Di Montezemolo attacks new teams and calls for shorter races and more testing

Posted on

| Written by

Luca di Montezemolo is still dreaming of three Ferraris in an F1 race

Luca di Montezemolo has repeated his criticism of the sport’s new teams, calling them “a joke” in an interview with Autocar.

The Ferrari boss said:

There is a need to have competitive teams. F1 is like soccer. It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalize everything. We need to avoid having too many small teams as it means too many compromises.
Luca di Montezemolo

As shown here last week, the new teams have made considerable progress since the start of the season, reducing the gap to the midfield teams by more than a third.

Di Montezemolo repeated his argument in favour of three-car teams and argued for sweeping changes to race weekends:

Do we need to race at two in the afternoon when everyone is at the sea? Could we have two races per meeting? Do races need to last so long? F1 is not an endurance race. We need races to be short and tough.
Luca di Montezemolo

But yesterday McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh admitted having three-car teams “hasn’t been discussed recently” by the Formula One Teams’ Association. Whitmarsh added:

If you introduce a third car McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes would all be, probably happy to have it. But I think in fairness to the smaller teams it would only disadvantage them further.
Martin Whitmarsh

In a poll of over 4,500 F1 Fanatic readers in February, 62% were against three-car teams.

Di Montezemolo also urged the return of in-season testing – hardly a surprise given Ferrari’s difficulties keeping up with the pace of development this year, while owning a test track its F1 team cannot use for most of a year.

And he said Ferrari would consider entering a series of Le Mans-style endurance races if enough manufacturer interest could be found.

Much was made of di Montezemolo’s visit to the Le Mans 24 Hours last year during the height of the conflict between the FIA and the teams, when he participated in the ceremonial start of the race.

New teams and three-car teams

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

131 comments on “Di Montezemolo attacks new teams and calls for shorter races and more testing”

  1. There is already a very similar format: GP2. The way the cars are built surely has something to do with the excitement in the races. But I firmly believe that the motivation to showcase your skill – to get in an F1 – accounts for a far larger part of the excitement. I’m unsure if di Montezemolo’s comment is inspired by watching GP2, but it doesn’t seem that unlikely.

    I also can’t help but think that “everyone is at the sea”, may be true for sunnier regions like Italy, but I doubt many people in Northern Europe for instance get a lot of sea-time before july.

    1. I also can’t help but think that “everyone is at the sea”, may be true for sunnier regions like Italy, but I doubt many people in Northern Europe for instance get a lot of sea-time before july.

      My sentiments entirely!

      1. Richard in Hong Kong
        10th June 2010, 3:47

        And what about the millions of F1 fans here in Asia and beyond to Australia?

        The timing is perfect here, with Europoean races usually starting at 8pm on a Sunday evening – the perfect way to wrap up a weekend.

        The only problem is, and I’m sure anyone reading this in Asia wil agree – the commentary and build up on Star Sports is diabolically bad.

        1. Tom M in Australia
          10th June 2010, 9:19

          The coverage is equally bad in Australia, so I get my Dad to record the BBC coverage (plus the Forum, naturally) and send them over on DVD after each race!

          I agree about the timing though, it is great to have F1 on at prime time.

          1. Richard in Hong Kong
            10th June 2010, 14:10

            You can watch the BBC coverage anywhere, Tom, if you pay about 5 pounds a month on sites like http://www.my-private-network.co.uk, and don’t mind watching it on your pc.

            You’ll get access to the BBC iplayer and the live F1 broadcasts. Works well most of the time in Hong Kong, but sometimes it does spend too much time buffering, so can’t be relied upon!

          2. schumiforthewin
            10th June 2010, 14:58

            richard, i actually used to enjoy the f1 pre show on star sports. mainly cos of paula malai ali though.. HOT!!! she used to go to my high school.. just fyi :) well i didnt think it was so bad. but then again i havent exactly seen the bbc coverage. but after having being in melbourne for a year and a half now and having to put up with that crap on one hd, star sports coverage is mind blowing.

        2. yep having to hear steve slater each race is a huge distraction.years of f1 commentary cant even get the driver’s name straight.BBC commentary is so good.their pre grand prix show is excellent

          1. Richard in Hong Kong
            11th June 2010, 3:36

            I agree totally with you, schumiforthewin. Paula is HOT, but she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Alex Yoong is the only presenter with any sense. Paula does kind of make up for some of her lack of knowledge with her hot looks, I guess.(She has a twin sister, right? It just gets better… maybe you can hook me up when I’m in Singapore for the sept race?;)

            If you haven’t seen the BBC coverage you’re realy missing out. The pre-race show is fantastic, with great analysis and interviews right from the pitlane, and the post match forum is great. (check out the link I mentioned above)

            Subruzzo: Steve Slater should be shot!

    2. Nathan Bradley
      9th June 2010, 9:16

      Ha ha ha, so true! :)

      The only good thing about Luca’s rants is that they give me a fantastically deep belly laugh every time I read one.


      1. Nathan Bradley
        9th June 2010, 9:19

        I also meant to say, you could give a book of his rants to people who have no sense of humour. You’d have them rolling in the aisles in no time!


