.

    “The current F1 cars all looks the same. F1 is so sophisticated, so if you opened up the regulations, and put a budget cap on it, then you would not have teams going out of business.

    “Can you police it? Of course you can. Every company has to produce accounts to the tax office and Companies’ House each year. So, if you follow proper accounting principals, of course you can do it.”

    • Rohan (@rohan) said on 14th January 2011, 22:49

      Please enlighten me as to how “one team” automatically means Ferrari? The more logical conclusion from Pat’s quote is that any one team could veto a rule change, not that the power of veto specifically belonged to Ferrari.

      • Only Ferrari had a technical regulations veto pre-FOTA.

        • Hare (@hare) said on 15th January 2011, 7:56

          So, if you follow proper accounting principals, of course you can do it.

          Read… Ferrari have great creative accountants. Who doubts that Ferrari play by their own rules? If it’s you, you’re naive.

          • Only British teams send their accounts to Companies House. Ferrari (along with Toro Rosso, Sauber, Hispania and the engine halves of every team bar Cosworth) send theirs to their respective home country equivalent, which will have different rules for how the accounts are meant to be submitted. The precise definition of “proper accounting principals”, although identical in broad sweeps worldwide, differ in the finer detail according to location. It would take very savvy accountants to figure out how to make the alternate divisions generated by those different rules equivalent to one another, no matter how much good faith was involved in the procedure.

            That’s before we get to what happens if a Dutch team ever re-enters F1 (it is unclear if it would be legal for a non-official/governmental third party to demand anything on condition of a Dutch company revealing its taxation information).

      • iBlaze (@) said on 15th January 2011, 13:17

        I guess from your comment Rohan you are quite new to Formula 1. Here’s an article for you which explains the veto situation:

    • John H said on 15th January 2011, 18:45

      Ok, well what if a sister company provides a ‘service’ at an extremely low rate to a top team, makes a loss, but this sister company is kept going by a nice Swiss slush fund set up 5 years previously.

      You can’t police a budget cap.

  3. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 14th January 2011, 18:47

    Technical “drug taking”

    Er, no. It was perfectly legal and just a bit more clever than you so you’re still bitter? Shame, Sr di M.

    Honda stopped working on the 2008 car before you did to concentrate on the 2009 rules and the successful Brawn car. I don’t think that counts as drug taking, I’d call that well prepared and inventive engineering. And you copied the double diffuser as soon as you could.

  4. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 14th January 2011, 19:37

    …maybe when others have won 10% of what Ferrari has won, then they can also have their say.

    Just because your team has been around a long time doesn’t make it a better team. McLaren has a higher percentage of wins than Ferrari, and Williams has a higher percentage of polls…

    • Luca prefers to get histerical about these things…..sorry…..historical about these things.

    • DeadManWoking (@deadmanwoking) said on 14th January 2011, 22:18

      Ferrari 812 starts 215 wins 26.47%
      McLaren 684 starts 169 wins 24.70%
      Williams565 starts 113 wins 20.00%

      Ferrari 812 starts 205 poles 25.25%
      Williams565 starts 126 poles 22.30%
      McLaren 684 starts 146 poles 21.34%

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 15th January 2011, 0:19 who’ve been keeping stats on these kinds of things for decades have Ferrari at 11.9%, McLaren at 11.92%, and Williams at 10.24%. For poles it’s Ferrari at 11.34%, McLaren at 10.3%, and Williams at 11.42%. I’m not quite sure how those figures were arrived at, but my guess is that he’s counting both cars from each team in total starts. The numbers you listed above as starts were actually grands prix contested, which is a different number than starts as most grands prix had two cars starting for each team. Either way though, Ferrari should be proud to count themselves in the company of McLaren and Williams rather than preaching their superiority in such a condescending manner. I don’t dislike Ferrari, but I can’t stand Mr. di M. I hope he moves on to Italian politics so we can have a little less of his posturing in F1.

