Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2012

Montezemolo says F1 races should be shorter

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2012In the round-up: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo wants shorter F1 races which start later in the day.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Shorten F1 races – Di Montezemolo (BBC)

“How long is the race, an hour and a half? Maybe this is too long for young people. Maybe I’m wrong but we have to look at how we can improve the show.”

Montezemolo suggests shorter and later F1 races (Reuters)

“I don’t think it’s good to race in July and August at two o’clock in the afternoon, when the people are at the sea and on vacation. If you look at a sport like soccer, they play six o’clock, seven o’clock, eight o’clock.”

Vettel rules out Monza victory bid (Autosport)

“I think it will be a pretty difficult race. In terms of strategy I think everyone is looking at the same thing. Therefore it is difficult to do something, or try something different.”

Alonso: Fault cost me ‘easiest pole’ (Sky)

“It’s a shame because it was the easiest pole position for us. We did a [one minute] 24.1 in Q2 with an easy lap and looking at it they [McLaren] did 24.0 in Q3.”

Button’s manager to look after Di Resta (The Telegraph)

“[Richard] Goddard, who takes care of Button’s financial affairs and will perform a similar role for di Resta, added that the Scottish driver was ‘a serious talent and a star of the future’.”

Ferrari F2012 – revised front wing (F1)

“In Italy Ferrari are again using the new front wing introduced at Spa, different in all its components and not – as one might expect for Monza – simply a standard wing with the upper flaps removed to reduce the downforce level.”

Sir Jackie Stewart believes Lewis Hamilton should spurn Mercedes (The Guardian)

“I personally would have stayed with McLaren. They have the resources and the money. They have the commitment and also have huge experience. He would not be here today without McLaren, so there is a degree of loyalty that I think you should always have.”


Comment of the day

After all the slipstreaming we saw in qualifying, could McLaren be planning more of the same for the race?

I’d like to see that – a positive example of teamwork, which has gained a negative reputation in F1 with team-mates in front being moved over, lapped cars holding up leaders and so on.

It’s a good old oval racing tactic – two team mates were putting it to good use to pull out a gap near the end of this year’s Indy 500 (Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon). That’s proper drafting, though – not the artificial DRS kind, but no doubt they did it at Monza too, back in the day.

The McLaren drivers are skilful enough to make it work – even if Hamilton’s recent actions out of the car have suggested he’s not the sharpest tool in the box, once the visor’s down he’s been impressive this year (I’m thinking of his tyre conservation).

From the forum

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On this day in F1

F1 returned to a remodelled Spa-Francorchamps for the 2007 Belgian Grand Prix, five years ago today. Kimi Raikkonen led home team mate Felipe Massa for a Ferrari one-two.

As ever there was no love lost between the McLaren team mates who vigorously disputed third place at the start. Fernando Alonso came out on top, Lewis Hamilton accepting fourth.

Off the track, McLaren had been stung by the FIA’s verdict in the Ferrari spying row, which excluded them from the constructors’ championship and fined them $100m.

87 comments on “Montezemolo says F1 races should be shorter”

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  1. I think the races should actually be earlier in the day… Then again I live on the US East Coast and I usually am up til 5am(ish) so I think the races should be moved earlier so I can watch them at all starting at like 2am.


  2. Luca has forgotten the hundreds of thousands of fans of WEC, and Le Mans. They have much more road-relevant technologies, hybrids, diesels, cockpits and cost much less money
    I stayed awake for around 30 hours to watch this year’s race at La Sarthe this year. It’s a highlight of my year going there every year. People wanting shorter races can watch GP2 (which I also watch) but I think F1 should be the ultimate challenge of (wo)man and machine, so having short races would ruin it

  3. I don’t agree with Stewart. I think a new atmosphere for Hamilton would be better for him, a place where he does not know everybody from age 11 or 12, and thus will be treated not like a boy, but as a man who is responsible for his own actions. I think if he goes to Mercedes, he can really exhibit his ability to outperform a poor-performing car.

    1. yeah, i agree, it is time for him to move and grow. And in a Mercedes we will really see if Rosberg is good or not (i think not really). Hamilton winning in a merc will make him a superstar. What has he to proove in McLaren ? Button move was very dangerous and brave, he matched Hamilton, he worked hard and up his game, they are quite even. Should Ham win, the credit will go mostly to the car. The best for Hamilton is to defy Alonso in the Ferrari or make Merc a winning car and then we will see the truth.