    3. Not to mention millions of people not watching from Europe but getting out of bed early or into bed late to watch.

      Also watching F1 is a lot healtier than sitting in the sun 8)

  2. Luca di Montezemolo is a joke, more histronics and arm waving when he should be steering his team…

    For sure there are big works teams in LeMans too, but racing with smaller teams in LMP2 and GT classes. Will he be attacking these guys too when Ferrari enters LMPs???

    1. ‘And he said Ferrari would consider entering a series of Le Mans-style endurance races if enough manufacturer interest could be found.’

      A Le Mans type series with plenty of manufacturer interest? Such as the various Le Mans series then? Why not just say what you mean, unless what you mean is creating a new series similar to one which already exists, in which case you’re being foolish. What an idiot.

      The fact that his vision of what F1 should be is sooooo far removed from what it actually is suggests that F1 isn’t the sport for him at all. Unfortunately for him most people who watch F1 watch it because they like the format of it, even if there are some things which need improving. Sure, the two race thing works in GP2, but that doesn’t command the same international audience as F1. If F1 showed 2 seperate races, what are the chances that people skip one of them anyway, instead of arranging their time so that they are at the TV at 2 seperate occasions. Also, if they were spaced further apart, their would have to be several support races actually at the track in between. Having Porsche supercup following the F1 would probably make the first race seem less important to the audience than the second, even if the points awarded were the same.

      ‘F1 is not about endurance.’
      Funny, I thought F1 used to last at least 3 hours in the 50s/60s, and I thought the race length of between 1 and a half and 2 hours was actually pretty much perfect. Imagine if Bahrain had been a short ‘sprint’ race. Would it have made for better racing? Almost certainly not. We would have complained that the race was both boring and short, removing any chance of something interesting happening. Also it would remove the need for any pitstops at all.

      His vision of F1 is not at all reminiscent of what F1 is and what it’s about, so I think it is very worrying that he is in such a prominent position in the sport.

  3. I think Luca should concentrate more on his own teams performance than that of others particularly when you consider the rate which the new teams are catching Ferrari, who have stagnated this season.

    “Everyone is at the sea at 2pm”??? – I don’t recall cancelling many seaside trips to watch F1!!

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      9th June 2010, 9:46

      Well the solution is easy the isn’t it Luca?
      Let’s have the races at 4 am – in February.

    2. And that answers the question of why he goes on like this perfectly: to divert attention from his team not doing all that great yet again this year, even when they started with a top of the field car.

      Well, the Turkey weekend was nice here, but for Canada I cannot see myself going to the beach to be rained upon either ;)

  4. I wish this idiot would get over the failure of GPMA. If he wants a series for ‘big’ teams let him put a series together or shut up. Ferrari is in danger of slipping back even further and being overtaken by a few ‘small’ teams. This constant belly-aching is getting tedious in the extreme.

    1. So agreed. Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. Ferrari are nearly more a merchandise company now than a car company. We know what happens when Ferrari rule the roost and it is BORING.

      Best thing ever for McLaren if Ferrari ever walked from F1 and they didn’t, so it won’t happen otherwise and now with Renault being more team than manufacturer it leaves only Mercedes for Ferrari to really pal up to.

      The only thing that has any attraction in a new series is getting rid of the CVC debt servicing noose around the necks of the teams and the venues.

      Go the real racing teams and the developers that use more brain than dollar!

  5. I wish Di Montezemolo would get back in his box regarding new teams. Ferrari don’t run F1 and if the teams have something to say then they should use FOTA to voice their concerns. It is after all, what FOTA was setup to do.

  6. I must admit to finding Di Montezemolo’s disdain for the newer teams to be slightly perplexing. Yes they aren’t as established as the other teams, yes they are off the pace (to be fair Ferrari is well off the pace of where it should be) but the new teams are improving every race and will soon be as competitive as the Saubers, Force Indias and the Williams.

    As was pointed out in the article, a lot of fans do not want to see 3 cars per team, and I remember in a poll a while back on the site that it was a fair majority that were against shorter races. Formula 1 needs to be very careful about over-fixing.

    The one and only point that I do agree with Di Montezemolo on is the need for more testing. Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor racing and I’m a huge fan of the technical aspects, I want to see teams testing and developing new parts and new innovations, bringing updates to each race. On that note, I personally would like to see more freedom in the technical rules to allow teams to follow different routes to achieving performance instead of every team simply copying any small innovation from other teams until the cars are indistinguishable.

    1. Your last paragraph leaves me feeling slightly :S

      McLaren came develop new parts and innovations (f-duct) with testing, so why can’t Ferrari? :S

      How would more testing see more freedom in the technical rules? Surely it’s the technical rules that are at fault, not the testing ban? :S

  7. Maybe Luca should look back on history and realise that Ferrari once were a small team in motor racing. They used Alfa Romeo’s till they could develop their own car.
    A bit like how HRT use Dallara before they build their own next year.

    1. Apart from the fact that the ‘Ferrari’ development was to write ‘Ferrari’ instead of ‘ALFA’ on the engine! :-)

  8. You know what’s a joke?

    Ferrari and Di Montezemolo

    1. I have to agree with this point. Ferrari have absolutely lost the plot.

    2. Montezemolo is presiding over what might turn out to be the terminal decline of a great marque. His strutting arrogance about everything that is not Ferrari in F1; his pathetic delusions so severe that he really seems to believe that all his problems are everybody elses fault. Everybody that doesn’t work for Ferrari that is.

