Ferrari has “run out of patience” with F1 rules

2012 F1 season

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, 2012Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had strong words for Bernie Ecclestone following the Formula One Management boss’s recent criticism of the team.

“You have to show respect for your elders, especially when they get to that stage in which they are no longer in control of what they say,” said Montezemolo of Ecclestone. “However, old age is clearly incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities.”

Ecclestone criticised Ferrari for questioning whether Sebastian Vettel had illegally overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian Grand Prix. The FIA told Ferrari the pass was legal and there was “no case to answer”.

Montezemolo, speaking at a press conference at the Ferrari World Finals in Valencia, said: “The FIA declared that for them there had been no infringement and so the matter was closed.”

“Congratulations to Vettel and Red Bull because whoever won after such a difficult season deserved the title and because at Ferrari that is what we do. And we would like everyone to congratulate us next season if we win the world championship.”

Asked whether some of Vettel’s rivals make life too easy for him in the final race, Montezemolo said: “I was expecting a slightly different final race on the part of Michael Schumacher because he is a driver with links to Ferrari through some extraordinary moments and with whom we feel very close.

“As for the rest, I don?t want to make any comment other than to underline that in the past we have been strongly criticised for playing a sensible, necessary, right and open team game. I have always told my drivers that they are not racing for themselves but for Ferrari. Ours is one team, you can see that in the pit stops and you can see it on the track and one of the things I most appreciate about Felipe is the fact that he has always been a team player and I know that Fernando has been one too.

“We have had criticism for how we apply these team games but it?s up to the public and the spectators to judge these things. I don?t like to create controversy for its own sake: we look ahead and everyone makes their own judgement. The behaviour of Ferrari has always prized the team game and the sport.”

Montezemolo also repeated his earlier criticisms about F1’s rules: “There are things that aren?t going well in this sport and the moment has arrived to clarify these once and for all in the appropriate places.

“We can no longer have a situation in which the transfer of technology from the track to the street is reduced to the bare minimum, engines and gearboxes are always the same and the aerodynamics no longer has anything to do with research for road cars.

“Moreover, it cannot be that in this sport you can?t test. We?ve been saying this for a while and we will repeat it in the appropriate places so for the moment I don?t want to add anything else. But our patience has run out so someone needs to think about whether they want Formula One still to have companies that invest and consider it the most advanced research bench for its own cars ?ǣ as Ferrari has always done since 1950.

“We are constructors, not sponsors. I’m no longer happy that we can’t do testing on tarmac and that you can’t give any chance for young drivers to emerge ?ǣ since some people have used the expression ‘It’s a joke’ in recent days, I would like to say that this is the real ‘joke’.”

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103 comments on Ferrari has “run out of patience” with F1 rules

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  1. LucaBadoerFan (@lucabadoerfan) said on 2nd December 2012, 15:58

    “You have to show respect for your elders, especially when they get to that stage in which they are no longer in control of what they say.”

    strong words indeed – essentially calling bernie senile.

  2. sumedhvidwans (@sumedhvidwans) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:04

    I have now got used to this crazy rhetoric from Luca. I will get shocked only when he says something logical.

    • infy (@infy) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:38

      I’m not sure it is being damaged. If anything his words are an encouragement to all F1 fans who disagree with the testing bans and the engine freeze.

      Sure he attacked Burnie, but lets be honest… Bernie’s position as Mr.F1 (way more important than anyone at Ferrari) meant he of all people should have kept his opinion to himself, especially considering what he said about Ferrari was not true.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:04

      @sumwidans, you should be shocked now, forget the Bernie needle and read the substance, Luca has hit the nail on the head, F1 is going in the wrong direction exactly as Luca says. I realise that you may not have lived as many years as Luca has been involved with F1, but ignorance is no excuse, F1 used to be about developing automotive technologies to make a faster car, Bernie has emphasised the sideshow aspect of racing in order to maximise the return for himself and the investors he sold out to. Don’t be surprised if Ferrari threaten to leave if things do not change to provide a greater return for the constructors.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 3rd December 2012, 10:50

      It’s interesting. Luca says many things that have been said in the comment sections and on the F1 Fanatic forum, and they weren’t controversial. Many would call those ideas quite sensible, but when they come from Luca people immediately dismiss them. Let’s see:
      – Red Bull and Seb deserved to win,
      – we were expecting more from Schumacher,
      – it’s time for Bernie to retire,
      – Ferrari puts the team before the drivers,
      – aerodynamic development should be limited, as it’s not road relevant,
      – F1 needs to open development in other areas to remain innovative, road-relevant and attractive for manufacturers.
      How exactly is any of that illogical?

      • Very well spotted indeed!! Obviously Luca speaks for Ferrari first of all but I agree that in general his views are much more balanced and in favor of great racing than those of Bernie.