  4. A friend saw the McLaren tweet and asked me how come Ferrari, holder of most of the Formula One records, have less one-two finishes than both McLaren and Williams. I’m not sure(would be great if someone confirmed it) but I think it is because Ferrari’s dominance era came during the refuelling era and it was their tendency to fuel up Michael and Rubens slightly higher than the other guys which is why they lost out in qualifying to the likes of Montoya and Coulthard, but come raceday they were almost always so fast that they were able to leapfrog the pretenders by pitting further into the race.

  5. Where is the appeal of a Formula 1 race that is no longer than a GP2 race?

    1. davidnotcoulthard
      9th September 2012, 12:33

      In our dreams, I’m afraid.

  6. Chavball lasts 90 minutes. F1 should have 3hr races. Next to improve the show will be reality tv shows based on a few of the top teams and they will take up 10 times the tv time of the races (5 times on bbc)

  7. “I personally would have stayed with McLaren. They have the resources and the money. They have the commitment and also have huge experience. He would not be here today without McLaren, so there is a degree of loyalty that I think you should always have.”

    Very strange comments from Sir Jackie here – I understand perfectly what he’s saying, but I find the use of the words “would have” to be a bizarre choice. Does he think Hamilton has already parted ways with McLaren? And if so, why isn’t he criticising Hamilton for jumping ship with no real idea of where he will land?

  8. BBC coverage must be ahead of its time! No wonder they quoted Luca Montezemolo saying that. They have a highlights show, perfect for young people with short attention spans. And we have to wait till late afternoon to see it, and elsewhere in the interview he says:

    “I don’t think it’s good to race in July and August at 2pm when the people are in the sea or on vacation,” he said. “Soccer plays at 6, 7, 8 o’clock.”

    (Kind of agree with him on this, I’ve never much liked 1 or 2pm as a start time.)

    Maybe he thinks it’s the right thing to say in Italy – doesn’t the Sky Italia pay-TV deal start next year?(with half the races, similar to Britain)

    1. Maybe he thinks it’s the right thing to say in Italy

      You’re only working this out now?

      Luca doesn’t really care for what the right thing for the rest of the world is. Italy is his only concern.

  9. Perhaps Hamilton was not all out with a 24.0 either knowing he only really had Alonso as an adversary. (Both were more or less quicker than Button and Massa come Q.)

  10. Race lenght is fine, but it also depends what happens – more importantly what we get to see from what happens! First they need to fix the regie.

    Timing to me is not important, I record lots of races anyway.

  11. Mitch Evans has just won the GP3 championship. I’ll be very interested to see what happens to his career next, seeing as how he is Mark Webber’s protege (the ‘MW’ in ‘MW Arden’ stands for ‘Mark Webber’), but he’s not a member of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme – and title rival Antonio Felix da Costa is. I’d expect da Costa to become a test driver for Toro Rosso next year, or maybe even get placed somewhere like HRT, but I have no idea what might happen with Evans.

    It will be interesting to watch, because I think there was a lot of talent in this year’s GP3 field. I reckon that (at the very least) Evans, da Costa, Ellinas and (in a few years – he’s only sixteen) Visoiu all have what it takes to succeed in Formula 1. Abt and Vainio both look pretty good, top.

  12. The length of the race is fine as it is. However, here is another good article with Montezemolo hitting out on costs and introduction of V6 engines. He makes a good point and i must say I agree with him.

    1. I don’t get the reluctance to Ferrari and the V6, I would have thought it would be great for them to release another Dino model!?

      1. Well, I’m sure that Ferrari can afford it, and they will. But you can not deny that in the grand scheme of things, it was/is completely unnecessary to introduce engine changes. Especially at the time when cost cutting is critical.

  13. I don’t agree with Luca. The race length is fine, they are at least an hour less in time then in the 50s/60s.

    But when to put the race on. No way can the race be later, that would marginalise lots of the world and f1 supports and make it compete against the prime time TV shows and loose a lot of casual viewers. F1 being shown at current isn’t perfect, but it is possibly the best window for everyone. And I like 1 o’clock race starts, I have the TV to myself and no worries about interruptions. And it misses “most” Sunday football start times.

  14. Official news just in…

    Montezemolo wants every car to have the same bodywork so there is no areo advantage for those teams who are creative and imaginative,

    he wants all the races to be at night in july and august (I didn’t even know F1 raced in august, I must have missed thoese ones) so he can sun him self on the beach without missing the action… Perhaps it would be far easier for hime to move to the uk where half the races already take place in the evening

    he would also like shorter races, presumably for teams like his who can’t manage to build a car reliable enought to last FP and quali and a whole race

    And finally he wants to use F1 to develop his road cars – but he”‘s not interested in fuel ecconomy, aero efficiancy, weight reduction, reliability or increasing safety because that is what F1 is already about – so what on earth is he wants to do??? – Re-invent traction and stability control??? Add rocket boosters and fly???