      These are not good signs for Ferrari’s future. In the tough day’s of the early nineties, Ferrari luminaries kept their heads down and rebuilt the team around Schumaker. Dare one suggest that they seem to have the wrong guy running the ship right now ?

    3. American_F1_Fan
      9th June 2010, 20:37

      I couldn’t agree more! Funny how Ferrari only has a problem with the format and rules when they aren’t at the sharp end of the grid…

      I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on this one, but let Ferrari leave. Regardless of what they believe, they aren’t the “soul of F1”.

      1. I agree. Let them leave. McLaren is the new Ferrari now.

        1. I really bloody hope not, Jonathan.

  9. Shortening the races is a very bad idea it cheapens the sport. Shortening events only dimish their value, England won the T20 world cup the other month, but no one was that bothered because although it was pretty exciting the shorter form of the game always seems of less value. Shortening F1 races would simply devalue what’s supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport.

    Also its bizzare after we’ve had such an exciting race in Turkey people still obsess about ‘the show’ Constant rule tinkering and the kind of politiking Luca is engaging in is a bigger problem for F1 than the quality of the racing, which this year has been excellent.

    1. “Shortening the races is a very bad idea it cheapens the sport.”

      Agreed, a last lap pass means a hell of a lot more after 300km than 20km.

      If anything I’d like races to be longer, many will run closer to 1 hour than 2…

      1. Yesterday I saw the (replay, I guess) of the indycar oval race in Texas – quite nice to see, but I was working at the same time, which was good, as I otherwise would have been a tad bored.

        And even then, it was good I that only switched on after about 100 laps (or 228) – only after about 150 laps did it really heat up, even though it turned out the eventual numbers 1 and 2 were more or less constantly in the fight for the top 5 places, which was impressive and nice to see.

    2. If my memory serves me right didn’t all the action occur in the closing stages of the race. Hamilton’s blowout, the Redbull self destruct and then the Mclaren 2 step. Shortening races would be disastrous.

      Ferrari are just crying because this year they cannot challenge for the top step.

      1. Ferrari always cry when they cannot challenge for the top step…. most of the time you get the impression from Luca’s comments that the other teams should just be there to make Ferrari look good, but shouldn’t do anything so impertinent as to go faster than them.
        Most team principles when they comment on the sport tend to give an opinion slightly slanted towards their on team but overall reasonably balanced. On the other hand almost all Luca’s rants can be summed up as “Ferrari are better than anybody else at such and such so it should be made compulsory”. And “Ferrari are not as good at such and such as the rest and so it should be banned”. A real pity because Ferrari are a fantastic team and are big enough and strong enough not to need such continuous one sided announcements.

    3. Moreover, can you imagine flying into the middle of nowhere, get an over expensive hotel room (3 nights minimum) and be at the track on 2 days just to see 2 times about an hour of F1 sprint races?
      Maybe if you get a Ferrari-theme park ticket included, making races just a side show<

      The other idea about the weekend by Sam Michael was a lot more sound, run events on friday, just not using F1 cars so the teams have less running to do. Spice up the weekends, not dumb them down.

    4. Ads21 Well, I disagree whole heartedly that World twenty20 means nothing. It means more every year, it’s respected more very year, an the skill tactics, an level of attention given to the game increases every year as it gets more important. Even the purists bang on about it these days.

      Still I agree, Luca’s gone barmy. F1 isn’t an endurance race? Indeed it isn’t. We’re not messing with the 2hr 200mile format just because he thinks it’ll be good for him.

      I recently had a long an impassioned argument with someone on this forum on just this. I’ve changed my mind recently, Turkey had something to do with it, what a terrible idea?

      An he’s slating of the new teams is looking more and more stupid, especially considering the rate of their improvement.

      1. I mostly agree scribe, but whilst I love T20, you’ve got to admit that it will never be held in the same reverence of full test cricket – in the same way that two shorter races wouldn’t be held in the same reverence as a full grand prix. Look at the love of Le Mans as an endurance event.

        No matter what Luca says, F1 IS an endurance sport. its about making a car that is essentially constantly destroying it’s own parts through the stresses placed on them work for a 200km race at maximum speed and skill.

  10. Electrolite
    9th June 2010, 9:12

    Wouldn’t you need to completely re-think the design of an F1 car if you wanted shorter races? Finish a race after 20 laps in today’s cars and you might as well call the winner in qualifying, surely? Fanatics like us can’t get enough of races – for me Turkey felt like it ended too soon, I was just getting into it!

    As for the smaller teams they are and always have been a part of F1, it’s great to see their development and add another dimension to the sport. It’s like saying football matches should be only half an hour and there should only be a premiership. Ridiculous.

    1. Electrolite
      9th June 2010, 9:16

      Just to add;

      “It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalize everything.”

      F1 is more competitive at the top and has more ‘heroes’ now than for a long while in my view. And only having big teams would ‘equalise everything’ so this is a bit contradictory.

  11. Luca hasn’t said anything of relevance for years now. He just farts loudly on occasion to keep people looking in his direction.

