Montezemolo: “no question” over Masssa’s future

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Luca di Montezemolo refutes claims Felipe Massa will be dropped by Ferrari for 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Massa’s Ferrari future secure, says Montezemolo (Reuters)

“Yes. He has a contract with us for this year and for next year, so absolutely yes. No question about it.”

Teams may take control of F1, reveals Ferrari chief (CNN)

Luca di Montezemolo: “We have to invest in the U.S. We have to improve new technologies in F1 for the people watching the television, for iPad, for the Internet. So I think we are in front of a very important moment.”

Formula One Fantasy – McLaren?s Lewis Hamilton (F1)

“Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life – which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
LH: I would chose the Nordschleife. It would be amazing. That 20-something kilometre track would keep you learning all the time. It would never be boring, guaranteed. I drive it every year including this year. It is an unbelievable experience.”

Three Ferraris for Felipe Massa: the video (Ferrari)

Video of Felipe Massa driving a 150??? Italia, 458 Challenge and a 458 Italia.

Teams set to reject testing return plan (Autosport)

“Although Todt believes it makes sense for a return of some testing, teams are not convinced it will be a good move – as they fear it will simply lead to an escalation in costs.”

Multiple roadblocks for F1 track officials (Hindustan Times)

“The F1 track bosses may still be in for a rude jolt. The farmers at the nearby villages are upset that their religious sentiments are not being respected, warning that it could blow into a major controversy in the near future.”

The question of the Bahrain GP (Joe Saward)

“Looking from the outside, it seems that trying to rush a return to Bahrain this year might suit the government there and might be easier for some in F1 because of contractual complications, but it would probably be wiser not to take any risks and wait to see how Bahrain looks in six months from now, when the F1 calendar for 2012 is being finalised. Going back too early involves a lot of risks that are probably not worth taking.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

HounslowBusGarage doesn’t believe the Bahrain Grand Prix could be held safely:

If the race goes ahead and the political situation is not resolved, the protesters will be there in the crowd.

One bottle thrown onto the track is all it will take.

From the forum

How much do companies pay for F1 advertising?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hyoko!

On this day in F1

Stirling Moss scored a famous victory in the Monaco Grand Prix 50 years ago today.

Driving a Lotus 18 entered by Rob Walker, Moss withstood fierce pressure from the Ferraris of Richie Ginther, Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips to win after 100 laps of the Principality.

A seven-part video of the race is available on YouTube. Find it all below, part one above:

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62 comments on Montezemolo: “no question” over Masssa’s future

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th May 2011, 0:22

    Ah, the shark-noses. I wonder if what icons we’ll think of when we look back in 50 years.

    Massa does look better this year, then again it would have been unfair to drop him after one bad year – there were rumours he would need a “spectacular” year to stay but if he’s doing alright and no other top driver’s moving, what’s the point? I would LOL big time if he went to Red Bull on his own volition to fill the gap of a retiring Mark Webber, but that’s pie in the sky.

    Honestly I love those kinds of interviews with Lewis. It shows he’s just a big kid, still as excited to be in F1.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:37

      Nice view at those cars eh. Will we think back and remember the snow plough wings the same way?

      Massa is looking back on form, and I think Ferrari have a good team up, as Massa is not enough killer instinct to unsettle Alonso, while at the same time he can be there to take points or a win when Alonso messes up (and the car is up to it).

    • Ben Curly said on 14th May 2011, 10:18

      It’s not Massa. Didn’t you see the title?

      It’s Masssa. Completely different person ;)

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th May 2011, 0:46

    “Yes. He has a contract with us for this year and for next year, so absolutely yes. No question about it.”

    Call me a cynic, nut Luca also said this:

    “To have so many pitstops – listen, I want to see competition, I want to see cars on the track. I don’t want to see competition in the pits

    Except that all of the action these days happens out on the track. In the pre-Pirelli years, the only way to reasonably make up places was to have a better pit stop – and the most recent and most obvious example of this is Ferrari producing a faster pitstop to get Fernando Alonso out on the circuit in front of Jenson Button at Monza last year. Or has Luca completely forgotten that? The entire article I linked to is loaded with such gems; quotes that openly contradict whatever is actually happening in the sport. In fact the whole thing reads as
    “We’re not winning, so we might make our own championship so that we can”.

