Ferrari has gone five years without winning a championship but as Montezemolo told Italy’s RAI Uno television channel, the team remain uniquely important to F1.
“We have reached an agreement with Ecclestone and the FIA and we are the only team with the right of veto: more political weight than that is impossible,” said Montezemolo.
“We are aware of our strength in Formula One, which without us, would be completely different. Having said that, it?óÔé¼Ôäós true that weight also comes from having a winning car and that was lacking. The rest is all gossip.”
The Ferrari president laughed off Bernie Ecclestone’s recent comments that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner would be the best person to succeed him in charge of Formula One:
“Ecclestone sees Horner as his successor? As the years go by, he more and more enjoys making jokes and I?óÔé¼Ôäóm happy he still has the desire to do so…”
Ferrari slipped to third in the constructors’ championship this year, which Montezemolo blamed on Felipe Massa’s penalty for repeatedly crossing the white lane at the pit lane entry during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I think it was disproportionate and unjust, as was [Lewis] Hamilton’s,” said Montezemolo, referring to the Mercedes driver’s penalty for causing a collision with Valtteri Bottas.
“If Felipe had stayed in fourth place, we would have been second in the constructors’ championship.
“Every so often, the gentlemen who come to the races to act as stewards make decisions that are a bit ridiculous and anachronistic. One needs to be careful that we maintain credibility, for the work of the teams that invest money and for the drivers who risk their lives.”
2013 F1 season
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Image ?é?® Ferrari/Ercole Colombo