Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Korea, 2012

Montezemolo denies reports Vettel will join Ferrari

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Korea, 2012Luca di Montezemolo has played down the prospect of Sebastian Vettel joining Ferrari in 2014, saying he doesn’t want “two roosters” at the team.

“Today the problem is not with drivers,” Montezemolo told Italian radio station Rai.

“2013 is still to come but I don’t want to have two roosters in the same hen house, rather two drivers who race for Ferrari and not for themselves.

“I don’t want problems and rivalries, which we didn’t have between Schumacher and Irvine, between Schumacher and Barrichello, between Alonso and Massa or Massa and Schumi or Massa and Raikkonen.”

Montezemolo also denied claims his team would poach Red Bull’s star chief technical officer Adrian Newey: “I can say that he is very good at his job but we also managed to win eight constructors’ titles in the last 13 championships without him: I have huge faith in our own engineers.”

Korea saw Ferrari move up to second in the constructors’ championship but Fernando Alonso lost the lead of the drivers’ championship to Vettel. Montezemolo said improving the team’s performance on Saturdays is key to their chances in the final races:

“We are a few tenths off the pace of the best, above all in qualifying. We must try to have a front-row car because otherwise, starting further back, it makes life much harder and you are at greater risk of getting caught up in accidents. To have a quicker car we must work day and night in a methodical and determined fashion.”

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142 comments on “Montezemolo denies reports Vettel will join Ferrari”

  1. I like to imagine that the discussions between Luca and Vettel went a little like this:

    [Vettel] “Bene, Don di Montezemolo. I need a man who has powerful friends. I need a million dollars in cash. I need, Don di Montezemolo, all of those FIA officials that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes.”

    [Luca] “What is the interest for my family?”

    “Thirty percent. In the first year your end should be three, four million dollars. And then it would go up.”

    “And what is the interest for the Mateschitz family?”

    “My compliments. I’ll take care of the Mateschitzes, out of my share.”

    “So, I am to receive thirty percent for finance, for legal protection and political influence. Is that what you’re telling me?”

    “That’s right.”

    “Why come to me? What have I done to deserve such generosity?”

    “If you consider a million dollars in cash merely finance …”

    “I said that I would see you because I had heard that you were a serious man, to be treated with respect. But I must say no to you and let me give you my reasons. It’s true I have a lot of friends in the FIA, but they wouldn’t be so friendly if they knew my business was energy drinks instead of racing which they consider a harmless vice. But energy drinks, that’s a dirty business. ”

    “No, Don di Montezemolo …”

    “It makes no difference, it don’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand. But your business is a little dangerous.”

    “If you’re worried about security for your million, the Tattaglias will guarantee it.”

    [Domenicali] “Whoa, now, you’re telling me that the Mateschitzes guarantee our investment without …?”

    [Luca] “Wait a minute. I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen. Anyway, Signor Vettel, my no to you is final. I want to congratulate you on your new business and I’m sure you’ll do very well and good luck to you. Especially since your interests don’t conflict with mine. Thank you.

    “Stefano, come here. What’s the matter with you? I think your brain is going soft with all that comedy you are playing with that young girl. Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking again. Go on.”

    1. wow man! Did you grunt too hard when you visited the John?? ;-P

      1. It’s a reference to The Godfather, of course.

    2. attribution please. Although we know.

  2. I believe that one more indication that Vettel might have a future agreement with Ferrari is the fact that Mercedes have now signed Hamilton for what is more than one year. Mercedes are a German team and so far they have also tried to present themselves as such. It has often been said that Vettel would be the logical choice for them in the future. If they have refused of that thought for now, then it’s possibly because they believe that Vettel is already booked.

  3. This is LdM basically saying that his outfit isn’t professional enough to manage two employees?

    I’m sorry but that’s a poor situation if he thinks that would be the case. In all likelihood theyt may come across driver related difficulties, but to not even be willing to give it a go is not a good reflection on the most famous and successful team in the sport.

    1. Why would the most successful team in the sport change the policy which has enabled them to become the most successful team in the sport?

      1. Historically they are the best team in the sport, but not because of their current driver policy.

        1. Their driver policy has been instrumental in building the success they’ve had over the past couple of decades, and arguably long before then. In fact, their driver policy is more open than it ever has been; Rubens Barichello had it written into his contract that he was the number two driver and that he wouldn’t get some of the updates etc that Schumacher received.

