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. It would be great to see the rules opened back up again… And then see Ferrari suck like they did for that near 20 year time period of the early ’80s thru late ’90s so they can then whine about how the rules need to be more restrictive.

    1. Ouch…. :)))

  2. More of Montezemolo’s comments have emerged and I have updated the article with some of them.

  3. 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.

    I think this statement shows the arrogance of Luca and Ferrari. Perhaps Ferrari should look internally to win championships and not lay the blame at their rivals.

  4. once again, LDM tells it like it is

  5. Aerodynamics is hard, but the biggest differentiators in recent years have been the ones where a team “blindsided” the rest by doing something the rules did not intend. For example double diffusers, exhaust blown diffusers, and flexing/rotating front wings. There’s a race between rule writers and loophole exploiters. Then they change the rules in a way that only creates a brand new development race.

    It is absurd to me that we have Coanda effect exhausts in F1. They are even less relevant to real world than straight-up EBD and were just a complex new development race for all the teams.

    I would also like to see less aero and more suspension/engine development. Anyway it’s up to F1 to make sane rules for itself. Is it Bernie’s fault? doesn’t seem likely…

    1. @tigen, “is it Bernies fault” yes, if you mean restrictions on testing and so many other unworkable “economies” foisted on F1 so Bernie can continue to strip 50% of the revenues earned from the teams .

      1. @hohum – Bernie has absolutely no control over the regulations, so it’s very strange that you’re accusing him of restructing testing given that you already know this.

  6. I see that Luca is once again using Ferrari to promote his views. All his comments have done is reinforce my belief that he was the driving force behind the move to appeal Vettel’s pass. Ferrari and Alonso had conceded that Vettel and Red Bull had won the title, but then they suddenly did an about-face, and having read this article, I now believe that Luca di Montezemolo was the one who forced them into it.

    For all his talk of the rules needing to be critically examined, Luca seems to be blissfully unaware of the damage he is doing to both Ferrari and Formula 1.

  7. Joey Zyla (@)
    2nd December 2012, 22:03

    This is the first forum I’ve been on where most people agree with Bernie.

    Well said, Luca.

  8. He doesn’t mince his words does he? Still, I think he has a point. F1 is drifting further from road cars, even sports cars, every year, to the point where if I were a car manufacturer I would be looking at Le Mans or DTM more than F1 for publicity, as those series are far closer, technologically speaking, to road cars.

    As for testing, I think the point of young drivers is a serious one. Simulators are all well and good, but there is no substitute for real track time, and the one young drivers’ test simply is not enough. I am aware of the costs, and no-one wants a return to the unlimited testing we used to have, but I believe we have come too far the other way.

    1. @lin1876, How much does testing cost after you subtract the cost of not testing !? With teams spending hundreds of millions of $s a year how can anyone say a day at the track is to expensive, “Top Gear” can afford a day for every episode they make.

  9. Show me one car from the history of F1 that actually had something in common with a road car.

    F1 cars exist first and foremost to win F1 races. Any technology spin-off is just coincidence, a good coincidence absolutely but it’s never been the driving force behind F1 development.

    If there are to be parallels between racing cars and what we drive then surely these are to be found in touring and rallying. Formula racing is racing in its purest most undiluted form.

    Racing for the sake of racing! More please!

    1. @psynrg, I don’t know where to start, racing has always “improved the breed”, F1 and F libre before it were where technologies were tried out and developed, Le Mans endurance racing was where they were tested for reliability and suitability for road use. No longer.

      1. This statement is just utterly false. Almost every technology that transitioned from F1 to a road car appeared in endurance racing before it appeared in F1. F1 has never been a technology test-bed since the demands of Formula racing are completely different from the demands on a road car and actually have more in common with aircraft.

        1. Active suspension, for example?

  10. ‘Ferrari considers the matter close’ ….
    Yet he keeps talking about it. Keep digging Ferrari, you sore losers !…..

  11. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    3rd December 2012, 4:14

    Honestly, i think Luca needs to just shut up.

