Montezemolo pained by Ferrari’s lack of pace

F1 Fanatic Round-up

F1F CSIn the round-up: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says he was pained by Ferrari’s lack of performance in Bahrain.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Montezemolo: “Che dolore vedere una Ferrari così lenta” (La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italian)

“Seeing a Ferrari so slow on the straight gives me pain.”

Luca di Montezemolo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Montezemolo takes early leave as Bahrain thriller exposes Ferrari weaknesses (James Allen on F1)

Jean Todt: “This is not a banana republic, where someone turns up and says, ‘Let’s change.’ If you want changes, it has to be done through the regulatory framework.”

Alonso worry at lack of Ferrari speed (BBC)

“We would like to have extra speed and to be able to battle with anyone. But at the moment it seems we miss on that aspect. We have some strong points that some other circuits will show.”

F1 should push fuel economy harder, says Lowe (Reuters)

“The first suggestion was that we need 110kg (of fuel). And then, has anyone realised that you couldn’t fit 110kg into these cars? Ah, oh dear.”

Ecclestone seeks to regain grip on F1 (FT, registration required)

“[Ferrari would] like to see more or less what I think is the right way to go. They’re supportive of what I would like to see done with it [F1].”

Force India committed to Formula One cost cap despite FIA delaying plan (The Guardian)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley: “It’s totally unacceptable, and we’ll never change our mind on that. You can’t enrich and empower certain very strong teams, disenfranchise the rest and expect us to be happy.”

Todt: no concern over extreme F1 diets (Autosport)

“I don’t think you go to hospital because you are on a diet.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Christian Horner: “We were pretty competitive at the end of the race..” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Both were totally co-operative where they worked together. Sebastian [Vettel] said I’ll let him through at Turn 11, sacrificing as little speed as possible, leaving Daniel [Ricciardo] to get on with his race. Of course it switched through the pit stops back again, and then they were free to race over the last sector of the race.”

Red Bull will not give in to Mercedes, says Horner (The Telegraph)

Horner: “For the first time we saw their true pace where they obviously went for it, and they’re not hanging about.”

The background to Bahrain (Joe Saward)

“Todt… insists on choosing a few friendly journalists and in consequence manages to alienate all those who were not invited. It is a brilliant way to make enemies and such a simple thing not to do.”

Ecclestone Challenged as F-1 Website Trails Egyptian Soccer (Bloomberg)

This article claims the official Formula One website is underperforming, citing data from Alexa. However there have been serious doubts in the past over the reliability of Alexa’s data.

Jim Clark: The mystery remains (ESPN)

“Clark, by rights, should have been taking part in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, a round of the World Sportscar Championship that was vastly more important than a F2 race on a comparatively unknown German track (Hockenheim did not stage a Grand Prix until 1970). A contractual obligation with Lotus and Firestone meant the two-time World Champion had to forgo his drive in the Ford F3L sports car and take part in a series that was not recognized by British national newspapers, never mind television for which motor sport coverage of any kind was extremely rare.”

Celebrating and appreciating Mario Andretti (The way it is)

“‘I said I want to do Formula One,’ Mario recalls about that breakfast meeting with Chapman. ‘And Colin, said, ‘Right. You come on as number one.’ I wasn’t all that excited because his cars were junk. They hadn’t done anything in a few years. He was involved in his new car company and a boat company. The car company went public and he made a pile of money. That’s where his interests were at the time.'”

Long Beach’s best race (MotorSport)

“Over the years there have been many great races at Long Beach, starting with Brian Redman’s victory aboard a Haas/Hall Lola-Chevy in the inaugural Formula 5000 race in 1975. Formula 1 arrived the following year and the race went from failure to success in 1977 when Mario Andretti scored the first of his four Long Beach wins driving a JPS Lotus 78. Mario’s win brought fresh excitement and popularity to F1 in America and with it the crowds at Long Beach surged.”


Comment of the day

Julien spotted a great stat about Mercedes’ start to the season:

Mercedes have led every lap so far this season, the set the fastest lap in every race, and were on pole every race so far. This is the first time in history this has happened. In 1992 and 1988 there were at least two teams who set the fastest lap of the race in the first three races.
Julien (@Jlracing)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Craig Woollard!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gilles Villeneuve took the lead of the world championship 35 years ago today by winning round four of the 1979 series at Long Beach.

Ferrari team mate Jody Scheckter was half a minute behind with Alan Jones adrift by a similar margin in his third-placed Williams.

However Villeneuve was rather fortunate to be allowed to start the race from pole position after botching the original start by failing to stop where he was supposed to. James Hunt, making one of his final appearaces as a grand prix driver, gives a characteristically forthright view on proceedings in this video:

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70 comments on Montezemolo pained by Ferrari’s lack of pace

  1. Albert said on 8th April 2014, 12:09

    I have to wonder, did Mercedes ask/persuade their client teams to allow their drivers to race, regardless of what happens? Amid talks of rule changes “in the name of the sport”.

    It’s kinda curious, considering that FI had a lot to lose from not issueing team orders, same as Williams (which they may have, missing the podium), they let their drivers compete, flat out.