        I find Bernie’s bashing of Ferrari’s appeal absolutely tasteless and out of place. When I first saw the clip of the overtake I found it obvious that Vettel should be penalized so it would only seem odd if Ferrari didn’t appeal it.

        Just like Ferrari I respect the decision of the stewards but one thing is certain: It is absolutely NONE of Bernie’s business whatsoever!

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd December 2012, 17:28

        @maroonjack Well put!

        However I think in the case of Schumacher Montezemolo was specifically referring to his last race, and expressing disappointment that he yielded his position to Vettel.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 3rd December 2012, 15:23

      He might have said things harsly, but he is right. Nobody lamented of the Toro Rossos letting Vettel through in Brazil, yet every single time Ferrari apply team orders (which are legal) there is general discontent. I myself don’t like team orders, but I wish people were coherent with themselves: either you are always for or always against them.
      Ferrari surely had the right to ask the FIA for clarifications over what was potentially a championship-deciding overtake. There was confusion over the move from the hours following the race until the FIA’s statement, which shows it wasn’t a case with a known answer. They had the right to do so and the situation was also pretty unclear to everyone, so they did well to do so and they shouldn’t be criticised.

  3. matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:06

    Ooooooo! Somebodies annoyed at their lack of recent success…

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:42

      Ferrari have shown plenty of success. You dont have to win the WDC to show that you were successful.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 3rd December 2012, 15:25

        Exactly. I’d say out of the 12 teams competing one only was better than Ferrari. They were the only one fighting with Red Bull for the drivers’ title in Brazil, which they lost doing their best. I wouldn’t call that lack of success.

  4. It is such a shame that the great Ferrari name becomes damaged by such comments. Luca should think first and speak afterwards.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:09

    I partially agree with what Montezemolo says. The “engine development freeze” was something that was (maybe) needed to cut costs, but it spoiled it a bit. F1 is about the cars, and the cars are both chassis and engines. But they’ve been racing the same engines since 2007. 5 years old enignes, in terms of design… that’s not moving foward that much.

    I’m not talking about transferring technology to road cars. That’s stupid, and in general, I think F1 has not transfered much to road cars in these 62 years. It’s more about being the pinnacle of automotive technology rather than transfering technology to road going Ferraris. Really, appart from KERS in current cars, I cannot see how F1 could be “the way to test things which will eventually be part of all our cars”. Maybe if they try alternative fuels/electric cars, but that’s Formula E’s job.

    I don’t see what Renault could’ve got from winning the 2005 and 2006 championship to put in their Clios or Meganes.

    • goondu86 (@goondu86) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:17

      It probably helped Renault in selling more of the Clios and Meganes, F1 is one of the best way to showcase your branding. For starters, Casio’s sponsorship of Red Bull Racing made me know about their watches and I actually bought one for myself. For motorsports with real world applications, I think for now, it’s with endurance racing.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:43

        It always has been. F1 has transfered technology to road cars, and that is a good thing. But it was never intended to do so, whereas aprt of the reason of endurance racing was to test parts under the harshest conditions- it naturally has far greater relevance. Manufacturers in F1 should be there either because they are/were predominantly a racing company (McLaren/Ferrari) or because it is good marketing. They should not necessarily expect any technological benefits.

        • infy (@infy) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:45

          @matt90 It might not have been an intended goal at the start, but at the start of F1, teams were nothing more than hobbies for most.

          Ferrari and some of the other manufacturers budget for their involvement by using F1 as a R&D program. When it stops being effective at R&D, teams are forced to setup additional programs outside of F1 to reach their R&D goals. Questions regarding their involvement is then asked by the shareholders, which is a problem.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:32

            I said never because I meant never throughout history, not just initially. If some companies justify it as R&D, they are lying to themselves/their accountants.

    • SubSailorFl said on 2nd December 2012, 17:40

      It isn’t the pinnacle of automotive technology if it can’t be used in some way on street machines.

    • I think from the manufacturer’s point of view F1 is something to hopefully increase exposure of their brand and hence sell more cars. I doubt Ferrari Automtive would be where it is today without the Scuderia.

      Really, the only relevant thing to come out of F1 and be applied to road cars was driver aids, such as ABS and TC. Since they have been outlawed though (and rightfully so – I hope they don’t make a comeback) then F1 has almost entirely lost its relevance to the road car industry. KERS/ERS and the turbo’s may enhance F1’s relevance in creating more efficient power plants (mainly weight saving – light KERS batteries etc.) but that is more so a performance pursuit, not for economy.

      Other than that I see no benefit for a manufacturer to join F1 so for Luca to make such comments smacks as a bit silly.