          Their policy is a great one from a championship point of view; you have one fantastic driver who is the de-facto number 1, who will be able to challenge consistently for victories. Then you have a second driver who is solid and reliable. Not so quick as to cause any friction with the number 1, but fast enough to deliver regular ‘runner up’ points.

          It’s actually the exact situation which Red Bull have at the moment, and looks likely to give them a third (and most likely fourth) consecutive constructors’ title.

          Compare that to McLaren who arguably lost out on securing the WDC in 2007 because they were unwilling to commit to one driver being given the perks. Ironically, to Ferrari!

      2. @mazachris I think with the quality of drivers available these days that the game has somewhat changed. Plus, they haven’t won anything in 5 years (assuming Vettel bags it this year) so perhaps a change in policy might be healthy for them?

    2. @andrewtanner well it’s a poor but nobody succeeded in that problem. You should know a team called Mclaren…even though I respect they at least tried.

      1. Define ‘success.’ I don’t consider the MS/Ferrari numbers compilation true ‘success.’ It was an unprecedented selling out to end the WDC drought at Ferrari and compile numbers once the last purebred racer of a generation, Senna, was gone and a new chapter in F1 created by contracts to guarantee it, as opposed to letting the chips fall where they may.

        To me, success in F1 is having the guts and the respect for the viewing audience to feel the responsibility to put two gladiators in top level cars and let them duke it out on the track fair and square, and win the WDC and the WCC that way, rather than shade the one driver from as much of the sport of it as possible and try to pass it off as honourable and as true racing in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing.

        And where do you draw the line toward achieving success then? I just don’t believe that the ends justify the means. Would it have been all right with any of you then that MS whack at least one challenger per race off the track for his ‘success?’ Would it have been all right if Ferrari not only paid off MS’s subservients, but also some other lesser drivers on the grid to not compete against MS? Would that have also been a way to ‘success’ for MS and Ferrari? Would a successful F1 series involve 12 designated number ones with 12 contracted subservients to not compete against them?

        Ferrari only ‘succeeded’ in the MS era because no other team had it within them to sell out to the degree that Max and Bernie helped them to do. Thank goodness. But unfortunately it did leave an apples to oranges comparison between MS and all other drivers and hence the numbers compilation. But I honour the other teams for not following suit, and instead respecting the audience and the very sport of it and the spirit of it…even if they lose that way I can honour them for their journey as opposed to the ‘winners’ that were the sellouts.

        Guess it’s obvious they sure didn’t win me over with their philosophy, eh?

        1. What I meant success means nobody has been able to deal real top driver at same team, @robbie. I understand you want to see sort of thing but also you should admit their philosophy is quite logical. It you don’t like logical, mathmetical approach, that’s your freedom. But it doesn’t mean the philosophy is wrong.

          1. Yup it’s a logical, mathematical approach that has nothing to do with sport and sportsmanship nor fairness to the paying audience without which F1 would not exist. The philosophy is not wrong in business, but in sport, it is. Thank goodness most teams before MS/Ferrari and since haven’t bowed down to logic. Logically then, are you expecting all teams to have a contracted number one and number two from race one of each season in F1…perhaps in all forms of racing then? Half the grid trying to get out of the way or interfere with the other half? Tag-team racing? Or is it only ‘logical’ when you are the only team doing it to a great extreme, which allowed for great numbers compilation in an apples to oranges comparison, which in hindsight makes it look logical? If it is so logical, ask yourself why didn’t all the teams start doing it the MS/Ferrari way starting in 96? Answer…because thankfully most team members would not be able to sleep at night taking the sport out of the sport and letting the business side dominate 100%. Even though it would be logical.

            Logically, all Lance Armstrong was doing was trying to win 7 Tour de Frances. Does he still have them today? Did the ends justify the means?

          2. @robbie Lance Armstrong? Come on…

        2. Top drivers, I supposed to say.

        3. I honestly find this kind of attitude absolutely baffling. There’s nothing unsporting about using team tactics to achieve success. In fact, it’s surely one of the most important aspects of sport. The fact that not every team shares the same philosophy means that there is no definite tactic guaranteed to achieve success, however you would be hard pressed to argue against it in the case of Ferrari. It has won them more drivers’ and constructors’ championships than anyone else.