    Call me a cynic, but I just can’t believe anything Luca says these days. Ever since Max Mosely left the sport, Luca has lost his grip on reality.

    • Alex Bkk said on 14th May 2011, 4:46

      Nah, it was just that Max was so far out to lunch that he made Luca look almost grounded.

    • AlexT (@alext) said on 14th May 2011, 8:16

      As much as I dislike Luca and love the show provided by the Pirelli tires, 80 pitstops are a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching F1 since I was like 8, but last week’s Turkey GP was kind of confusing with all the different strategies, pitstops, silly paint on the sidewalls of the Pirreli tires…

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th May 2011, 9:48

      Actually both Massa and Alonso suffered from poor pitstops.

      For instance Alonso got stck behind a slow driving Schumacher in China because his pit stop took a few seconds longer (and because Schumacher had the undercut)

      • Alex Bkk said on 14th May 2011, 11:28

        If anything at all I’m not anti-Ferrari, but Luca has always been a bit of a loose cannon. Max is just weird and Bernie has to be be the most demented soul on the planet, however, they all know a bit more than us about F1.

        Let’s just hope that News Corp doesn’t get their hands on F1 TV rights. The Concord Agreement expires in 2012 and it really puzzles me as to why they would even consider buying it without a long term contract from the teams.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 14th May 2011, 10:21

      Just because Monza was based on getting Fernando in front of Jenson doesn’t mean Luca likes it, it was something that had to be done so i’m not sure where you’re really going with that. I’m sure he would’ve much preferred Fernando to overtake Jenson on the track but that’s not always how it works.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th May 2011, 11:50

      Action in the pits is there, 80 stops are not nothing. There is competiton in the pits, but that doens’t mean there isn’t outside.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th May 2011, 14:48

        True, there is competition in the pits – but if a driver wants to make up positions, he has to do it on the track. During the years when refuelling was permitted, the races were little more than a series of glorified time trials where drivers tried to make up as much time and distance as possible in stints to cover off other drivers because the teams could afford to run the cars as light as they dared. Now drivers have to balance ever-decreasing fuel loads against tyres that go off. There are so many pit stops and they happen so frequently that there simply isn’t enough time to try and get the jump on someone. This is obviously working out poorly for Ferrari, and Luca is once again throwing his toys out of the pram because Ferrari isn’t winning. He’s got Flavio Briatore Syndrome: when his team is winning, the sport is absolutely perfect, but as soon as someone starts doing well and challening them, the sport is suddenly in dangerous waters.

        • US_Peter said on 14th May 2011, 20:36

          I think you may be right about that. It definitely seems like we hear more from him the worse Ferrari are doing.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th May 2011, 18:35

          Yeah, we didn’t hear much from Luca in the past months but he really seems to be getting up to steam again.

  3. ivz (@ivz) said on 14th May 2011, 0:57

    Haha, interesting Ferrari video. I thought they would have made it more exciting than that!

    Lewis is right, the cars of the early 1990’s looked the best! Wish teams were forced to make cars in the same shape with todays technology! lol.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:42

      That video was a bit underwhelming. No real tension nor a comparison. Even the road cars were not close to the limit there.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th May 2011, 11:51

        They should’ve done what they did in 1996 with a Ferrari F1, a Ferrari road car and a Fiat road car, starting and intervals and competing till the lights.

  4. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 14th May 2011, 1:04

    team ownership of leagues has been essential to their success in america and canada. to my knowledge, it has never been achieved in motorsports anywhere. note luca’s use of basketball and the nba as an example, since basketball has been very well received internationally, although domestically the nfl blows them all away.

    interesting that testing should be shot down. i remember reading from williams something to the effect of “as long as a 2nd team isn’t required, we should do it” which i happen to agree with.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:51

      Well it was sorts of in one of the variants of the Indy/CART/Champcar/IRL/IndyCar, wasn’t it?

      I think CART just got down the road to its destruction after 30 years when the balance of power changed and IRL was brought in.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th May 2011, 11:23

      I think ownership is the ultimately the right way to go, but I would only support it on the grounds that circuits are looked after in the deal too so they’re not priced off the calendar.