    1. IMO, this has to be the most accurate assessment of Luca’s views.

  12. IS Williams a small team? Are Ferrari poised to eventually become “a small team”? Were MacLaren and Red Bull always “Big teams”? The guy is a joke.

  13. Shorter races? That’s ridiculous, an F1 GP has traditionally been like this, and F1 race should be longer and harder than a GP2 race for example. If he doesn’t like it the way it is, maybe he can race in GP2 or F3 with 2 short races…

    In season testing? Maybe not a bad idea but he only seems to mention it now that Ferrari are behind, quite sad really…

    Racing at 2PM? I am not at the sea when there is a GP because I want to watch the race. Should we change everything to accomodate for each and every person and by doing so destroy all of the history and heritage of GP racing? Some of the beauty of F1 is its history, passion and heritage, let’s not destroy that…

    Why keep attacking the new teams? It’s their first year, what else can one expect…

    I’m really starting to dislike DiMontezemolo, what an arrogant and unpleasant person!!

  14. And by the way, I think the racing has been excellent and exciting in the last few races!! Thanks to no refuelling and long races in some part too :D

  15. One day we will see Lotus overtaking Ferrari, and that’s what Luca is afraid off. He’s not in it for the sport, he’s in it for the money. From that point of view all he says is perfectly justified. Making life harder for newcomers is good for big teams, and making races shorter is good for the “show”.

  16. Robert McKay
    9th June 2010, 9:30

    “And he said Ferrari would consider entering a series of Le Mans-style endurance races if enough manufacturer interest could be found.”

    Dumb question here, is this a reference to sports cars, or is he talking about special very long Formula 1 races? I thought there already was a series of Le Mans style endurance races.

    The races are more or less the perfect length as is, in my book.

    But I get the feeling that Monty will persuade FOTA that GP2 style weekends are the way to go and they will start to psuh for that.

    1. Regarding your question, here’s what was said about endurance races:

      – However di Montezemolo also admitted that Ferrari has considered re-entering endurance sports car racing. “I’m very impressed with Le Mans but we can’t do both [F1] because of money and know-how and it’s only one race,” he said.

      “Instead if we can put together an endurance series, either 12 or 24 hours, with other car makers and race around the world, that would be good,” he said.

      So in context, that makes sense.

      I don’t think Montezemolo is involved very much with FOTA any more, as the Ferrari side is represented by Domenicali.

      Much of what he is saying is not news as he has said it before (3 cars, new teams in F1, testing) and the rest just sounds like ordinary speculative dinner chit-chat rather than proposals for the sport.

  17. Yet again a sensationalist headline because Montezemolo said something. He did not call for shorter races and he did not demand 3 cars. He said all should be discussed and assessed. Yet again most on this site have to ‘have a go’. What he said about the time relates to a huge percentage of fans in Europe where Sunday for nearly 6 months of the year is spent at the beach. I know that this is not the case in the UK or Germany but it is in Portugal, Spain, France Italy all the ex Yugoslavian countries etc. They do make up a huge part of the viewers. This really only affects central and southern European viewers of course. Ferrari may be a big team and Red Bull are now and it only took them a few years to get there. The point is in England do you tell Man Utd, Chelsea that they can’t spend money because Bolton can’t. Teams move up and down and if they move up the league they spend more money. This rant has nothing to do with how Ferrari have performed this year, his arguments have not changed for several years now. I don’t agree with much of what he says but I am very strongly against testing bans and track time for drivers. Is there a more useless position than an F1 test driver? Criticize him, shout at him as many will do but he has a right to talk about F1. He kept Ferrari in the sport in the mid 70’s when Enzo was ready to give it all up and for that I forgive a lot of his crazy ideas.

    1. Robert McKay
      9th June 2010, 9:53

      “Yet again a sensationalist headline because Montezemolo said something. He did not call for shorter races and he did not demand 3 cars.”


      But the quote at the top of the page seems pretty clear.

      “Do races need to last so long? F1 is not an endurance race. We need races to be short and tough.”

      It suggests strongly that he’d LIKE short races, even if he’s not CALLING for them.

      And you could argue that by floating the idea in the first place he’s getting close to calling for in in the first place anyway.

      1. Actually Di Montezemolo is very wrong even about the beach thing. NO ONE goes to the beach at 2PM it’s too hot then and UV rays are the strongest, living in a tourist place I can tell you that beaches are the emptiest during 2-4PM jus when the F1 race is on.

    2. What he said about the time relates to a huge percentage of fans in Europe where Sunday for nearly 6 months of the year is spent at the beach. I know that this is not the case in the UK or Germany but it is in Portugal, Spain, France Italy all the ex Yugoslavian countries etc. They do make up a huge part of the viewers.

      And what about viewers outside Europe?

      Yet again a sensationalist headline because Montezemolo said something.

      It’s hardly sensationalist – he said he would prefer letting the big teams have three cars than the current situation of having some new teams who are off the pace.

      1. Plus in France, believe me, not everybody is at the beach (sighs)

        1. Exactly. Oddly enough, countries like France, Spain, Germany, even northen Italy are not entirely coastal, as with the UK. There’s a bit in the middle, and traditionally people tend to live there as well as on the coast, and it’s a fairly big commute for them to get to the coast. Especially to get to the coast at 2pm and be back home in time for a race just before and just after 2 pm.