          I literally cannot comprehend why anyone would think that using effective teamwork, and structuring your team in such a way as to give your team the best chance of winning, would ever be considered unsporting. Any more than I could ever get my head around the frankly idiotic notion that it’s somehow undesirable for a team to use their resources to produce a good car, or that it takes away from the success it generates.

          To me, these odd ideas seem to suggest a slight misunderstanding of what F1 is all about; it’s not a sport where every competitor has an equal opportunity to win on their own merit. It’s a sport where teams compete to produce the fastest cars, and to put together a team which is stronger than any other team. This includes the drivers, who are simply members of that team, and are beneficiaries of the success that having a well-structured team will generate.

          I’m sure someone is likely to respond to this with the usual “ah ha HA! BUT what you’re forgetting is that there is a DRIVERS’ championship, not just a CONSTRUCTORS’ championship, so you are WRONG!”. Well, no, this is still not looking at the sport for what it is. People wrongly interpret this to mean that there is a team championship and an individual championship. This is not the case; the performance of an individual driver is not measured objectively in the WDC. A driver can only win the WDC if they have a car capable of winning races, and a team capable of ensuring that the car reliably finishes those races. A driver in a midfield car may brive incredibly in every single race, but their own performance is not what it measured in the WDC.

          The WDC therefor is still a measure of the success of the team rather than the individual, but looking at the results from one car rather than the combination of the two. The winner of the WDC generally being the driver of the car which wins the most races throughout the year. That being the case, the most logical approach is for the team to ensure that the same car out of the two is the one which consistently wins races. Then, in order to win the WCC, they should also ensure than the other car finishes as high up the order as possible to get the greatest possible points haul from the two cars. The best way of achieving these two goals is to do precisely what Ferrari do – have one car with the star driver, and the other car driven by someone who will do a solid job but not trouble the lead driver or beat him regularly. You also need to develop a car which is capable of winning races, and the drivers themselves are a part of that. Again, the most effective way of doing this with the Ferrari policy is to develop the car around the requirements of the lead driver, who will also play a key role in the development process. In this respect, you need to see the lead driver as being instrumental in the success which is generated for him.

          The main problem with using this approach is that it makes the team very dependent on the lead driver. If he’s unable to compete for some reason, then the second driver is unlikely to be good enough to take their place, and the team environment will make it very difficult for someone else to take his place. This is one of the reasons why other teams choose not to use this structure. But again, it’s entirely at the discretion of the team. Ultimately, you have a paddock full of teams who all have exactly the same goals (securing both championships) but their own philosophy on the best way of achieving those goals.

          Unfortunately, because there are countless other factors at work, it’s almost impossible to objectively compare each approach and determine which is best. But to try and say that one is unfair or unsporting is nonsense. Every team is free to decide which method they wish to use. One thing I will say, though, is that when the most successful team on the grid says this is the best way of doing things, it’s very difficult to argue with them.

          1. And again…defining success such as you do is to say do whatever it takes to win…win at all costs, including your own integrity…but then ask yourself why no other teams have gone to the extremes MS/Ferrari did? Answer, and what you are leaving out…the sporting aspect of it…the true rivalry between two gladiators on a top team that should be thrilling us and having us talk about it for decades. The only thing we think of when we think of Austria 02 is what a sham it was when RB let MS go with metres to go, and how they got fined for embarassing F1. If thats the F1 you want to see, knock yourself out. I don’t.

            It’s hard to argue with the numbers that MS/Ferrari achieved, but to call them the most successful team for doing it the cheap and easy way, the sellout way, is just simply not my cup of tea. You are right that every team is free to decide which method they wish to use…thank goodness most teams don’t go the MS/Ferrari way, and I’m free to be right in there with them.