        • almanac said on 15th January 2011, 0:53

          either way mclaren and williams should be very proud that are almost there but not there with Ferrari.

          • DeadManWoking (@deadmanwoking) said on 15th January 2011, 1:43

            Williams won 9 Constructors Championships in their 33 year history, McLaren 8 WCC in their 45 years. Ferrari won 8 WCCs in the 10 year period from 1999 to 2008 plus 8 more in the 53 years since the Championship was establtshed in 1958.

          • DeadManWoking (@deadmanwoking) said on 15th January 2011, 1:55

            That’s 30.18% btw

        • Hare (@hare) said on 15th January 2011, 7:45

          I think thats the sound of Italian politics right now. I cant imagine what their media culture is like with a man in power who virtually owns the majority of the press. berlesconi is a joke, he makes Luca look like a schoolboy.

    • almanac said on 15th January 2011, 0:43

      I don’t know where are you from but if you from USA ( I guess ) you better stick with Nascar.

      I suggest you better check your sources.

      regarding higher percentage of mclaren versus ferrari
      ferrari 811 starts 214 wins 26.38%
      mclaren 685 starts 169 wins 24.67%

      regarding williams highers polls which I guess are pole positions

      ferrari 811 starts 205 poles 25.22%
      williams 539 starts 126 poles 23.37% (not including Frank Williams Racing Cars starts).

  5. Bullfrog said on 14th January 2011, 19:48

    A good start to 2011 would be for Alonso to have a shave.

    • BasCB said on 14th January 2011, 22:26

      No, please don’t Fernando. I think he looks really the flamboyant brigand we are missing in F1.
      A lot better than all those scruffy beards sprouting from drivers all over the grid lately.

      • bosyber said on 15th January 2011, 13:52

        Nothing wrong with a bit of a beard! Well, I do like the honest mustache on Alonso, even if it slightly reminded me of Mario Brothers; It is a lot better than all the half shaved looks, I agree.

        • MattW said on 16th January 2011, 5:51

          Agree with you there – either go for a proper mo or beard or go clean shaven, but no 3 day growth. You are wearing a helmet, its not like you are playing a summer outdoors sport (like cricket) where the 3 day growth will protect you from sunburn

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 16th January 2011, 16:03

      I think Alonso has one on the off-seasons because he’s allowed to. His sponsors and companies he’s respresenting would want him to be as presentable as possible during the season, so if you pair that with the fact he’s only had beards on off-seasons…

      I agree fully with BasCB. What happened to all F1’s hairy faces eh?

  6. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th January 2011, 21:20

    Maybe this year they can even get 2nd in the constructors’ championship.

    • DeadManWoking (@deadmanwoking) said on 14th January 2011, 22:27

      Or they might just win their 17th WCC, which would be their 9th in 13 years.

      • Hare (@hare) said on 15th January 2011, 7:52

        Most of which they did with an Anglo-Germanic figureheads… Don’t get me wrong, I think Ferrari are and have usually been a great team, and F1 is better for it. But Luca’s the voice now, and to be honest it’s embarressing. I mean.. The Horse Whisperer? What a load of old pony.

        • Ferrari is a very very different team now than it was 10 years ago…..

          I hope Luca realises Ferrari is only powerful now due to others hard work, Like Mr Brawn’s determination which he is so eager to insult.

          Ok really, I could rant for hours about his latest ramblings, I won’t because it would be cruel on you guys… But I can’t even call him a joke any more… Pathetic.

          Montezemolo needs a good punch to the face.

          Pete said that, and I don’t agree. Unless there was a high chance that it would bring him to his senses…. But I doubt he has any left.

          • Hare (@hare) said on 16th January 2011, 1:55

            He’s ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ as Newton once put it. LDM is under a lot of pressure to maintain that form factor, as it directly relates to the perception of their overpriced motorcars.

  7. Montezemolo needs a good punch to the face.

  8. tmfox (@tmfox) said on 14th January 2011, 22:46

    I’ll stop short on wishing Montezemolo a slow and painful death but couldn’t he just shut up and crawl back under his rock now?

