Montezemolo criticises testing and aerodynamics rules

2011 F1 season

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2011

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2011

Luca di Montezemolo hit out at F1’s testing rules and dependence on aerodynamics in a press conference at Monza.

Montezemolo also pressed his point that smaller teams should be able to use cars supplied by the front-running teams.

He told the assembled media: “I still believe it is a good idea, as it was in the past and would be today, if the big teams could give a car to the smaller teams.

“It would certainly produce more competition and would provide an opportunity to run young drivers as well as representing a clear cost saving.

“The current Formula 1 is still too dependent on aerodynamics and cutting out testing during the season has put too much emphasis on simulation work.

“At the mid-point of the last decade, there was definitely too much testing, but now we have gone in the completely opposite direction.”

He played down questions about changes to the team following Ferrari’s performance this year, which has yielded a single win:

“As you know, I have for a long time supported the idea of dynamic stability, which means that while one can always change some pawns, the front line is covered and it?s working very well.

“In our current state, starting from the second and third rows is okay and we are in with a chance in the race tomorrow.”

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48 comments on Montezemolo criticises testing and aerodynamics rules

  1. Typical Montezemolo comments.

    I partially agree with third car idea(or should I call it customer car?). It would help not smaller team only but also good to chassis suppliers. Suppliers can save money and secure budget. I don’t know what he would say if Ferrari-customer teams outpace them although I think it would be 2nd tier chassis different from Ferrari themselves.

    I don’t know much about aero/mechanical controversy. Maybe we’d rather ban Newey in F1? :D

    in terms of testing, Well, It seems like we will have at least one in-season test next year, so it’s good though I want a couple of in-season tests is great.

    • After reading the first lines of what he said, I was really wondering if its something new or maybe a speech from last year or the year before that!

      Broken record Monti, let’s just hope we now get the Horse Whisperer doing some follow ups with less restrained language, to have a bit of fun with it!

    • I don’t know what he would say if Ferrari-customer teams outpace them although I think it would be 2nd tier chassis different from Ferrari themselves.

      Like in MotoGP where Ducati is slower than it’s customers

  2. Montezemolo is of course right about to much aerodynamics.
    What about letting the teams run a third car during free practice on Fridays. It would be a perfect opportunity to both do more testing and give new drivers a chance to get seat time and learn the tracks. As well as that there would be more action for the spectators to watch. There is of course the cost aspect of running a third car but if more testing is going to take place there would be a cost for this anyway. There could be an issue with to many cars on the track but with not all the cars running all the time anyway during free practice it would probably not be a big problem. Or if it should be, there could be a rule that the teams are not allowed more than two cars at the track at the same time.

    • It happened in 2004-2005-(2006??). That’s how Kubica and Vettel learn their way at BMW Sauber every friday of the season. Not sure why they dropped it. Maybe because of the costs?

  3. Paddy Irishman said on 10th September 2011, 17:37

    Would he be criticising aerodynamics if ferrari were winning? dont think so

    • So you are saying that the only people who are allowed to criticise a rule in F1 is red bull?

      Surely that would be pretty bias as they would, without a doubt, use it to strengthen their own position.

      • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 10th September 2011, 19:27

        He’s saying its just silly to criticize aerodynamics. The rules are the same for everyone, it’s just sour grapes.

        • themagicofspeed (@) said on 10th September 2011, 21:17

          it’s common sense to always push for things that will benefit your team. to not do it would be like to voluntarily putting a concrete block in your car, removing DRS & KERS, and driving slowly, letting everybody pass (basically driving like Felipe Massa).

          it has always happened, and always will – F1 is pretty much dog-eat-dog. naturally, Ferrari opposed the switch to V10’s in the 90s, and to V8s in 06, because they felt they would possibly be at a disadvantage.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 12th September 2011, 10:15

      Yes he would, Ferrari have always been about producing fast cars with fast engines and have always disliked aerodynamics.

      Enzo Ferrari: Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.