          1. Whatever time races are scheduled for because F1 is a global sport you could easily find a group of people somewhere who would usually be doing something else.

            It would be impossible to cater to everyone’s needs and I believe the current time and format works fine, so I see no need to for major changes.

            F1 isn’t broke so it doesn’t need fixing.

      2. I am against 3 cars per team but don’t Red Bull have 4? Not only one more they also have access to engine technology that they should not have.

        1. STR are not RBR :D

          They build there own car, and use a different engine supplier, nothing is the same

          1. If you think that at no point someone from RBR has not had a look at the engine in a STR or that they are not the same outfit please let me know where you live because I would love to be in such a place without taking drugs:)

        2. If Ferrari want to set up another team which builds a separate chassis and runs a Renault engine, there’s nothing stopping them from bidding for the 13th place…

    3. I think you’re generalizing quite a bit here. Sure there are many viewers in Southern Europe, but I don’t see how they make up a bigger audience than those in Middle/Northern Europe (which includes more than just the UK and Germany).

      And anyway, we’re talking about 9 races between May and September (minus Canada which airs later in Europe)… that’s 9 days out of 40 possible beach-weekend days in those 5 summer months (which is probably far more summer than most if Europe gets anyway). Ignoring the fact that people could just go to the beach before and/or after the race, I don’t think those 9 beach-less days are a good enough reason to change a schedule everyone is used too and that has worked well for a long time.

    4. How do you go to the beach if you live in Madrid, Paris, Lyon etc etc ?
      A pretty small minority of people go to the beach at 2.00 pm in Europe on a Sunday. Maybe 10%?

      1. The British are all in their gardens at 2pm !!!.LOL

    5. Ned Flanders
      9th June 2010, 11:41

      Sorry to be pedantic Rampante, but I doubt many people in central Europe spend much time at the beach….

      Anyway I disagree with you. It’s not so much what LDM is saying which bothers me- I agree with a lot of it- but it’s the way he says it. This isn’t some anti Ferrari conspiracy, it’s just we’re all growing tired of his outbursts.

      Compare what he’s said to Martin Whitmarsh’s quotes yesterday. They are saying similar things, but the difference is Whitmarsh was a lot more respectful and actually considered the needs of the smaller teams.

      1. I don’t agree with a lot he says Ned but this is an old story and at no point did he use the word joke. That is why autocar and Keith put it in brackets.
        People in the UK only see ‘clips’ of LDM and I see why he is unpopular. He is not the most loved man in Italy however he is a key person in many fields.
        Finally the weekend trip to the beach is by far the biggest pastime for most in these parts.I live 18km from the coast and every weekend the motorways are busier than during the week. Think of it like a 4 month English bank holiday.

    6. Just because you’re a Ferrari fan it doesn’t change the fact that Luca is really losing it these days and many people see him more as a clown than a respectable figure.

      Before ranting about sensationalism, maybe you shouldn’t be so reactionist? Not everything is an attack on the beloved Scuderia – a look at how many people here say good things about Domenicali would prove that instantly.

      1. I am possibly the most critical Ferrari fan in Italy. I hate fans who jumped onto a bandwagon without thinking. I have not defended LDM here but this was not a new story and he did not use the word joke. It provokes a reaction. He is off his head with some of his ideas but he still has a right to say so. The Mclaren/RBR events of 2 weeks ago have still not been cleaned up and both MW and CH are falling over themselves about who/what/why. If that was SD or LDM the web would have melted by now.

  18. Everything he talked about is total rubbish.The new teams are progressing & what he needs to care that his team haven’t made any significant improvement since the Bahrain GP.Three car team is a horrid idea imagine you have a safety car on track & you want all your drivers to make their pit stop, we will need traffic & police who controls traffic to control them in the pit lane that will be a very expensive traffic jam. I don’t find a reason why he find the race to be short & the ban of in season testing was introduced by him when he was the head of FOTA.

  19. Formula One, Right now, Is the best it’s been in a long time, if not ever (bold yes insane, not anymore) How can he be so stupid? Maybe there are things that could be fixed/improved, like some in season testing, perhaps it could even could be implemented to encourage smaller budgets?

    But all these things he is suggesting, they are sacrilege. Part of what makes Ferrari a bit team (apart from the huge budget and other advantages) Is it’s history, What he is suggesting, destroys all of it! What is the point of Monaco when it it’s not the same challenge as they went through 50 years ago? He seems to enjoy shooting himself in the foot.

    The most perplexing thing, Is this. Remember Mosley (boo hiss), Who fought and triumphed against Mosley, who was the most outspoken, who gained so much praise because he put up a fight? Luca!!! So then he was a hero to (most) of us.

    But… How has he gone from hero to “an arrogant and unpleasant person!!” as Josef said or as Tango expressed his thoughts “The guy is a joke.”
    He could be the voice of reason, But he has shown that he is just like Mosley, in fact, even Mosley had more respect for the fans.

  20. this site will be quite happy when Ferrari announce they are leaving at the end on 2012.