    Of course, it could also be a consequence of what happened in Malasya with Williams last week.

    I guess I’ll never know for sure, but if Mercedes actually did that, it would be a masterfully brilliant move against Ecclestone and Montezemolo. I would admire them even more than I do now.

  2. trotter said on 8th April 2014, 12:21

    On that little pic, for the moment I thought Parr is agent Mulder.

  3. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 8th April 2014, 12:35

    After yesterday whenever a team ruins a race with team orders they should be asked: “@MercedesAMGF1 trust their drivers, why don’t you?”

    Because you are not Mercedes AMG F1 drivers.

  4. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 8th April 2014, 12:50

    There are parts of the world where you can get just about any surgery you like, if you’ve got the money. It’s an extreme thought, but is it absolutely beyond imagination that drivers could even think about having sections of bone and various extraneous body parts removed in order to reduce their mass?

    Once upon a time, having the biggest pair of cojones was an advantage. Now apparently they’re just dead weight, slowing you down..

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 8th April 2014, 13:19

      Lol. You mean they can’t even be thought of as useful ballast with a very low center of gravity within the car anymore?

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 8th April 2014, 14:06

        No, I’m afraid not. Not when the car’s overweight. In fact, do you really need to kidneys? All those ribs? All your fingers and toes? body hair? ears?

        I reckon your average F1 driver has at least 10kg of ‘spare’ body parts they don’t use t drive an F1 car.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 9th April 2014, 1:04

          Lol, well it would seem some don’t need to bring their brains, as they aren’t being used inside the car anyway. And theres egos too…how much does an ego weigh? Might depend on the driver. Some of them have a lead foot, but I guess that is necessary and is also fairly low in the car. I think they may need their ears though, as they can now actually hear themselves think and hear everything else too, for those with their brains on board of course.

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 8th April 2014, 14:33

    Dennis is back, but not in control: the green ‘part’ and Vodafone livery certainly don’t match his standard.

  6. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 8th April 2014, 14:57

    Interesting to note that while F1 teams are struggling to get their F1 cars under 700kg, Audi’s new LMP1 challenger with its closed cockpit, covered wheels, full hybrid system, four wheel drive, and so on, only weighs in at 170kg more than the F1 cars. Obviously in performance terms that difference is absolutely enormous, but it is very interesting that as LMPs are also going down the hybrid route, they are actually getting lighter, not heavier

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th April 2014, 17:27

      @mazdachris, very interesting link. Of course we know it’s only fiction, we know that because we know it’s an absolutely incontravertible fact that this kind of open development is totally unaffordable, even by the biggest car manufacturers in F1 let alone a secondary series only known to the general public for 1 race.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 8th April 2014, 17:53

        @hohum Well, for the sake of balance, I suppose you could argue that F1 cars are already incredibly optimised in terms of weight, and that the technical restrictions mean that the weight is very difficult to reduce, whereas LMP1 cars could be starting from a position of less optimisation, with greater room for improvement. Personally I find that a little hard to swallow, and would say it has more to do with the much more open nature of the rules for LMP1 compared to F1, which allow a greater freedom of innovation which naturally appeals to major manufacturers because it allows greater road-relevance of the technology. But hey, what do I know…

        It’s definitely interesting that while F1 has managed to attract just one major manufacturer and one additional engine manufacturer, in the same time period you’ve seen Porsche and Toyota commit to full Le Mans programmes (full engine and team development) with a number of other engine manufacturers joining, including Mazda. And even Ferrari have given a statement of intent to rejoin the premiere endurance series in the near future.

        And let’s not forget, those Audis are whisper-quiet. But maybe the WEC audience is a bit more discerning and aren’t just the sort of people who would inexplicably pay hundreds of pounds solely to hear a very loud noise. Or is that just me being cynical..?

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th April 2014, 15:11

    Increasing the decibel level is apparently essential, why? Yet improving the durability of the tyres so as not to doubley penalise an attacking driver is not even discussed despite the overwhelming evidence that cars racing on equal tyres without having to worry about degradation provide the most exciting racing we see all year. What evidence, the evidence is in every race where a safety car leaves the entire field on new tyres with 10 or less laps left to race, so obvious is the difference in the excitement level that many fans dismissed the 1st. 40+ laps of Bahrain as of no consequence, rating the race highly only because of the safety cars appearance. Why is no-one prepared to admit that tyre degradation was a stupid idea that has been detrimental to both the competition and the show.

  8. Brian C (@bcracing) said on 8th April 2014, 17:26

    Speaking for everyone on the Ferrari F1 team. “Please stay at home Mr. Montezemolo. We are trying very hard and you bring nothing to the table when it comes to racing performance. Please just stay at home and try to find more development money.”

  9. Hairs (@hairs) said on 8th April 2014, 17:36

    So, is Joe Saward’s point “some people didn’t get invited, and f1 journalists are petulant children who care more about their own ego than reporting”?

  10. apexor said on 14th April 2014, 21:13

    Montezemolo next caption completion. Please.
    This could a good contest.
    Here is an example: Montezemolo pretends to be Vladimir Putin. He looks just like him in this picture but with a face though. “Look I am Vladimir Putin”.

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