          2. Actually, as I read your post further I think it is you that has the odd idea and the slight misunderstanding of how F1 works, because it has been by far the exception rather than the rule that teams go the MS/Ferrari way (read ‘your’ way). It is far more logical to have two gladiators in a sport thrilling the paying audience, rather than have the audience sit there knowing what the result will be between two drivers on a team before they have even turned a wheel. There is more logic to having the two best drivers one can get, to advance the car in the most quick and efficient manner, and to push each other to do better and better. Nothing prevents a team from using their resources and producing a good car that way. That has certainly been a far more talked about philosophy throughout the years than the scenario you so prize. And your scenario depends on no one else doing it…ie. no one else hangs one driver out to dry from race one of a season, and if they all did it, the face of F1 would look totally different, and I shudder to think what a joke it would be. Every race would end like Austria 02. And I think that would be the end of F1.

          3. You misunderstand. The ideal is not to have one driver ‘hung out to dry, but rather have a second driver whose natural abilities make him generally slower than the lead driver, but still solid enough to score good points week in week out. This is less important in the midfield, but for the teams who might regularly want to be winning championships, it makes perfect sense, and is the norm. In fact, look at McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari, and each of them clearly have one star driver who is the one most likely to win a championship, and a second driver who is very talented but unlikely to disrupt things too much by regularly beating the lead driver.

            As for your romantic notion about teams spurning ultimate performance for the sake of sporting integrity, I have to say it’s an absolute fantasy. Look at McLaren with their spying and their lying scandals. Look at the history of Lotus – under the guise of Renault they actually told one of their drivers to deliberately crash. While Alonso was winning championships with them, they had a very clear number one and number two, and certainly more so than you see even from Ferrari now. In the guise of Bennetton they ran banned electronic driver aids which helped Schumacher to his first championship. Toro Rosso exploited a situation with the rules changing to allow their cars to run much more powerful V10 engines than the V8s being used by the top teams. They were also effectively allowed to run a customer red bull chassis despite it being against Concorde. Even McLaren, who claim to give their drivers complete freedom to race each other, have regularly told one driver not to attack the other, particularly in the closing stages of GPs. Just ask David Coulthard his opinion on whether or not McLaren use team orders..

            Of course nobody wants to see teams swapping driver positions from the first round. But then if people are having to do that, they’ve not structured the team correctly. The point is not to have a second driver who is beating the main driver regularly enough to need to move over. Get the blend right and your results will come rolling in, with you hardly ever having to call on team orders. This has worked to pretty devastating effect for Red Bull for the past few years!

            The thing you’re getting wrong though is in saying that the success which Ferrari had with Schumacher was cheap and easy. Understand that the almost unlimited budget you have to have in order to operate multiple F1 cars running through virtually every hour of daylight for the entire season on your own personal test track, while trying out literally hundreds of revisions of things like wings and turning veins, is one of the most expensive venture ever undertaken in sport. That’s the thing which underpins Ferrari’s success, more than any kind of driver tactics; a relentless development programme which had cars pounding around Fiorrano almost every day, and full scale models being used in wind tunnels. The development of those cars was something that the teams of today can only dream of. Hundreds of millions spent designing new wings, tuning engines, working indefatigably with Bridgestone to develop tyres which make the Pirrellis of today look like budget spec ditchfinders by comparrison. Tens of engines used for a single car over a single GP weekend. That’s what Ferrari were doing in the 90s and 00s to ensure that they were at the front, and even then they were far from unbeatable.

            No, what Ferrari achieved was about as far from cheap and easy as you could possibly imagine.

          4. Drop Valencia!
            15th October 2012, 23:16

            Agree, it is like alot of F1 fans do not understand the term “Team”, or they think that MS or FA was made team leader because he had more luck than RB or FM. Just like in cycling,, where you have a team of riders that tow the lead rider for most of the event, you maximise your performance in F1 if you concentrate on a leader, simple.

          5. @robbie
            ” why no other teams have gone to the extremes MS/Ferrari did”
            Red Bull/Vettel–> 2010-2011 (maybe 2012)

            All this victory are based in the same configuration:
            – nr one driver
            – nr two driver
            Or you believe that fisichella and webber had chances to win WDC.
            One team try to make another configuration in 2007 result : FAILED

          6. @mazdachris …”In fact, look at McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari, and each of them clearly have one star driver who is the one most likely to win a championship, and a second driver who is very talented but unlikely to disrupt things too much by regularly beating the lead driver.” I actually liked how the WDC Button disrupted things for the WDC Hamilton at Mac last year.