    1. How do you know?

      I have started to warm a great deal to Ferrari since Schumacher and Todt left the team – Domenicali seems like an honest guy trying to run a team without having the ear of the governing body and able to get anything he doesn’t like about other teams banned, and I like the way they have moved away from being the team based around getting one driver the title at the expense of his team-mate, to allowing Massa and Alonso to compete hard with each other.

      I peronsally will be glad when Di Montezemolo leaves F1, because he has nothing of value to input and just carps about other teams.

      1. Well said rob, Right now I dislike, in general terms, ferrari, but it has more to do with Luca’s bashing of the small teams than any deep rooted dislike of the team.

        It’s just like Renault, without Big Ugly Flav, I like them!

        1. Ferrari are leaving F1 at the end of 2012. Their plans will be laid out in full in January 2011, that is one of the reasons why they have continued with the same line up. Most of the British press will rejoice. Ferrari leaving F1 will be good for them.

          1. I don’t think so. I don’t particularly like Ferrari, but I am not so bitter as to want them out, and I expect that is how many people who dislike the team feel, including the press. F1 wouldn’t be the same without them, but that doesn’t mean they have to be liked or that nonsense statements from them have to be tolerated. And I do not believe that Ferrari will leave the sport. If they gave up F1 just for endurance racing they would lose many fans, as there wouldn’t be very much coverage of a series of 12 hour race. It would not be good PR, and the drivers probably wouldn’t follow them (loosing more fans).

  21. 1) Shorter Races => Smaller margin of defeat to Red Bull, Mclaren, etc.

    2) Shorter Races => Less opportunities for Ferrari to mess up => More number of TV sets saved!

  22. I guess he wants small teams out because he knows in two years Ferrari will be challenging Lotus-es and HRTs.

    At least without them racing they won’t look so pathetic.

    (By the way, we’re discussing a guy who just only after being in the sport for 30 years choose to drive a car into a sand trap.


    I guess it’s his brain that went to the seaside – fulltime)

  23. Prisoner Monkeys
    9th June 2010, 10:19

    Luca has always been painted as the man to stand fast again Max Mosley. But now that Mosley is gone, he’s really become quite mad. Ever since this talk of three-car teams emerged, I’ve maintained that Ferrari are feeling vulnerable. They had a bad season last year, and now they’re losing ground to Ferrari. The fact that Alonso spent most of the race being unable to pass a rookie in Turkey is proof enough of it. This talk of three-car teams is little more than an attempt by Ferrari to re-consilidate their power. They loved the period from the mid-1990s until 2008, when there were always two teams at the front. Well, there are two at the front again in 2010 … but one of them isn’t Ferrari, and that’s killing them.

    In the light of Luca’s constant comments about the new teams being a bad joke, I think it’s a good thing that they’re having a rough season. Ferrari really only came good once they’d snared Schumacher; everything before that (the Ivan Capelli years, anyone?) was measured by medicority. I think Ferrari need to spent some time struggling in order to remember where they came from, and recapture some of the Ferrari spark rather than being some kind of monster that only care about winning and believe that Formula 1 is only at its best when they are winning. We’ve heard that kind of Cold War rhetoric before – from Briatore.

    And what does Luca think is going to happen? That the new teams are suddenly going to withdraw because they’re supposedly embarrassing Ferrari?

    1. “They had a bad season last year, and now they’re losing ground to Ferrari.”

      Do you mean Mclaren PM?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        9th June 2010, 11:49

        Actually, I meant Renault.

  24. Ferrari were taught to develop their cars through usage of unlimited testing by Michael Schumacher during 1996-2005.

    I have a feeling, they perhaps never perfected their wind tunnel and CFD techniques.

    This is the reason we see Ferrari always bringing in huge developments during the winter and almost nothing during the season.

    They need to start trusting their wind-tunnel more, and not whine about the rules.

  25. Actually i would like to see that the F1 races lasted longer i find 90 minutes way too short for what i have to pay and i get to see in the stands.

    minimum of 2 hour max 3 hours is much beter as the cars are tested on durability and speed.

  26. Shorter races is the number one thing i am scared of. Races are already short; make them even shorter? All this hype, all this week or two weeks of waiting for next race – just to see it end after one hour? What is it? A junior racing series? Stupid.

  27. I like the idea of more testing, especially for the new drivers.

  28. This is just Luca trying to divert attention from the fact that Ferrari does not have the technical talent and skill to build a car fast enough to beat Red Bull who by the way are a very new team. If Lotus beats Ferrari in 5 years time, are they still not worthy of a place on the F1 grid in his mind.

  29. of course, I actually meant ‘personally’

  30. Anytime Lou gets out of bed in a bad mood there´s a speech.

  31. MouseNightshirt
    9th June 2010, 11:15

    He’s just sore the new teams are improving 2-3 times faster than his team.

    Mad was a perfect prefix for Max. Loony Luca is seeming more and more appropriate these days.