  4. I don’t like teams “selling” or “renting” smaller teams their cars. I prefer what most teams are doing right now, sharing engines, gearboxes, technology. Like Virgin-Mclaren next year for example. Besides it’d make all very suspicious…

    About the aerodynamic dependance of today’s F1, you can do nothing about it. It’s the way it is. Maybe in the future they’ll learn there’s something more important than aerodynamics and go that way. Raw power isn’t the main priority. Look at the Red Bulls on pole at Monza with their “underpowered Renault engines”.

    About testing, he’s right. They cured “too much testing” with “no testing at all”. That’s a massive 180 degrees turn. But it’s coming back anyway (or at least that’s what I heard…).

    • I agree, its fine for them to work together to help smaller outfits get things like gearboxes, hydraulics and the operations of their team working and share simulator time to give all the opportunity to get a good basis.

      But having customer cars was not a great way to go. Look at the Vettel win in the STR dubbed RBR car, only difference was that car had the (at that point) slightly better engine.

      • @BasCB what was bad about Vettel winning for STR using a Red Bull chassis? I am in complete agreement with Monti,apart from the wishful thinking about their program.

    • So Luca isn’t criticising testing, but the lack of it.

  5. Why do I think Montezemolo wouldn’t be saying this if Fernando was on pole with Massa right next to him on the front row?

    • you’re right, he wouldn’t be saying anything if it was that way but come on, for a sport that wants to provide a show its not too difficult to predict that the Red Bulls are going to be on the front row.
      Yes you have to hand it to the Red Bull team designing an astonishing car but at the end of the day, we don’t want to see the same team and man winning most of the races and practically wrapping up the title half way through the season.

  6. Dan Selby said on 10th September 2011, 18:05

    For once, I actually agree with him!

    Too much aero dependency. If we wern’t quite so aero dependent, we wouldn’t need DRS. Plus, i’ll hazard a guess that aero development is extremely expensive.

    Going back to Eddie Jordan’s argument of the new teams needing to push on, I think they’d stand a better chance with this car sharing idea. Giving the smaller teams a good chassis to start from will certainly help their quest, without being wasteful.

    I also loved the old Friday young driver sessions. Vettel abd Kubica were a pleasure to watch. This could certainly become a possibility if the testing rules are slightly more relaxed (as currently Fridays are purely testing sessions now).

    • Not true at all. We don’t need DRS now, the Pirelli tyres do enough to enable enough overtaking.

      Personally, I think the aero balance it ok these days (due to the 2009 rule changes). Once EBDs are banned next year things will be about right IMHO.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 10th September 2011, 22:42

        They do give us lots of overtaking, but not always ones of real worth. They may be more “legitimate” in the eyes of many F1 fans but often all we’re seeing is a guy who’s pitted getting past another guy who hasn’t. Sometimes we’re lucky and there’s a genuine contrary strategy at work e.g. China, Hungary) but apart from high-degradation anomalies like Turkey it’s just ensuring the “right” order – which I love, that’s how it should be instead of getting stuck behind a car 1s a lap slower. But when it comes to for-position passes between drivers on the same strategy, often it’s been DRS that’s got the job done (sometimes too well).

  7. Jonathan said on 10th September 2011, 18:06

    When Ferrari isn’t doing well, it’s always someone else’s fault. It’s either FIA’s rules, or someone’s “illegal” updates. It’s never Ferrari’s fault. This is why I stopped liking Ferrari, they are the sore losers of F1. It’s fine if you are not winning, but you are all grown ups so take responsibilities of your own mistakes.

  8. If small teams had a customer car from a top team it’d be fine, more competitiveness. If teams had three cars, I doubt one of them would be driven by a young driver, because when one of the team gets three experienced drivers to battle for the title more easily, the other teams will follow.

    • Haha… Customer cars would be terrible!

      F1 is great as it is. All the teams are quite competitive.

      I’m sorry Luca, Adrian is staying at Red Bull. Move on.

  9. The day that Ferrari will be beaten by smaller teams using –lets say– a Red Bull or McLaren chassis, I would love to hear what this guy have to say. But I guess it will be something like “this is the worst idea someone could have. This is killing the sport.”