      But as for rule-making, I would not want the teams to be anything than advisors with a veto.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 19:28

        Very sound thought. The circuits do need to compete a bit to keep them improving the facilities and do nice sideshow activities.
        But they should not be pushed into these strangling contracts like they have now.

  5. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 14th May 2011, 2:24

    Recently, in true F1 fanatic style, I’ve been taking old F1 magazines with me to read on the bus home from town each day. Today, I was reading the May 2002 edition of the shortlived official F1 magazine, and there was a feature about the 100 most powerful men in F1. (Schumacher was top, incidentally, oh how the mighty have fallen).

    Anyway, the bit that really caught my eye was on Bernie Ecclestone. Under the weaknesses section, it said:

    Many people think Bernie Ecclestone is a nasty piece of work who rules by fear and whom no one dares to cross. Truth is, he is the Kissinger and Nixon of Formula One and rolled into one. Gives literally tens of millions to charity every year but never has his name on the cheque. And when this is published he will deny it. There actually isn’t a kinder man in the paddock- but he’ll deny that too

    …which made me wonder, if he’s such a wonderful, compassionate, generous man, why is he being so callous and greedy when it comes to the Bahrain issue?! Or, was the F1 magazine notable for pro Bernie propaganda?

    • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 14th May 2011, 2:55

      Giving the magazine the benefit of the doubt it’s possible that Bernie truly does believe that going to Bahrain isn’t a bad thing for everyone involved. Maybe he plans on giving a large percentage of the race money he earns back to the Bahraini people. But who knows that seems like quite a stretch

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th May 2011, 10:56

        Bernie is famously out of the loop when it comes to world affairs so it’s no wonder.

        • Alex Bkk said on 14th May 2011, 11:31

          Bernie is famously out of the loop when it comes to world affairs so it’s no wonder.

          A bit more like on another planet. Then again, maybe he wants a race on Mars?

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 14th May 2011, 20:43

            Bernie must’ve gotten some ideas when he saw that Renault video last year showing F1 100 years in the future…

      • bananarama said on 14th May 2011, 12:27

        Or maybe its CVC telling him that they have to make their profit goals because thats what investment funds have to do and if F1 can’t deliver they will have to look for an investment that can meet their goals and sell it to some austrailans or something.

    • George (@george) said on 14th May 2011, 13:39

      why is he being so callous and greedy when it comes to the Bahrain issue?!

      That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

      Bernie knows the Bahrain rulers somewhat better than us plebs. If he feels he can trust them and therefore puts his faith in them, who are we to argue?

      • Maciek said on 15th May 2011, 15:12

        Bernie knows the Bahrain rulers somewhat better than us plebs. If he feels he can trust them and therefore puts his faith in them, who are we to argue?

        Major facepalm + headshaking.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th May 2011, 18:37

        Ehm, …

        Believe whatever you will, but those news reports show too much to ignore.

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 14th May 2011, 2:49

    I still think that it is better not to host the GP this year as COTD pointed out that a small incident from the crowd will set things very unstable.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:54

      Exactly. Well said H-BusGarage.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 14th May 2011, 7:57

      I’m a bit surprised to get COTD for such a downbeat and negative comment. But I really think it could be that risky. The extract Keith quotes above from Joe Saward’s blog is fairly level-headed and ends with “Going back too early involves a lot of risks that are probably not worth taking.”
      It’s a prestige event for Bahrain. What better target for the opposition?
      I was going to add a note of how I could cause the cancellation of the GP with no more than four protestors, but I thought that would be irresponsible. But it could be done – while the world is watching.

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:44

    No wonder Lewis is a fan of the DRS thing. This is what he is looking for in his car according to that interview on

    I would like to have bigger tyres and more gadgets on the car so that it’s like a James Bond car: you press a button and oil comes out the back – that would be really cool. And it would help!

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 14th May 2011, 10:21

      Does he want Mario Kart now?

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th May 2011, 10:57

        No, James Bond ;)

        You know he’s probably not being all that serious?

        • dragon said on 14th May 2011, 11:21

          Are you kidding? You can just tell he longs for a blue spiked shell at every race to throw.
          To be honest, we all do. Things would get interesting, then. If you can’t beat ’em, shell ’em!

