Ferrari couldn’t be stronger politically – Montezemolo

2013 F1 season

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Finali Mondiali, Mugello, 2013Red Bull may have won the last four world championships but Ferrari still wield ultimate political power in Formula One, says Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

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?s 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?m 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.”

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102 comments on Ferrari couldn’t be stronger politically – Montezemolo

  1. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 27th November 2013, 0:17

    Luca does seem to enjoy flushing Ferrari’s image down the khazi. Maybe he should take a leaf from Dennis’s book and leave the F1 team entirely in Domenicali’s hands – at least Stefano gives their opponents the respect they deserve.

  2. Calif Lady said on 27th November 2013, 0:52

    Perhaps his comments are in response to questions posed by the interviewer. With respect to penalties, I am more disappointed that the FIA did not have the backbone to maintain the integrity of the sport when disciplining Mercedes for their tire test. Unfortunate that MB chose to tarnish their reputation. Though I do not always agree with the NASCAR stewards in the U.S., I would suggest that the FIA contact them to review their standards of sporting integrity.

  3. Montezemolo made too much sense, lately either I understand more the world of F1 and these things don’t surprise me or I’m getting loonier like Luca.

  4. aka_robyn said on 27th November 2013, 1:13

    “Ecclestone sees Horner as his successor? As the years go by, he more and more enjoys making jokes and I’m happy he still has the desire to do so…”

    I’m still laughing at that excellent remark…

    F1 would be so much more boring without people like Luca around! I think he’s a great character. Yes, he has some nutty ideas, and Ferrari has a lot of influence — but he hasn’t ruined the sport so far! (Not for me, anyway.)

  5. Colin said on 27th November 2013, 6:32

    That sums up what is wrong with Formula 1. One team wield too much power. Everyone on a level playing field with equal power and a fairer distribution of prize money would help to make this a fairer ‘sport’ instead of what it is today.

    • Your right. And it would be great to see Red Bull taken down a notch or two by virtue of not being able to outspend the majority of the grid by a factor of “3” and also have all of the rules applied equally to them and not just the unfavored “masses”.

  6. Barney said on 27th November 2013, 7:57

    di Montezemolo is ridiculous sometimes, however, in the last couple of years, Ferrari always seemed the main title challengers for Red Bull! Imo they need to get their things together and start winning!

    Getting James Allison was a plus, hiring Raikkonen is also a plus for next year! We shall see what happens! Personally I’d love to see Vettel, Alonso, Kimi, Hamilton all fighting for the 2014 championship!

  7. Jason (@jason12) said on 27th November 2013, 8:58

    Still baffles me that Bottas was so aggressive being lapped.
    So much to loose and so little to gain.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th November 2013, 17:40

      @jason12 He wasn’t being lapped, he was unlapping himself. And there’s nothing wrong with drivers doing that – several other drivers did it during the race (on Vettel) and we’ve seen it happen many times before. Hamilton himself did it last year in Germany.

  8. I didn’t see the interview, so I don’t know if he was asked about Ferrari’s political power, but there have been quite a few complaints recently here in Italy. The italian journalists complained that Massa received a penalty in Brazil and Vettel and Webber didn’t. Some commentators said that that’s because Red Bull has now more political power than Ferrari. Same for the tyre change after Silverstone, italian journalists are saying that Pirelli changed tyres because Red Bull complained and they have so much power in F1 that Pirelli obeyed (of course, that’s not what happened, but who cares).
    I think Montezemolo wanted to reassure the tifosi that they still have an unfair advantage over the other teams!

  9. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 27th November 2013, 9:25

    Wow… Just wow… He actually said the following 2 quotes in the same interview

    “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”

    and

    One needs to be careful that we maintain credibility

  10. crr917 (@crr917) said on 27th November 2013, 10:43

    The old vampire is scared that F1’s new king could be a werewolf :)

  11. BringOn2014 said on 27th November 2013, 10:46

    They might be the only team to have right for veto. And next year they have a driver who might be the only driver in F1 history who once was paid not to drive at all, when 2013 he was driving without being paid. Politics..

  12. Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 27th November 2013, 10:56

    It’s a bit petty to still be hung up on Massa’s penalty. It’s like they’re pinning the blame on the stewards for them losing 2nd place in the constructors. The fact is they got a penalty for doing something they were warned would merit a penalty if they did it.

    As Massa said he didn’t overtake anybody or even really gain any time, so a punishment in the form a drive through maybe doesn’t fit the crime, but they were all told more than once “if you do this, you will get a penalty for it”. Massa did it, and guess what he got a penalty. A harsh penalty, but one he should have known was coming.