            And there’s the rub…I do not accept that in the pinnacle of racing the paying audience is there to see a driver not ‘disrupt things’. I thought this was racing, not tag-team racing. And again, I think you would change your tune if all teams did not have inter-team competition. I think you would be sorely disappointed in how races would look. You like this way because you like MS and like to defend his numbers, and they were achieved because nobody else was immoral enough to screw the paying audience to the degree MS/Ferrari did, but I think they were ill gotten and he was given a golden path to those numbers moreso than any other driver in the history of F1.

            You have misunderstood what I mean by cheap. I don’t mean literally in dollars spent, I mean cheap as in selling out. Taking the easy way by simply eliminating by contract any competition MS had with regards to a teammate, both psychologically off the track and physically on the track. MS’s life was made a ton easier than most WDC’s have it as soon as they contracted him a subservient which meant they could go ahead a build the car for him only. And I said my benchmark was Senna/Prost. MS didn’t have to think or worry for one second about the one driver who could have and should have been able to provide us with the maximum show by competing against him in the same awesome car. We were robbed.

          7. I don’t know how much value there really is in us both repeating ourselves ad nauseum. I can’t, however, agree with this romantic notion you keep repeating about the grid being comprised mostly of teams who value fairplay and sportsmanship above winning. This is demonstrably untrue, for the reasons I have already been at some length in explaining. But to underscore the point I’ve already made several times – every single team on the grid is focused solely on their own performance, beyond any other considerations. This involves pushing brinksmanship to its ultimate ends. Not only is this a fact of F1, it is in many respects its single defining point of the sport. Every team is continually pushing to get every single competitive edge they can. That’s why we end up with things like flexible wings, double diffusors, F-ducts, and so on. All of which are arguably against the principles of fairplay, and yet all have been instrumental in the success they have generated for each team.

            This sport you describe, with its sporting behaviour and competitors who value fair play above performance, it’s simply not F1. This has absolutely nothing to do with my own feelings about any particular drivers or teams, it’s simply the way that F1 has been, is now, and will be for the foreseeable future.

          8. I agree that every team is trying to maximize themselves. That is obvious and has always been and will always be, for more than just the foreseeable future. I disagree that the only way to do that is to designate a number one and a number two to not compete against him from race one of each season. You are trying to convince me that it is a fact that all teams do this, yet we have seen 2 WDC’s at Mac in the last 2 seasons seeming to be able to compete against each other just fine. Last year Button had the upper hand. How did that happen on ‘LH’s team?’ And at Merc, would you say there is a designated one and two, or are they both working to improve the car? Is RG contracted to not compete against KR at Lotus, or in fact has he had some better days than KR? And some days have they not actually taken the fight to each other?

            So for you to say it’s simply not F1, is simply untrue, is not simply a romantic notion, and flies in the face of what we are witnessing in F1 up to and including the last race.

            I think it is you that has a terrible notion that the way for the future of F1 is to have drivers out there who are not to actually race but to just support. I like my ‘romantic’ notion hand over fist over your ‘race fixing’ notion that we should just sit and shut up and not have to figure out which driver is going to succeed over his teammate because that is already ordained in a boardroom.

          9. Again, you’re taking a very simplistic view of it. I’m not sure if you’re just deliberately missing the point in order to support your own opinion. I’m simply expressing the fact that F1 teams are all, without exception, ruthlessly devoted to maximising their performance. This has nothing to do with “selling out” or any other woolly and indefinable principles which you keep mentioning. There are a set of technical and sporting regulations; anything which teams do within these regulations in order to maximise their performance is absolutely fair game. If a team like McLaren chooses to have to fairly evenly matched drivers rather than one strong driver and one weaker driver, then that’s because that is what they believe is the best way of achieving success. It has absolutely nothing to do with them feeling like there is something unethical about structuring your team in favour of one driver.

            You’re also not quite getting the dynamic within Ferrari. First of all it’s important to understand that the sporting regulations at the moment forbid teams from having designated number one and number two drivers. There is no such thing as a driver who is contractually obligated to be subservient to his teammate. What we do have, are teammates who compete for the ultimate benefit of the team, rather than their own personal glory.