    Everyone is in the same boat with the regulations, and it’s upto his team to develop a car that is capable of winning a race and not understeering like a shopping trolley. Perhaps he should be looking at what Ferrari is doing, rather than blaming the regulations.

    And i wouldn’t be surprised if Ecclestone has some form of punishment for Ferrari next season over Luca’s comments about Bernie’s age, which were a bit uncalled for.

  12. Again….Montezemolo…
    If he would be a person that really could be taken serious, then he would take chances like now to admit that Ferrari does not build good enough cars anymore since Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn departed from the team some years ago, and not always blame it on others, or the rules, or the unfairness against their leading driver.
    Alonso for sure is one of the top 3 racers in F1, but Ferrari is definitely not on top.
    And about those harsh words against Ecclestone, it seems that Montezemolo has mixed something here. Isn’t it much more himself who gives statements and who acts like someone whose age has taken his control away? More than in Bernie’s case?
    Let’s talk it straight. In most european and american countries, someone like that would be taken to a mental clinic or institution. In Italy they become states president (Berlusconi) or Ferrari president…
    Fairness was never the thing of Ferrari or italian sports in general (see football 2006 and so on…). And to be a great competitior, you also need to have the ability to admit when otheres were better than you.
    Congratulations again to a very very much deserved title 2012 for Sebastian Vettel. And also congratulations for a really fine season to Fernando Alonso, though he always has the advantage of being a sole number 1 driver in his team. Drivers at Red Bull or Mclaren are never that lucky…

    1. Joey Zyla (@)
      3rd December 2012, 6:28

      “Drivers at Red Bull or Mclaren are never that lucky…”

      Mark? Lewis? Heard of them?

      1. Joey Zyla (@)
        3rd December 2012, 6:29

        Those two drivers have cars designed to break down for the good of the other driver (or, in McLaren’s case, ’cause they just don’t like Lewis!).

        1. @joey-zyla The idea that McLaren or Red Bull would spend hundreds of millions of pounds to go racing and then intentionally cripple half their effort is sheer nonsense.

    2. Are you talking about fairness? like McLaren british fairness? then yes, you are right…….

    3. What about Vettel winning 2 championships this year and complaining after the last race that others played “dirty tricks” during the year?
      Monty said it 2 years ago: Red Bull should learn how to win!

  13. If nothing else, surely Montezemolo’s criticism is misplaced?

    Ecclestone is the commercial rights holder, the FIA write the rules. If Ferrari want the rules changing so teams can spend their way to oblivion and test so much the front runners are two seconds per lap quicker than the rest of the field, surely Jean Todt is who Montezemolo should be making his entreaties to?

    Not that Ecclestone doesn’t have a lot of influence, of course, but he’d not where the buck stops on this one. It’s another sign this is more a case of Montezemolo letting off steam than trying to change the sport.

  14. I think his partially right, personally I dont agree with the lack of testing, I think the teams should all show up at a track prepared to do their best, at the moment some teams luck in and others have to keep chasing. Furthermore when they say they cut testing to save money, how much money has actually been saved, teams now build multimillion dollar wind tunnels and simulators, make like 5 versions of front wings and fly them to the race just a few minutes before qualifying, is this saving money or transferring the costs that were used in testing. Furthermore I think its hurting the newer teams more than the established teams as the new teams have to choose on whether to make a windtunnel or use that money in car development, at least in testing they could rent a track for far less than they are paying to develop a wind tunnel, and test their cars, that way they wouldn’t look so stupid when they show up to a race.

    On the tech transfer theres some slight truth in that, and I think thats why Toyota, BMW, Honda, and Renault all left F1, the only thing they can now transfer is the KERS which is already being used, anything else they can’t, you can’t put blow diffusers into road cars. I don’t know why F1 is trying to save money anyway is it to bring new teams to F1? if thats the case then why not have customer cars like in Le Mans, at least that way you would see more competition other than the 3-4 top teams.

  15. leave then, please. you are a whiner and Ferrari gets special treatment and extra pay from the FIA every year.

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