    Massa may not have gained any time from going over the white line, but as Martin Brundle pointed out in his Sky Sports column the pit entry area at Interlagos is pretty scary and potentially dangerous, with the fast and blind left hander and the high pit wall, so is it possible Massa got the penalty more for crossing the box and putting himself in unnecessary danger, rather than actually gaining time by taking a short cut?

    Any thoughts anyone?

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 27th November 2013, 11:51

      As Massa said he didn’t overtake anybody or even really gain any time, so a punishment in the form a drive through maybe doesn’t fit the crime

      I think they introduced the rule not to stop drivers from gaining time but due to safety concerns of hitting another car from behind that is slowing down when entering the pits. So the “crime” would be similar to speeding in the pitlane, which also attracts a drive-through.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 27th November 2013, 15:46

      IMO, as Brundle has said over the last few GPs, everything in F1 is so meticulously planned and detailed out, nothing is done unless there’s a benefit to it. Currently, Charlie seems to only look at track position and then occasionally, at lap time but there are other benefits – it’s easier on the tyres!

      Massa effectively cut the corner by straightlining it. He was told not to and he decided to do it anyway. I can’t see how that isn’t a penalty.

      I imagine the decision to penalise drivers in Brazil was down to safety reasons but ignorance is bliss – I’ll just pretend that the FIA are doing the right thing for once!

  13. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th November 2013, 14:47

    I’m still glad Ferrari still has that veto, for all the people that are complaining Ferrari used that veto to prevent from the adoption of the ridiculous 4 cylinders turbo engines , i know that it was used not for the sake of the sport but at least it prevented from what could have been killed the spirit of the sport

  14. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 27th November 2013, 15:06

    @tifoso1989 Ferrari leaving wouldn’t mean Alonso leaving. He would be hired right away by the next best team, even if the seat is secured by a contract. And so people in Spain will fill the stands to support Alonso in whatever color he is wearing (as you can probably see in 2005 -2006 videos). F1 would be shot, definitely, but many people support DRIVERS, not just the team. And Bernie is wise enough to take F1 to… Finland? They have 2 or 3 drivers there so it would be a secured business. And Bernie can also “threat” (as Ferrari does) retiring Italy from the calendar. Ferrari needs F1 as much aas F1 needs them.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th November 2013, 15:48

      @omarr-pepper

      And Bernie can also “threat” (as Ferrari does) retiring Italy from the calendar

      No he can’t, look what happened this year with Mercedes in the testgate, the team suggested the penalty and they were satisfied, no one dared to just punish what was a clear breach of the regulations, you know why ? because if the daimler board of directors has decided to quit F1, F1 will lose something like 17% of its value, Mercedes which offers the safety car, the medical car and transports all the FOM equipements iis so important to Bernie, how about Ferrari ??? what would stop them from quitting F1 and made their own league something like NBA ?? A league that is reigned by pure F1 regulations and the profits are shared between the teams, only a big prize money and the highest political power would prevent them from that and that is exactly what Bernie Ecclestone did

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 27th November 2013, 16:05

        There are ten other teams in F1, and none of them objected to the penalty. Anyway, even if Merc pulled everything out of F1, the track cars would then be supplied by Ferrari and/or McLaren instead. As for the shipping, not every lorry in the paddock has a three-pointed star on it.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th November 2013, 18:15

          I didn’t say that F1 will die if Mercedes pulled out, but it will lose some of its value which is a disaster for Bernie & his partners who they are only interested in making the maximum profit out of the sport

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 27th November 2013, 17:52

        @tifoso1989 why do you quote me if your answer is totally different? I don’t get it… and btw, F1, as you say, needs not only Ferrari,,but the other teams as well.

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 27th November 2013, 18:00

          and for the record… if Ferrari can make their own single-seaters league, with F1-like cars, why did the A1 championship (“powered by Ferrari” as it said on the presentation) wasn’t a success? just because it wasn’t “the” real F1

          • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th November 2013, 18:26

            @omarr-pepper
            A1 GP has nothing to do with Ferrari, the series was founded by Sheikh Maktoum of Dubai who sold his position as chairman later, the original chassis were Lola powered by a Zytek V8, it was in the final season of the series that the chassis & the engine were provided by Ferrari, that’s unfair comparison plus the fact that the concept of the series was based on nations racing each other and not teams

  15. RACERNORRISKI (@racernorriski) said on 27th November 2013, 18:42

    Just a loser trying to make himself more important than he really is in the grand scheme of things. Bernie making more side deals!!! Maybe Bernie also gave Luca a few million $$$$ to help him thru this mid age losing crisis….. Or maybe Perelli could make tires for Ferrari’s inferior cars and they might do better or maybe not…. or maybe Luca should spend more time making a race car and less time whining…………. Thinking way back, the only way Ferrari won the 1964? world championship was for Ferrari to have the last race in the series cancelled because it was obvious that the Cobra’s would win the race and the championship. Thanks, RnR

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