Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, 2012

Ferrari has “run out of patience” with F1 rules

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari 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 – 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 – 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. “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.

    1. and it means a lot, coming from someone with a history of careful, considered, rational commentary like Luca.

      1. Since when was Bernie in control of what he says?

        1. not to mention careful, considered and rational…

        2. He’s in control every time he opens his mouth. He’s the master of distraction.

          1. Red Cars, silver spoon.

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

    1. 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.

      1. Ah sorry, I was meant to reply to @bozztdk , not you :(

    2. @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.

    3. 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?

      1. 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!

      2. @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.

    4. 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. Ooooooo! Somebodies annoyed at their lack of recent success…

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

      1. 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.

        1. I would. Ferrari may have stayed in the title fight this year, but for several teams nothing less than victory will do, and Ferrari are not achieving this.

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

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. @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.

          1. 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.

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

      1. It could be argued that breaking the sound barrier in a car is much closer to the pinnacle of automotive technology than any form of racing.

    3. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. @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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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).

          3. *in road cars

  6. “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. 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…

    1. @celeste ‘Evil’ is a strong word.

      1. Ferrari don’t need advice from Red Bull fans

        1. Is not advice is an opinion…

          @chicanef1 maybe, but english is just my second language and the other words that came in to my mind will send me to moderation…

    2. @celeste I dont think that makes much sense. Ferrari have not won in a while and I doubt they expected to win this year without major luck. So they are very used to being shown how to win…

      1. @infy what I mean was that some people and teams of F1 thought that RB will be a one hit wonder, so to see them take both big prices for 3 years in a row isn´t to their like in…

        So they are very used to being shown how to win…

        We are talking Ferrari, even when I don´t like the way the team is working and acting right now, it is a team to respect on F1 history, for them that have so much legacy and succes to be beat it is not a norm…

  8. Robert Dingeme
    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.

    1. Obviously Ferrari aren’t doing a good job of researching new engines.

      Maybe he’d feel better if their wind tunnel was working properly.

    2. Quite sensibly, why would any car manufacturer want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a technology (aerodynamic downforce) that would reduce the performance and increase the fuel consumption of road cars for no tangible benefit?

      1. Ferrari has those fancy “aero bridges” over the fenders of their new F12 and McLaren’s P1 is almost designed exclusively around aero. Downforce makes sense for the likes of those supercars.

      2. But aerodynamic understanding can make downforce more efficiently, and manage the airflow better.

  9. 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. 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!!!

    1. @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. 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.

    1. Wow, what discussion caused such a ruckus?

      1. I think it was one about Vettel and Alonso

  13. 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.

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

    1. read between the lines.

  15. 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.


    1. 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?

      1. @bsnaylor They’re not struggling though, are they? Besides, giving them track time is too easy, make them worry about it and get it wrong, that’s half the fun.

    2. I think he’s trying to achieve more testing.

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

      1. @hohum And it still runs successfully now…just not for Ferrari ;)

        We saw what happened when Ferrari dominated.

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

    5. 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.

      1. @davea86

        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.

        1. @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.

          1. @davea86

            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.

  16. Here we go again. When will Luca stop making it so hard for me to be comfortable with being a Ferrari fan? The moment is now, the moment also has been in 2009, it’s probably also going to be 2018, and he’ll probably have a threat to leave F1 as his final words.

    Luca, what you said about the ‘elderly’; maybe it’s time to look in the mirror. You’ve done wonderful things for Ferrari and Fiat, but maybe it’s time to retire some of your statements.

    1. Just remind yourself that while he is the boss at Ferrari, he doesnt run the F1 team. He’s a politician in my eyes, and so the things he says IMO are expected and actually good, as they bring up issues that NEED to be discussed.

  17. He was fine with the aerodynamics the 2000s, as long as Ferrari was winning. That was when road cars looked exactly like F1 cars.
    What a pathetic, hyprocrite!

  18. I don’t get this develop technologies for the road through F1 mentality.
    That game is over.
    The innovation in F1 these days is restricted by the tight regulations, to finding loopholes. And while that is very interesting from a sporting view, it is utterly pointless for road cars.
    If we wanted something to use in the road cars, then rules would have to be a lot more open.
    Currently, they won’t allow you to develop a new radical engine design. Nor use new and exciting materials in that engine. The suspension is very much fixed as well, on horribly outdated technology as well.
    I think we have to ask our selves; do we want a fun, exciting and sustainable sport which we can enjoy for many years to come, or do we want a large spread in the field, and risk driving the sport into the ground in just a few years due to dominance and spiralling costs?
    Of cause the costs could maybe be cut short with a budget cap, but then that would stop teams who gambled on the wrong technology to catch up and we could end up with a 10 year period dominated by two whale fat driven Marrusias, and how many teams would have that sort of patience?
    I want a great sport. Road cars develop themselves just fine.
    F1 isn’t needed to develop road cars. There are plenty of brands who make great road cars who haven’t been involved in F1 at all.
    I think Luca’s real objective with this is to get back to the days when he could say to the customers “this 5 way traction control is similar to that on Michael Schumacher’s F1 car!”.
    Or maybe he is just tired of hearing his engineers complain about that stupid windtunnel.

    1. @mads

      I can agree with some of your points, but we have to remember that Ferrari are a very unique team. They are a racing team first, only then a road car manufacturer. Only Mclaren can consider themselves in the same league..but, we all know who sells more road cars.

      A Ferrari road car is an embodiment of a F1 car, which is why it is romanticized the world. Ask any child what car they would want to drive one day, and you can almost guarantee that the answer would be Ferrari. LdM is unhappy because F1 and his road cars are growing further and further apart, why from a marketing standpoint, doesnt quite work for him. Think about the 2014 rules, 1.6 L V6 Turbos…not something you would put into a Ferrari road car just yet..would you? But maybe F1 should become more liberal with engines…like Le Man, allow Diesel powered engines as well, this will definitely grab the attention of the likes of Volkswagen.

      But having said this, LdM is a company and he is only tabling the best interests of his company, which may not necessarily be in the best interest for the sport. They need to keep costs down, but somehow, they have to find a way to allow limited in-season tests. I think this year we saw the benefit of the in-season test prior to the European season, at least Ferrari did anyway. I think they should allow at least one more test, perhaps after the summer break.

      1. One word ” F40″

      2. @jaymenon10

        They are a racing team first, only then a road car manufacturer.

        It used to be like that, but I don’t think that its like that any more.
        If the Ferrari F1 team were the main department, then the road cars would simply adapt in relation to the F1 cars.
        But right now, Luca want the 2014 F1 engines to be changed because they don’t suit their road cars. To me, that suggests that its exactly the other way around.

  19. It was about time someone had the guts to slam (for once!) good old Bernie! Well done Monty!
    It is known that these lads don’t get along very well so this is NOT surprising at all. The discussion about what the fuss was all about is at this point completely irrelevant and if anyone thought Ferrari was trying to win the championship by “questioning” the Federation they’ve got il all wrong!
    But, and this is a big BUT, the place & timing for complaining about the rules were completely wrong. He also clearly does not understand that by making thinly veiled “threats” once a year does not win more Ferrari fans!
    And again: slamming ol’ Bernie for this one was fully deserved! It’s not because he’s been around for 50 years that he above everything!

  20. “It’s fine to use unsporting tactics to gain a few points but it’s absolutely absurd to not allow us to spend money so we can make the sport boring”

    I think I know who may be the senile one…

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