            Let’s use a real world example here to illustrate how it works in practice. In 2007, both Ferrari drivers started the season with effectively equal billing. They were allowed to race freely, with the idea being that eventually one driver would naturally assert himself over the other one through the course of the season. In 2007, the driver who asserted himself was Kimi Raikkonen. Because of this, by Brazil, Massa was no longer in contention for the championship, and so naturally fell into the role of supporting his teammate. This meant that in Brazil when Massa was ahead of Raikkonen, rather than stay there and take points off of his teammate, he moved over and allowed Raikkonen past. Raikkonen won the WDC by one point. The move in Brazil, then, was absolutely decisive; if Massa hadn’t moved over for Raikkonen, then neither Ferrari driver would have won the championship. Raikkonen beat both McLaren drivers, who had fought continually throughout the year and ended up level on points.

            Move forward a year, and this time Massa was the driver who had come out on top in the latter part of the season, meaning that the roles were then reversed. Raikkonen was expected to move out of the way for Massa, as he duly did in China, allowing Massa to score an additional 2 points. Unfortunately for Massa, this time those extra points weren’t enough, and he ended up losing out on the WDC to Lewis Hamilton. Again, the championship was decided by a single point. Here’s the interesting thing; in both years, the title was contested between Ferrari and McLaren and one point was the margin. In both years, Ferrari used team tactics to maximise the points for one driver. The difference, crucially, is with McLaren. In 2007, they had two superstar drivers who fought through the entire season, taking points from each other. In 2008, McLaren had one superstar driver, and one solid support driver in the form of Heikki Kovalainen. In short, when McLaren had two top level drivers, they lost the WDC. When they had just one top level driver, they won it.

            I totally agree that the period of Ferrari domination was a real turn-off, because of the total lack of competition. But you need to understand that the dominance of Ferrari didn’t stem from simnply having one top level driver. It stemmed instead from a huge technical advantage they had in the car and the tyres. They had a package so complete that nobody was able to compete with them.

          10. response to follow…I just lack the time right now to pick apart what you just said. But you’ve said a mouthful so I will respond.

          11. @mazdachris … I think I’ve made it clear that I fully understand that teams since the very beginning of F1 are there to maximize their performance. Surely you don’t need to be condescending in that regard. I’ve been following F1 since Gilles’ hiring at Ferrari brought television coverage of F1 to Canada. We disagree on the ethical component of how F1 should conduct itself. You are trying to convince me it is perfectly ethical to do it the MS/Ferrari way because it is within the rules. I look at it from a much more encapsulating standpoint. Just because it is within the rules doesn’t make it therefore ethical.

            My worst case scenario is when one driver is contracted to be subservient from race one of a season, and you are erroneously denying an absolute fact that MS/Ferrari did that (please watch the post-race interview with RB after Austria 02 when he admits it to the world), and because that and all that can follow once you do it (the designer car and tires and the exclusive access to the best upgrades) makes the number one driver’s life so much easier, I cannot respect that driver’s achievement as much as a team who honours both drivers, who have dreamed since their childhood about making it in F1, by giving them a fair shot, and we the viewing audience the true picture of what both drivers are really made of. I think in the last 3 years we have seen something closer to the real MS than we saw in his previous career of illegal Benettons and trumped up Ferraris.

            When LdM states that he doesn’t want any ‘problems and rivalries’ between his teammates, he has just told the world the role of FA’s teammate. Legal, but not ethical imho. And yet you are trying to argue even while team orders are legal again (made illegal after the Austria 02 debacle) that… “the sporting regulations at the moment forbid teams from having designated number one and number two drivers.” Please cite which sporting reg you are referring to.

            So I’m a fan of a more true and honest representation amongst an apples to apples field of cars and drivers. I suggest we’ve been seeing that this year at least at Mac and Merc and I think Lotus too (although KR should be the favoured one for the remainder due to his points position) and at the lesser teams. I think I’ve made myself clear on that and in fact I think you agree with me, because you have cited FM/KR and KR/FM, the two years that I actually felt better about Ferrari in a long time. Thank you for pointing out a real world example of how it should work, and how I have always appreciated that it has always worked for the most part. Two drivers get a fair shot from race one (neither one subservient to the other, neither one heavily advantaged with a designer car), and come the closing stages of the season, when one has the math work in his favour for a WDC shot the onus is on the other driver to not take points away from the WDC hopeful, as an obvious gesture to the team and it’s sponsors. It is his duty, not meaning that he has to go out and literally block cars, just don’t impede him and don’t take away points if at all possible. A team order shouldn’t even be needed. We can all understand it, including the driver for whom it didn’t work out. In the case of KR, it resulted in a WDC. So it can work.

