Montezemolo’s ‘quit threat’ played down

2011 F1 season

Luca di Montezemolo, Gerhard Berger, Mugello, 2011

Luca di Montezemolo, Gerhard Berger, Mugello, 2011

Ferrari deny Luca di Montezemolo threatened to pull the team out of F1 if future rules changes are not to their liking.

The anonymous Horse Whisperer column on Ferrari’s website quoted Montezemolo saying “without Ferrari there is no Formula 1″ but denied this was a threat to leave the sport:

“Montezemolo?s observations were seen by some as a sort of ultimatum or even a threat to leave Formula 1, but the Whisperer can assure you that it was nothing of the kind.

“For starters, the words ‘leave’ or ‘ultimatum’ did not even feature in his pronouncement, but what really needs to be stressed is that Montezemolo spoke in a totally constructive fashion, which is usually the case with the president of a company that has always been in Formula 1 and who has the future well being of the greatest form of motorsport so close to his heart.

“Saying that ‘Formula 1 is still our life, but without Ferrari there is no Formula 1, just as without Formula 1 Ferrari would be different’ means that Maranello is working on the front line when it comes to drawing up plans for the immediate future of the sport.

“The criticisms and comments put forward yesterday are nothing new ?ǣ Montezemolo has aired them before. But they must be seen as a stimulus: it?s logical that a car constructor sees its involvement in Formula 1 as a test bench for technological research aimed at its products, while keeping in mind that keeping costs under control is a must and Maranello has always been at the forefront of this initiative.

“That?s why the number of testing days needs to be revised: not only because we are the only sporting discipline where athletes are strictly forbidden from training on their ‘pitch’ but also because the current restrictions make it impossible for youngsters to progress and experience driving for real rather than just in the virtual world of the simulator.

“And to those who think that cutting back on aerodynamics was done purely for Ferrari?s benefit, remember that taking into account Ferrari?s historic role, clearly it is right to want to think of Formula 1?s success as a sport: we don?t want to see missiles or rockets on the track; what we want is competition between cars.”

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34 comments on Montezemolo’s ‘quit threat’ played down

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th November 2011, 11:34

    Bah, what a non story.

    Why don’t they try to think about next year’s car instead of all this?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th November 2011, 12:56

      @fer-no65 Montezemolo’s stance on ‘three-car teams’ is not at all sincere.

      If he wants a three-car team so badly, why doesn’t he just enter the World Endurance Championship?

      As I said on Twitter earlier, this is not so much about having more cars for the top teams, as putting pressure on the smaller teams, getting rid of them, and increasing the pot available for Ferrari. It is the same cynical angle Montezemolo has been pushing since the moment the new teams came in.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th November 2011, 13:11

        @Keithcollantine I think he doesn’t enter the World Endurance Championship because, as I said earlier in the round-up, Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 needs them.

        I guess he pushes for his idea to be approved, because it’s better than just give up. At least he’s trying.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th November 2011, 17:27

        I think @keithcollantine, it might have been more of a message of showing he can bring solutions to quite a different crowd (political Italia) and staying in the headlines. Something Ferrari now has to iron out to save their negotiations with the other teams without looking to stupid about it.

        The rumours, that Berlusconi will step down in the next minutes, hours or days are still quite strong so maybe it was about that political ambition of Luca getting mixed in there.
        Although increasing the pot for Ferrari would be a very nice add on for Luca and the Ferrari team.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 8th November 2011, 7:43

        He just want an extra driver to help Fernando. Luca doesn’t see it like Britain, for him, a “team sport” must have a common and only goal, which is the one set by him and we all know it is to see Ferrari take WDC, the “D” being Fernando Alonso.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th November 2011, 11:36

    It’s a bit like Greece, really – yes, they are; then, no, they’re note; then, they’re back on again, and at the end of the day they chase their tail and nobody really udnerstand what the hell is going on.

  3. Yeah, this didn’t sound at all like a threat:

    If Formula 1 still wants Ferrari it must change and go back to being at the cutting edge of research, while always keeping an eye on costs.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th November 2011, 12:06

      That’s the thing about “The Horse Whisperer”, @aka_robyn – as Ferrari’s ‘unofficial’ voice, they can use it to say things that they cannot be seen to say in public. They no doubt support di Montezemolo’s comments, but they have to be seen to be backing away from them. So they use “The Horse Whisperer” to agree with him without appearing to do so.

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 7th November 2011, 11:56

    Well done Ferrari’s marketing department, the team has got into the spotlight for a couple of days. It’s definitely easier to create headlines this way than by beating Red Bull and McLaren on the track.