  32. His feelings about smaller teams is echoed by many fans. It is not about keeping smaller teams out it’s about letting the bigger teams get on with what they do best. Red Bull have shown that you can win in a very short time. They would never have done that without spending a reasonable ammount of cash to pay the right people to come up with the goods. At no point in 5 years were they slower than GP2 cars. Force India is another example where vast sums have not been spent but they also were never slower than GP2. The 3 new teams are slow and this cray love for Lotus is just beyond reason. The great team of Lotus has nothing in common with a Malasian team who bought the name. If we all put some cash together as a group and buy the Hispano-Suiza or Duisburg name does that mean we have their history and greatness? Maserati shows that some things should be left alone, they may look good and drive well but because they are part of a group that make a whole host of cars they can never be what they were. Ferrari would not allow it and that makes it all wrong.Lotus are pulling on emotional strings trying to evoke a time now passed. They were light, fast and very good looking British sports cars with a great racing tradition and pedigree. The same cannot be said now.

    1. You need to drive an Elise.

      1. I have not sadly but I have driven several older ones. I don’t doubt that it’s good to drive but my point was is it really a Lotus?
        Far too many cars have lost any true identity they ever had and sadly Lotus are one.

        1. The Elise (kerb weight 725 kg at launch, the lightest production car for decades) was very definitely a Lotus. It was in fact far more of a Lotus than anything launched since Chapman’s death. Proton have rather definitely been the best owner for Lotus Cars since Chapman, they’ve brought them back to performance through light weight and it’s glorious. It’s pretty much for that reason I’m happy to accept the new F1 team as Lotus.

      2. Robert McKay
        9th June 2010, 11:45

        Neither Red Bull nor Force India started from scratch.

        Red Bull nee Jaguar nee Stewart.
        Force India nee Spyker nee Midland nee Jordan.

        I remember plenty people slamming some of those other names at times for being slow.

        Argument does not make sense on this basis.

    2. The new teams were granted there place in F1 less than a year before the season started of course they are going to be slow this year.

      Red Bull and Force India took over existing F1 teams who had established factories, design teams etc so it would be have surprising if they had been significantly off the pace.

      It is only in recent years that the F1 grid as a whole has been so close together that is why the teams pace has stood out as much.

  33. “everyone is at the sea” ????

    yeah, right, keep them coming Luca!. Like Southern Hemisphere people like going to the sea in the winter.

    You’ve been trying night racing so “Europeans get easier” to watch the race. You tried different times schedules at Australia and Sepang with hardly good results so “Europeans get easier”.

    Like the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

  34. I have been a ferrari fan since 96 but this guy doesn’t know what hes talking about most of the time. Although i do agree with him there should be more testing, hard to maximize the car without that. if anything races should be longer, not shorter. as someone mentioned before its toward the end of the race this year that challenges occur, or someone catches the front guy but runs out of laps. the timing change would be welcome as well, in america it sucks waking up to watch races at 6-7am 80% of the season.

  35. Luca has more teeth than brain cells.

  36. I would prefer it if Di Montezemolo would stop coming out with all his rants.

    New teams are almost always going to be off the pace in their first season especially when you consider when the current new teams were granted their place in F1.

    This continued criticism of the new teams is going to make it all the sweeter for them when they finish in front of Ferrari in a race, and it will happen eventually because even top teams have bad days sometimes, just like when Ferrari and McLaren were caught out in qualifying at Malaysia earlier this season.

    F1 has always had small teams and teams off the pace, so I see no reason why this is a problem now.

    F1 fan surveys come up with results such as it isn’t broke so don’t fix it so why does he want to change the format so much. I am defiantly against shorter races. Di Montezemolo is right that F1 is not an endurance race but a GP lasts at most 2 hours not 24 hours.

    In the recent Hammond meets Moss BBC program, Sir Stirling Moss mentioned in his day races would last a minimum of 3 hours, while I wouldn’t extend a GP to that length again I don’t want to see them shortened. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing a sprint race for the third drivers, but that would mean bringing a third car to races.

    As mentioned in the article of course Ferrari want in season testing brought back when they have their own test track and they seem to be losing the development race at the moment. If in season testing is re-introduced I think it should be like in MotoGP and on the Monday after selected races.

    The one thing I did like the sound of was the possibility of a works Ferrari team racing at Le Mans. I would like to see some F1 teams race in other series and allow their drivers to compete in non-F1 races, so Ferrari could have a Le Man entry with their F1 race and reserve drivers.

  37. There’s always a ranting blow-hard somewhere. Since Luca di Montezemolo is the top man at Ferrari, I guess Fiat needs to be the one to yank on the leash and tell him to shut-up and focus on fixing Ferrari before its hits a slump like it had from ’91-’93. I will say one thing though: Formula One with no in-season testing is sort of silly. Traditionally all motor sports have allowed teams to test at will. It’s only recently rule-makers have got this idea in their head that restricting testing will tighten fields up. For my money, the inability to test during the season has not actually tightened the grid up. The teams with the most money are still winning all the races. With that thought in mind, its seems to me banning in-season testing possibly lends more to one of the top teams simply holding an early-season technical advantage longer into the season as than it does to keeping the teams closer. If a team comes into a season with a technical advantage other teams can’t test possible gap-narrowing innovations except once every two weeks during the race weekend. That’s a snail’s pace compared to having in-season testing. If a team can therefore maintain a lead that would mean the run for the championship is not as close and you get less ratings and interest. Beyond all that, if banning in-season testing is such a great idea, why did they have to inflate the points system to make the championship seems closer (beyond all the other crap they’ve done)?