  10. MuzzleFlash said on 10th September 2011, 18:47

    Monty complains of aerodynamic over-dependance, then uses the term ‘dynamic stability’, which usually refers to an aircraft’s tendancy or ability to dampen out short-period and Phugoid motions. Ho ho.

    I’m not sure what he means by it here though.

  11. The current Formula 1 is still too dependent on aerodynamics

    Typical Montezemolo and Ferrari – I’m sure he’d still be saying that if Newey had joined them.

  12. Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 10th September 2011, 20:27

    I do think that maybe the newer teams should be allowed on a 1 off basis to buy the designs to a current team’s current chassis (much like how STR were able to run the same chassis as RBR for a few years) but have to develop it from there on themselves…

    …it would give them the chance to make that jump to catch up with the other teams, without simply handing them a front-running car.

  13. JamesA10 said on 10th September 2011, 20:42

    I agree with him about the aerodynamics being the end all in F1 these days.

    I participated for my university in formula student this year and as an electronic engineer you quickly learn how restrictive everything in F1 is. The most changeable aspect of any car on the track is it’s aerodynamics. Yes there is mechanical dependance as well but even I was shocked as to how little there is in comparison with aero. In formula student, you are allowed to change quite a few parts as the “formula” isn’t so restricted but in F1 I think it’s ridiculous.

    I would much prefer if F1 went back to it’s roots of pushing the limits of technology in the hell bent pursuit of speed. Of course without a doubt driver safety would come first with no compromises. But these days, we rely on gimmics such as DRS to make it competitive. What happeneded to the minds behind the sport?? No more chassis built for absolute mechanical grip? No more tuned ecu’s raking the absolute last hp from every rev???

    Development in F1 has stagnated in my opinion and looking at it from a strictly engineering point of view it’s sad. F1 is suppose to be the pinnacle of motor sports but in our hearts, how many of us can truly say it is???

    • Agreed, I just read that all cars have to have the same amount of weight on the front wheels. While in principle I support the concept of taller drivers like Webber being disadvantaged as little as possible against smaller drivers like Vettel, surely the totality of the regulations make it impossible to come up with a breakthrough any where else but Aerodynamics

  14. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 10th September 2011, 22:47

    I agree with Monty that it’s too much about aero, aero is probably the least restricted part of F1 these days which seems absurd to me. But I do think if they were leading the field by half a second he wouldn’t be complaining (as much).

  15. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th September 2011, 2:40

    Luca your key people who helped you to clinch the WCT from 2000-2004 are leaving & most of them are joining together in another team which includes Brawn & Schumacher.

  16. Commendatore said on 11th September 2011, 5:49

    Enzo Ferrari: “Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” :)

  17. Daniel said on 11th September 2011, 6:24

    There are a lot of things wrong in these days F1.
    1. If you went off the track you should be punished (there should be no tarmac areas outside of the track), as Jackie Stewart said. I know it is about safety measures but come on, it makes F1 look silly.
    2. There’s too much electronics on the car. There should be no cornering assistance, and so on.
    3. Drivers and teams are playing chess rather than having fight (looking for tyres and other ********). Tyres handling should be the last thing in a pilot mind.
    4. Aerodynamics is too important. There’s lot of corners that were tricky to handle in the past but now they’re piece of cake.

  18. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th September 2011, 6:34

    I agree with him on testing but I can’t support his other ideas. The 12 teams in Formula 1 have got there through trial, error, hard work and expertise. It would he awful to not allow them to develop their own machine, let them have a true stab at F1 rather than a watered down version. The level of competition across the field at the moment is brilliant. It’s interesting to keep an eye on STR to see how they develop post-Newey designs.

    Of course it’s easy to criticise aero rules when you aren’t winning.

  19. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th September 2011, 6:35

    @Commendatore Aerodynamics are for people who want to win. Besides, the Mercedes engine is better than the Ferrari one anyway.

  20. Daniel said on 11th September 2011, 7:05

    Sorry Keith; I just missed that word.

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