      • codesurge (@codesurge) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:19

        How about the semi-automatic transmissions which got popular in F1 cars in the early ’90s and then popularized in road cars like the Ferrari F355 F1? I’d reckon that was a transfer of technology, albeit to mostly high-end performance cars than mainstream vehicles.

        Similarly, F1 spurred the development of lightweight construction using materials like carbon fiber and kevlar which have been seen in cars like the Ferrari F40 and the McLaren F1 and MP4-12C.

        So yes, there is technology trickle-down, albeit more towards high-end exotics than our daily drivers.

        • @codesurge – I forgot about carbon fibre! But yes, I’d group semi-automatic transitions etc under the hedging of “driver-aids”. Apart from material sciences and energy recovery systems there isn’t much currently that F1 can claim to be relevant to the modern road car industry (apart from as you said the supercar industry).

          If a manufacturer was looking to develop the technology of the future in the fast-pace and highly competitive racing environment then look no further than prototype endurance racing. Audi have used that to great effect in perfecting their diesels, “ultra” and “e-tron” technologies and aren’t exactly suffering from a lack of publicity.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:13

            You are all so young, you don’t realise how much modern car engines have benefitted from racing development, ponder on that when you read the performance figures for a sub 2 litre engined Mercedes S class.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:39

            Active aero is becoming used more widely in F1. I imagine a lot of that comes from F1 groundwork (I’m using this as another example, but I’m actually on your side- F1 is not and never has been intentionally road-relevant, it’s always just been a happy accident, like technology developed by NASA).

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th December 2012, 0:39

            *in road cars

  6. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:12

    “You have to show respect for your elders, especially when they get to that stage in which they are no longer in control of what they say,”

    “This cannot be a sport in which there is no longer testing on the track. We have run out of patience. We are car manufacturers, not sponsors. As Ecclestone said, ‘it’s a joke’.”

    Montezemolo says, that Ecclestone doesn’t know what he says, but at the same time, he agrees with him on another topic. Interesting.

    Montezemolo should also remember that he’s not a youngster too. He is 65 years old and some people retire at this age.

  7. celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:15

    I think Ferrari is really annoyed for bieng show how to do things by Red Bull; and certanly neither Montezemola nor Dominicali has done a good job for Ferrari in the past 5 years.

    Montezemola for me is a really “evil” character, and in my opinion Ferrari would be better off with out him…

  8. Robert Dingeme said on 2nd December 2012, 16:23

    “The aerodynamics is now becoming something which has nothing to do with the research.”

    That’s like saying: Our aerodynamicists at Ferrari can’t beat Newey, so let’s get rid of Newey.

  9. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:35

    It’s a shame to see such comments sometimes, but in some ways I do agree. Formula 1 should be about using the pinnacle of technology, and constant development, but like most things it has to be a trade-off. If there were to be unlimited development, as in the old days, then we wouldn’t see close field that we do now. At the same time though, it shouldn’t specifically on aerodynamics. If people were to develop the engines as well, then you’d see different cars quick at different tracks, and although that is how it is currently, it would be more extreme and possibly more exciting.

    I don’t think that this will ever come to pass though, not in the near future. F1 has found a good home with the way things are presently, though there are some things that still need addressing to really solve some of the problems that F1 has.

  10. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:44

    Of course F1 aerodynamics have nothing to do with road car research!!!!
    The links btween F1 cars and road cars has never really been that close; to see a link with road cars, look at sports cars!!!

    • infy (@infy) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:50

      @xjr15jaaag Well that was his point entirely. In the past, before all the restrictions were imposed on the engines and mechanical devices, F1 used to have a good balance between aerodynamics, engines and mechanical grip. Now with engine development banned and mechanical innovation so heavily restricted, the sport has turned away from aspects that CAN be transferred to road cars and towards aerodynamics, which cant. That is a problem, for sure ;)

  11. Nick.UK (@) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:45

    While he may regret his words to Bernie later (or not, who knows); what he said in regard to the rules is bang on! Sort them out and stop banning every new idea that gives one team an advantage over the rest!

  12. I think that this comment (a slightly moderated version) by @KeithCollantine from one forum thread would fit here very well:

    This season has generated into silly bickering and personal attacks. I’ve deleted several comments and am closing the season.