  5. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 7th November 2011, 12:09

    People are acting like Ferrari are randomly releasing statements. It’s just been the Ferrari World Finals, a long standing tradition. If Ferrari didn’t say anything then fans – myself included – would be disappointed.

    This is a great example of the press selectively choosing a couple of standard quotes and running with them on a slow news day. No big deal.

  6. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 7th November 2011, 12:17

    But isn’t the Horse Whisperer LDM himself? How very odd.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th November 2011, 12:54

      @Journeyer I wonder if it’s Luca Colajanni. Would make sense for this and the edict forbidding Massa and Alonso from using Twitter to come from the same hand. The same excessively wary and defensive approach to PR.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th November 2011, 17:30

        It might be that in the past it has been Luca di Montezemelo himself, but now Clajanni haven taken over the blog as Monti gets himself a bit further from day to day running.

        That would explain why it went from really aggressively hilarious for its hyperbole to a bit of a weird thing without the snap of what it was last year.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 8th November 2011, 17:26

        @keithcollantine Have they ever given a reason as to why Fernando and Felipe aren’t allowed on Twitter? I’d love to see them on there. It seems quite ridiculous in this day and age when every other team is actually making an effort with PR now. That’s basically my only problem with Ferrari.

  7. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 7th November 2011, 12:25

    “while keeping in mind that keeping costs under control is a must and Maranello has always been at the forefront of this initiative.”

    I don’t believe that for one second.

  8. Randy (@randy) said on 7th November 2011, 12:41

    I think it goes both ways, Luca should remember that without Formula 1 there is no Ferrari as well, so no worries then.

    • Ashwin Raja (@ashwinraja8-2) said on 7th November 2011, 12:51

      Not really. Ferrari are perhaps the most famous and recognized roadcar manufacturers in the world. But yeah, I see your point.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th November 2011, 12:52

      Neither statement is true.

      F1 would continue without Ferrari. Its popularity would certainly suffer, mainly in Italy but also in other countries. But it would continue.

      And if Ferrari were no longer in F1 they would still continue to sell their glorious sports cars.

      • Randy (@randy) said on 7th November 2011, 14:23

        I think my statement stays. Ferrari base their marketing, development and pedigree on having F1 team, their modern cars are marketed as being full of F1 technology, so if there would be no SFM to supply all this, they would be just another sports cars.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 7th November 2011, 13:34

    Nowadays I never care about his speech.Pointless.

  10. Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th November 2011, 14:58

    Without Ferrari there is no Formula 1

    That’s true, but if I were Montezemolo I wouldn’t go around telling everyone all the time. He just gets on my nerves as he thinks he’s the non plus ultra. Formula 1 wouldn’t be the same without McLaren or Williams as well, but I’ve never heard them say it.
    Especially as he’s the only one in the team who says so. Domenicali at least is more realistic and accepts their current situation as a top team, but not the best, something which Montezemolo doesn’t want to.

  11. daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 7th November 2011, 20:37

    do us all a favour and leave u won 6 championships in the 2000 s how long did u go without 20 odd years avnt won it since 07 best team in f1 give me a break

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 8th November 2011, 8:28

      @daniel Why would they leave? Whilst not being the ‘lifeblood’ of F1, Ferrari are still the most successful team of all time (in terms of championships, not win ratios, for all you Red Bull/Brawn fans)

      If you think they are gonna leave on the basis that they’ve won a few championships, then that goes completely against all sport psychology. Would Man City leave the premiership? Would Spain stop playing international football? Would New Zealand stop playing international rugby simply because they’ve won a few titles?

  12. Montezemolo’s game is like a beautiful girl with an old rich man. This Ferrari girl knows she can get what she wants by pulling a little, then pulling more and more and finally a lot! But imagine one day the old rich man is fed up with her threats and says: “OK, get the F(1)*** out of here!” And this girl would say “I was just joking”…. because Ferrari will NEVER EVER get out of F1… there’s too much (money, prestige, power) involved on it

  13. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th November 2011, 0:04

    Personally I am sympathetic to his desire for more mechanical development and research which can be transferred to their roadcars and also to more testing, not testing saves nothing if they have to manufacture enough new wings for a race weekend before they can try them out. The big manufacturers will always have an advantage over the smaller teams but making the cars near-identical will defeat the whole point of F1, making better race cars is what separates F1 from the rest.

  14. tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 8th November 2011, 1:54

    At the rate the italian economy is slumping Ferrari had better be keeping an eye on Fiat’s bottom line and the rest of their economy. They might not have enough money to feed themselves let alone build competitive cars next year.
    As a matter of fact, Italy could easily default by this time next year and there is not enough money in Europe to bail them out. What a mess that could be.

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