          • luigismen (@luigismen) said on 14th May 2011, 16:28

            It doesn´t have to be oil or a shell, a shiny little star will do, so he can glow in many colors and get pass a lot of cars to the front

  8. box this lap said on 14th May 2011, 7:50

    Strange isn’t it? I a short time the future of Massa is safe at Ferrari and Hülkenberg splits from his manager, I think it related to each other.

    Not that Nico has to go to Ferrari but maybe the plan was to put one of the Force India drivers in Massa’s place and Hülkenberg in the Force India seat on sunday, just an example. I guess I never know what happens behind the scenes but I’m curious!

    • bananarama said on 14th May 2011, 12:54

      I guess Ferrari would rather hire a good driver.
      (now – beat me :-P)

      Maybe if the Sutil incident gets out of hand and he can’t drive anymore, Hülkenberg steps in the car and destroys DiResta .. THEN I see a chance of Nico getting a good drive next year.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:53

    That piece in the indian Hindustan Times is interesting. If you read this

    There is simmering discontent, and if smooth passage from Gunpura village to the temple is not allowed, says Balak Das, the locals could revolt.

    it might well be we will see a protesting priest on track again! Or his holy cow.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th May 2011, 9:58

      Oh dear, if we use the “what could one disgruntled guy with a bottle do” criterium, the race in India should be cancelled too then.

      Soon we won’t have many races left.

    • bosyber said on 15th May 2011, 9:58

      Especially in combination with another piece from the publication that Adam Cooper tweeted about: (a) farmer still waiting for the compensation for taking his land to build the track – doesn’t seem like these Indian GP people are dealing well with, lets say, on the ground, feelings and doubts, or responsibilities. Taken together, that might make it quite eventful I guess.

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2011, 7:55

    Make a a nice of it Hyoko.

  11. Captain Sorbet (@captain-sorbet) said on 14th May 2011, 8:45

    Some highlights from the video:

    “Flat out past the casino” Yep, most definitely still flat out today.
    100 laps?!?!?! How long did that take?
    Standing starts for qualifying..?

  12. Lee said on 14th May 2011, 10:07

    i know this is slightly off topic, but given the ongoing discussion of the pirelli tyres does anyone know of whether there is still a plan to move to a lower profile tyre, as used in every other form of motorsport.

    When the tyre requirements for this season were being discussed and new companies bidding for the contract it was on the table however was never mentioned after pirelli for the job.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th May 2011, 11:01

      If Michelin ever come back, it’s understood it would be contingent on lower profile tyres. Keith did a good article about it last year but I wasn’t all that convinced it wouldn’t be for the sake of it (and to be “road relevant”).

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 14th May 2011, 20:52

        Wasn’t there also some mention of that being a potential part of the new regulations for 2013 when everything starts from scratch anyhow? I seem to remember that being discussed at least.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th May 2011, 23:51

          I think there was talk of delaying the 2013 rules by a year because Pirelli’s contract runs out then. Who said Pirelli was definitely going to leave, I’m not sure.

  13. schooner (@schooner) said on 14th May 2011, 11:22

    At around 7:40 in part one of the Monaco race series, a driver is shown leaving the pits with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. My, how times have changed!

  14. sato113 (@sato113) said on 14th May 2011, 12:12

    no question over Massa’s future: he’s out!

  15. ste said on 14th May 2011, 14:24

    Keith is there anywhere i gan get to know more about the anti drag shar sin material used on ferraris rear wing,i thougt the use of “exotic matireials” was agains t reg’s sorry for how do you fund this site in my opinion its the best imformative site on the net.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 14th May 2011, 20:57

      You should contact Scarbs either on his blog at or on twitter at @ScarbsF1 with that tech question. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about all the technical aspects of F1.

      I agree with you, Keith runs one of the best F1 sites hands down. You can donate to his cause through the donate link above, I have a couple times and it feels great!

  16. ste said on 14th May 2011, 14:26

    horriple spelling,there my bad :)

  17. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th May 2011, 17:50

    I only have experience of it through Forza Motorsport on the Xbox 360 nut Nordschleife is indeed brilliant. One of a kind.

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