  13. bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:56

    I agree with LM on the most part.
    Bernie lost it some time ago with his arrogant “i’m better than all of you” attitude and obnoxious, rude and plainly stupid offensive 3 word responses to anyone that questions him.
    Banging on about saving money by restricting testing to stupidly small amounts of time when this is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport engineering, then trying to introduce not only KERS (which has cost the teams a great deal of money and problems – therefore more money to try to rectify said problems), but the most ridiculous idea of saying every car should only use electric power in the pitlane! (thankfully rescinded for the moment, but for how long?)
    Now we have the change to lower capacity engines to come, with turbos (another big change, therefore another big cost)
    Trying to reduce costs to keep the lower-end “new” teams to stay in has proved pretty much pointless, as we all know the bottom 3 teams will pretty much always be the ones to go out in Qualifying 1.
    That’s not helping F1.
    Just a reminder, F1 should be about the pinnacle of motorsport “engineering”, not just about the best aero design.
    Though i do have the utmost respect for Adrian Newey and his abilities, this is not what F1 should be solely about, which is the way it has been going in the past few years.
    All in all though, 2012 was a fantastic season, but owed nothing to the aero fanaticism.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:28

      @bsnaylor, I agree TOTALLY with LM, instead of worrying about keeping costs down F1 should be concerned with maximising return on expenditure and the way to do that is to develop technologies that have a use outside of F1, not by spending hundreds of millions of dollars looking for a little more downforce or how to make sure tyres run in a narrow temperature band.

  14. Colm (@colm) said on 2nd December 2012, 16:59

    This is the first time i have heard LDM criticise Bernie/FIA and not threaten to pull out of F1

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd December 2012, 17:06

    What an utter…

    Is he not aware that we have track testing in Feb/March every year? Is he not aware just how good that is for the sport as it helps keeps costs down and keeps competition tight? He just said himself what a competitive season it has been…we might not have that luxury if Ferrari were testing day in day out at Fiorano.

    What is he trying to achieve? A complete overhaul of F1? It’s not going to happen, shut up and move on. You are not F1, the F does not stand for Ferrari.


    • bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 2nd December 2012, 18:06

      oh yeah, LOADS of testing…
      how are the pinnacle of engineers supposed to be able to produce the pinnacle of engineering when they are so limited?

    • infy (@infy) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:58

      I think he’s trying to achieve more testing.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:33

      Not ” a complete overhaul” but a return to the sport as it was conceived and as it ran successfuly for over 50 years.

    • troutcor said on 3rd December 2012, 4:06

      We’ve seen ‘em come; we’ve seen ‘em go. Ferrari remains.
      The bottled garbage, too, will soon disappear.

    • Dave (@davea86) said on 3rd December 2012, 8:17

      But does the lack of testing really save money? The cash they would have spent on track testing gets spent on simulation, bench testing and wind tunnels, which is not only less accurate then testing the parts on the actual car, but doesn’t allow a young up and coming driver to be behind the wheel.

      It’s also interesting you bring up Fiorano. Ferrari chose to spend a considerable amount of money to build a test track and base their development strategy around track testing. The other teams chose not to spend in that way so they based their development around simulation and bench testing. Then track testing gets massively limited and Ferrari have to go back to the drawing board. Of course they’re going to be upset and want to go back to more track testing but surely the most efficient way to test a car is to run it how you would in a race.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd December 2012, 8:41


        But does the lack of testing really save money?

        If it didn’t the anti-testing lobby would have a ready-made line of attack but I don’t think even Montezemolo is trying to make that claim.

        71.9% less testing will take place in 2012 compared with ten years ago. Yes teams can run their simulators but that is always going to be vastly cheaper than shipping an entire separate dedicated testing team around Europe. The amount being spent on wind tunnel testing (and CFD) is also capped as well.

        So I think there’s little room for doubt the testing ban is saving teams a significant amount of money.

        • Dave (@davea86) said on 4th December 2012, 1:38

          @keithcollantine But the teams have a finite budget regardless of what they spend it on. If you reduce testing then they’ll obviously spend less money on testing but they won’t just leave the money they saved in the bank, they’ll spend it all in other areas of development like simulators, bench testing, wind tunnels, CFD etc. It’s all about efficient use of the money, getting the most bang for your buck, which goes back to the point I made right at the end of my post.

          surely the most efficient way to test a car is to run it how you would in a race.

          When testing was allowed the teams did it as much as possible. If they could spend the same amount of money on other development methods and get better results they’d have done it, so it stands to reason that the most efficient way to develop the car is track testing.

          If next season all the teams were given the choice and allowed to test as much as they want, or not at all if they think they can do a better job using other methods, I bet they’d all hit the track.

          Yes a day of track testing would cost more then a day of testing back at the factory but they’d get more data, better data, be able to test every component of the car at once and would be able to give young drivers a run.

          With all the talk of cost cutting it doesn’t seem to make any sense to force teams use inefficient methods of R&D.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th December 2012, 7:54


            If you reduce testing then they’ll obviously spend less money on testing but they won’t just leave the money they saved in the bank

            I think this is the point where we need some actual data instead of speculation.

            But as I say, even the most vehement critics of the testing ban are not making the case that it isn’t saving them money. So I’m not convinced it’s failing in that respect.

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