    Any other suggestions???

    This guy has LOST THE PLOT! I feel sorry for ferrari fans world-wide,

    1. Not sure if Sarcasm or being Serious however you for the most part described Indycar and there has been a lot of talk over the past few weeks of Dodge (FIAT) getting into that series for 2013.

    2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      9th September 2012, 11:47

      “Perhaps it would be far easier for hime to move to the uk where half the races already take place in the evening”

      and there is no sun to worry about tanning. ;)

    3. I was very tempted to post a similar comment, attacking all his rubbish points but you’ve done a good enough job :D

      1. In all fairness, I don’t think “all” of his points are rubbish. However, he does express them in a rather blunt way.

  15. You have to think about the potential irony in this too. Had Ferrari been dominating the season to this point and somebody from McLaren or Mercedes or any other constructor said the same thing about the sport then Montezemolo would say they were crazy and it should stay as it is.

    1. Of course – Luca has always been like Flavio Briatore in that he believes the sport is only ever perfect when his team is dominating, but when they are losing, the sport is in dire trouble and only immediately acting upon their wisdom can save it.

  16. There is no pleasing LdM, is there? What a clown.

    Shorter races? Is he crazy? F1 at the best of times is paranoid about it’s image and how it’s perceived but on the global stage that is probably a healthy level of paranoia to have, but this guy just takes it too far. The fans will always tune in because they are fans of the sport! Don’t treat the fans like fickle idiots. The sun is blazing down outside today, there’s probably some lovely sunny places I could go but I choose to stay inside and watch the TV because I love this sport and I don’t need fools like him trying to trivialise me as a fan. F1 won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine, kids will tune in if they like and remain tuned in. How does having two races help? If anything, that takes up two days of your weekend, rather than just one at present.

    Races can’t be run at vastly different times because the sport has to appeal to a global audience. Football is broadcast early Sunday afternoons in the UK but you don’t see the Premier League getting itself in a mess over that.

    Put some faith in the existing fans, Luca. The ‘show’ is fine. F1 won’t always be the most exciting thing in the world, we have our share of dull races but at least it’s honest.

    1. Don’t you think it would be just the thing F1 needed then @andrew? Make the saturday a test day, with no meaning at all for the race, and with no room for any support races off course. And then have a 30 minute F1 race from 4 PM and another 40 minute one from 6PM to give the fans value for money?

      Sure, they would probably be paying even more for it then now, but who cares about people in the grandstands, eh?

      I really fail to see the reasoning from LdM, apart from the fact he met Bernie and Todt before this weekend and now puts some soundbytes out for some kind of backroom dealing going on.

      1. @andrewtanner – really adding value for the people paying great amounts to be at the race track eh!
        And even more time for reruns of DiResta in a helicopter with Brundle on Sky

        1. @BasCB If they’re going to do that they may as well introduce Bernie’s sprinkler system! :D

          1. Oh, god please no! they might go with those overtaking shortcuts then as well, Bernie would tell the world how it works perfectly for the Mariokart like F1 game, so why not introduce it in reality @andrewtanner!

  17. You might get a few younger people involved if you split the race in 2 and shorten them but you’d lose a lot of fans as well.
    You’d probably end up swapping some long time fans who go to races for a few kids who aren’t really that bothered. I’d certainly lose interest.
    You need to give races time to develop and the current race length does this.

    1. I think the only thing holding back the popularity of f1 is the RUBBISH race footage put out by FOM, if they got a better production team and didn’t save the best bits for their end of season highlights DVD I’m sure there would be loads more exciting footage/camera angles they could show

      I’m sure that would make the younger audiance more interested than having shorter races

  18. Have we really become a species that can’t keep their attention on something for 90mins? Personally i think if you’re going to keep sanitising F1 and making it as safe as trip up the M1 then it’ll have to become about endurance. 3 hours would be a sufficient test of car and driver in the modern, safety obsessed Formula one.

  19. “Txizzle says Montezemolo should stop having opinions about everything involved in the sport.”

  20. Interview with Robert Kubica (polish) on youtube
    He looks good and fit there. Seems he has realized it will take a long while to get back to full fitness, but racing some Rally cars in the mean while will keep him race fit!

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