            So you’ve cited one example of two drivers being allowed to compete for the bulk of the season and one coming out as WDC in the end. Citing another example of when LH squeeked his WDC in, after FM was WDC for half a lap, and trying to claim it is because he in comparison had a support driver in HK all season, is to me weak. It proves nothing. Even MS didn’t always win the WDC, even with a contracted subservient. A better driver might have been around to take points away throughout the season from other drivers that might have been in the mix with LH, and made life easier for him that way. A better driver may have helped move the car’s development along quicker, especially with the shortage of testing, and helped give LH a chance at a much bigger points cushion going into the final stages of the season. All the while that driver’s shot in F1 would be more legitimate than to just be there as a constant lapdog.

            And all the while we the viewing audience could be treated to a much more high quality show than when we know the running order between two drivers ahead of time (and imagine the horror if it was 12 pairs of drivers for whom we already knew ahead of time would finish behind their mates). As I’ve said before, your ethical scenario only helps a team dominate when they do it to an extreme and far and above everyone else. Otherwise it’s no quarantee, and thank goodness there aren’t 12 lapdogs out there.

            And you agree with me…”I totally agree that the period of Ferrari domination was a real turn-off, because of the total lack of competition.”

            But then you show a glaring inconsistancy with… “But you need to understand that the dominance of Ferrari didn’t stem from simnply having one top level driver. It stemmed instead from a huge technical advantage they had in the car and the tyres. They had a package so complete that nobody was able to compete with them.”

            So when LH sqeaks in a win, it’s because of HK supporting him, but MS had far more? I think you’ve finally gotten my point. By actually contracting a supporter, the team then builds the car for the one driver, the tire maker designs the tires for said car, and before you know it one driver stands out on the grid as the most heavily advantaged driver in the history of F1. And I can’t respect his numbers for that very reason.

            It’s about degrees of ethical treatment toward the two drivers on a team, and I’ll remind you that you think that because it is within the rules MS/Ferrari type behaviour is ethical, and I think that within the rules the teams can and usually do find a better way that is within the rules and treats both drivers and the viewing audience with far more respect and appreciation of their and our intelligence. And still allows them to come out with a WDC.

            Once you watch RB’s post-Austria 02 interview where he admits ‘just obeying his contract’ when he let MS past with metres to go for the ‘win,’ and when you grasp the massively negative reaction that got form the world, you will agree with me that there are rules, and then there are ways to conduct oneself to varying degrees of ethical behaviour within the rules. That race result (and team orders were legal then) was taken as so unethical it actually changed a rule…to a no team orders rule (but we all know that’s always been hard to enforce due to the million ways a team can subtley hold back one driver without anyone knowing).

            So to sum up…we agree that teams want to always maximize themselves…always have…always will. You will see that RB admits a contract. And LdM just implied to the world nearly the same and yet you are trying to claim that is against the sporting regs. Is he about to be sanctioned then? And we have agreed that the MS/Ferrari way was a turnoff and had far more to do with massive technical advantages over the whole grid. We also agree that the KR/FM and FM/KR method is fine. And I think you should be able to agree with me that if MS needed not only a subservient, but massive technical advantages, surely LH didn’t squeak his win merely because he had a supporter in HK…it’s a weak argument. It had to do with how the points fell amongst the other drivers that specific season too, no? And a million other variables throughout the season.

            You think all within the rules is fair game. I think there is room for better ethical treatment of drivers and the fans also within the rules. I will never appreciate MS’s numbers compilation due to the massive advantages it took for him to achieve them. The weren’t ethically earned imho. They were bought. And we the viewing audience did not get to see him compete against a legitimate teammate until he came to Merc. We were robbed of two gladiators duking it out on a top team in favour of a turn-off.

            There’s a reason Patrick Head said, “what a shame they forgo the spirit of racing for the sake of share value.”