  9. Rohan (@rohan) said on 14th January 2011, 22:51

    Luca’s got it pretty much spot on, as much as dislike him. Red Bull do need to learn some respect: respect for other teams, respect for the fans and respect for the rules. Cureently, they seem to be ignoring all three.

  10. rampante (@rampante) said on 14th January 2011, 22:51

    What all non Italians have to understand is that LdM does not only speak as the president of Ferrari, he is one of the biggest political figures in Italy and when other team bosses say anything they only do so as that. He has been a very charismatic character in Italy (not always liked) but he has status outside F1. Apart from saving Ferrari in the 70’s I have no great affection for him but I just don’t understand the crap he gets outside Italy. The world is full of news sites, blogs and forums where people spout out rubbish day after day but when LdM says anything (which mostly I disagree with) he is slaughtered. Our sport has become anodyne enough and need many more like him to continue to talk rubbish and get away from the corporate rubbish the will eventually destroy it.

    • Burnout said on 15th January 2011, 9:10

      I think that’s your reason right there. LdM is the chairman of all of Ferrari, and until recently the head of Fiat as well. He’s not the boss of a small F1 team. So people are going to watch what he says very critically.

      Plus I don’t think any of the other captains of industry who are involved in F1 shoot their mouth off nearly as often as LdM does.(I’m thinking of Tony Fernandes, Vijay Mallya and Richard Branson here)

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th January 2011, 23:06

    when others have won 10% of what Ferrari has won, then they can also have their say

    So Ferrari are the only team with any right to say anything?

    Shut up, Luca. Just shut up. I might not be a Ferrari fan, but I do acknowledge that Ferrari have a history with the sport. That history isn’t coming under threat from other teams winning things, but from the people inside who make statements like this.

    I would not be surprised if Ferrari leaked the documents about Red Bull’s supposed violation of the RRA in order to limit their say in shaping the rules ahead of 2013. It was a vague suspicion until about ten minutes ago; statements like this only make me suspect them more.

    I guess it’s just further proof that Formula 1 can survive without Ferrari.

  12. Dusty in California said on 15th January 2011, 0:39

    Montezemolo comes across as a really unpleasant person. In fact, everything about Ferrari’s F1 PR is a disaster: privileged, grumpy, petty and bitter comments coming from the President and team leadership on down to the drivers. I’m certain they’re a passionate bunch of perfectionists (and I’m also sure the the language barrier doesn’t help), but they really need to work on the image they present to fans and media.

  13. Jared404 said on 15th January 2011, 3:30

    His talk of a “virtuoso triangle” makes me think he is a bit of a goose. I’m sure he is very proud of his team, but it’s still a sport, and pride goes before a fall.

    p.s. Do the cigarette company still sponsor Ferrari? There is not even the old symbolic advertising on the cars now.

    • Hare (@hare) said on 15th January 2011, 7:35

      Ferrari are all but blinded by their own pride.

      They gladly have rafters in their own eyes when they try to extract the proverbial straws from others.

      “Maybe we did go they budget limit” what a crock of…. He knows his companies bsiness because that’s his job. They are so full of it, they’re like a 30stone fat man acusing others of being a bit chubby. It’s a joke.

  14. Hare (@hare) said on 15th January 2011, 7:31

    I can’t stand ferrari’s ‘we are the big guys here cos we’ve been here the longest’ attitude. I can’t stand them as a team and I’m glad when they don’t win championships. I don’t really count them when they do. They think they are royalty and all but own F1 and as such everything should go their way. It stinks.

    On the other side of the coin, it raises the anti and makes the whole game more meaningful because of their royal selfishness.

    So, while I can’t stand them, I’m glad their about, because the whole game is more weighty

  15. Hare (@hare) said on 15th January 2011, 7:42

    “I do not believe in the budget cap’…. Read: we have great accountants who are highly paid.

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