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

  1. Nick (@npf1) said on 2nd December 2012, 17:07

    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.

    • infy (@infy) said on 2nd December 2012, 20:01

      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.

  2. dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd December 2012, 17:33

    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!

  3. Mads (@mads) said on 2nd December 2012, 18:15

    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.

    • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 2nd December 2012, 23:51


      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.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:37

        One word ” F40″

      • Mads (@mads) said on 3rd December 2012, 15:50


        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.

  4. FastNick said on 2nd December 2012, 18:39

    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!

  5. “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…

  6. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:53

    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.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd December 2012, 19:55

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

  8. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 2nd December 2012, 20:17

    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.

  9. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 2nd December 2012, 20:40

    once again, LDM tells it like it is

  10. tigen (@tigen) said on 2nd December 2012, 20:59

    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…

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd December 2012, 21:52

    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.

  12. Joey Zyla (@) said on 2nd December 2012, 22:03

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

    Well said, Luca.

  13. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 2nd December 2012, 22:09

    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.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 1:53

      @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.

  14. pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 3rd December 2012, 0:11

    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!

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd December 2012, 2:03

      @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.

      • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 3rd December 2012, 10:50

        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.

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

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