            And I say what a shame you have no issue with it. Everyone should.

          12. @robbie

            I think in some respects we aren’t that far apart in our thinking. You say that promoting one driver is unethical, while I say that ethics isn’t a factor in how teams conduct themselves. However, that’s with my logical hat on, looking at it through the eyes of a team principle. I’m not a team principle, I’m a fan of motorsport, and I feel exactly the same way about wanting to see as many competitive drivers able to fight it out on the track as possible, and of course the route taken by Ferrari in the past (though as I point out, not so much today) does detract somewhat from the purity of the racing.

            I think though, that we’re probably as close as we’re likely to get, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to change our opinions. I take it as a compliment that you’ve wanted to take the time to reply to me in as much detail you have done, and I really hope you’ve found the debate as interesting as I have. We don’t share an opinion but it seems that what we do have in common is a real heartfelt passion for F1. I hope this isn’t the last time we’ll be able to have a discussion like this one. For my part though, I don’t think there’s really anything I can add to what I’ve already said.

          13. Well said @mazdachris … it has been a great debate and I wouldn’t have taken the time if I wasn’t finding it interesting and compelling.

  4. Good point Keith. I also believe that Montezemolo was suggesting also that Massa and Alonso are also two different personalities, where Vettel and Alonso would be too alike and it would cause friction. Massa, much like his countryman Barrichello, is not a ruthless or devious person. You have to be like that to succeed in this business and win championships. When we look at recent inter-team rivalries with the likes of McLaren and Red Bull, Ferrari always seem to keep everything ‘in house’ and contained. An amazing admission from Montezemolo and very honest in that, pretty much, he admitted that Alonso is ‘their’ main man at the moment.

    1. Ruthless maybe, but I don’t think you need to be devious person to be a WDC.

  5. Someone put some gaffa tape on this bloke. I plain just don’t like LDMs style. Massa shouldn’t sell out another year & should tell this arrogant so & so to stick his drive…

    Vets would be perfect fit for Ferrari, they both love themselves!

    1. Weheras Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher and all the previous champions loathed themselves and thought that they are nothing compared to the other drivers on the grid. Good one Sir!

  6. You also can do that by firing Alonso and hire Vetel, cost less money and less whining.

  7. Montezemolo: 2014 ‘too early’ for Vettel

    1. So he’ll end up at McLaren then with Perez?

      1. @bosyber – I think McLaren at this rate wouldn’t be an improvement on Red Bull. He’d be better off staying with the known entity, especially if they can keep the Renault engine package and Adrian Newey.

        1. Heh @vettel1, no I agree, I can’t see a sensible Vettel leaving Red Bull soon, especially not for a team that made so many mistakes in a lot of areas as McLaren did. … Don’t really know about those Ferrari rumours either, but McLaren, no.

          Was just in reference by @pjtierney to what Montezemelo said about Perez :)

          1. @bosyber – ah I see, Ferrari are just making up excuses now for not allowing some of the best drivers from racing for them!
            After all, the last time a German raced for the Scuderia we know what happened…

  8. That means Massa is not rooster. Well, I should agree with it but I don’t like the attittude of LdM anyway. Actually I hope Vettel stay there. I don’t like he comes to Ferrari. Mclaren might be better?

  9. One WDC for Ferrari is worth 3 at RBR, that’s why he wants to drive for Ferrari.

  10. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
    15th October 2012, 17:43

    All this vettel-alonso hype… personally I’d rather much see an Alonso-Button pairing. The two best drviers in F1 duking it out. Button came to Mclaren among all the naysayers telling he would get destroyed, but he himslef destroyed Hamilton over their three seasons and Hamilton is running scared to Mercedes. As Whitmarsh himself stated ‘Hamilton destroyed Alonso but not Button’. Button’s smart, he’s ousted Hamilton, made himself no.1 and will many championships. Make no mistake, an Alonso-Button pairing will be the best thing F1 has seen for a long time…

    1. @05abrahamsemere – Button has exceeded very low expectations, but out of 3 years, he’s only beaten Hamilton in one of them. Claiming him to be better than Vettel or Hamilton is a huge lie.

  11. I believe Vettel will drive for Ferrari only after Alonso retires. Vettel will be still young and according to LdM he IS a rooster…

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