  38. UneedAFinn2Win
    9th June 2010, 11:33

    Shorter races are a bad, bad idea. Take WTCC for example, their “race” in Marrakech this year was an embarrassment on top of a joke. First of all, the scheduled length was 11 laps, they had two flagged-by false starts, had a crash that took the inadequate organizers 6-7 laps(!!) to clear so they ended up “racing” for one or two full speed laps. And all WTCC races are that short because it fits a TV-timeslot. I’m not saying all stock cars should go NASCAR (watching 3 to 4 hours of turning circles is a feat on its own) but come on, give the drivers a chance to make a mistake, give the mechanic gremlins a brakeline to chew through.

    but i digress…

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      9th June 2010, 13:08

      I was thinking about WTCC too, and not just in relation to Marrakesh (which was utterly farcical). It all seems a terrific waste of time, effort and money to stage two 10 or 15 lap races in a weekend for a ‘World Championship Series’.
      But on the main point – Luca – he doesn’t do himself any favours, does he?

      1. TO be honest, street races never seem to work well for the WTCC. the cars are just too big for tight street circuits to produce good racing.

        If you look at the BTCC though, they add laps on during safety car laps to maintain as much race ditance as possible.

        1. Well yes, but it depends on the street circuit. The seem to do well at Pau (as long as the safety car doesn’t do a jack-in-the-box move like last year) and they would do well at Norisring (where the DTM monsters get the max from the streets).
          I agree that Marrakesh was pathetic, but that was largely because the organisers and marshals were unused to dealing with crashed cars (compare to those at Monaco) and took too long to remove the wrecks. Also, they positioned the cranes at the chicanes, whereas a crash that started in a chicane actually ended 100 metres further down the track due to the speed of the cars involved. And of course, the track was very badly laid out.
          I thought that in Marrakesh the Race Director *did* add two laps to the second race so that it could end under green flag race conditions, but was unable to add any more because the cars would have run out of fuel. Pathetic, eh?
          I think WTCC has a major credibility problem because it just looks inferior and amateur when compared to Aus Supercars and DTM.

  39. Why not let the teams test according to the points tally in the manufacturer championship. More testing allowed for the teams with less points would serve to give them a chance to catch up with the leading teams with better and closer racing as a result.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      9th June 2010, 13:27

      Interesting idea. But wouldn’t you have to divide the season up into thirds or quarter or whatever so that at the end of each part you work out how much testing each team is allowed in the following part. Of course the last part of the season, would be irrelelvant because testing entitlement would be worked out only when the season had ended . . .
      But you *could* allocate testing time according to the results of the previous season, with any new teams allocated in-season testing equal to the least successful existing team.

      1. Yes exactly I had something like this in mind.

        1. Well, since no one has said “You’re an idiot, HBG” and since Sven reckons it’s feasible, I think it could be a go-er!

  40. The Genuine Jim
    9th June 2010, 12:03

    2 races per meeting? Which one’s the grand prix then, Luca?
    Also, race length should be increased. A clean race at Monza last little more than one hour. I want MOAR!

  41. I Suppose this has a lot to do with not being able to brag much abou this own team at the moment.

    They started focussing on the car more then a year ago, were good at the start, but failed to bring uptdates in time and with the right focus to stay at the front.

    The new teams started from scratch, compared to RedBull, Force India and Torro Rosso (and Mercedes/Brawn) all carrying on with an existing team. Still, all of them took several years to get where they are now. A couple of years ago Minardi were a lot slower than the new teams are. Good job for getting where they are and i am looking forward to having them try to go forward from that.

  42. A grand prix was originally 10 hours, minimum. When the Commission Sportive Internationale defined a new formula, Formula A in 1946, it contineud on primarily with the pre-war grand prix regulations, though races were more around the 5 hour range.

    When in 1950 the World Driving Championship was established and Formula A became Formula 1, races were shortened to 500km/300 miles. Beginning with the 1958 season, races were shortened further to the current 300km/200mile distance.

    When di Montezemolo speaks of history and heritage, he refers to Ferrari and seemingly is quick to (conveniently?) forget the history and heritage of Formula 1.

    If he wants shorter races, then let him buy GP2 from Ecclestone & Briatore, and he can run in all the short races he wants. Leave Formula 1 alone–it isn’t broken, Luca, don’t try to fix it !

  43. IMO, Montezemolo needs to drop the spliff.
    But I agree that F1 needs competitive teams. Maybe Ferrari could do something about it.

  44. Here’s an idea, Luca: come to terms with he fact that you’re not Bernie and concentrate on getting your team back to the top again.

  45. It looks to me like his problem is that Ferrari don’t compete in any series where the races are less than 1 1/2 hours, and the GT races where Ferrari cars compete are both longer and get less media coverage and public attention.

    An alternative is to enter competitions with either shorter races or comparable prestige – unfortunately for him GP2/GP3/F2 take away most of the manufacturer element as they are pretty much spec series.

    Le Mans Series LMP-class would be an option, as he says, but the ‘manufacturer support’ thing smacks of making excuses. Audi, Peugeot and Aston Martin are already involved; Porsche, BMW and Mercedes have all competed in recent years, and possibly would return to compete with Ferrari. I suspect he knows that Ferrari would get badly beaten until they had been running a car for a few seasons. And again the general coverage outside the 24 hours of Le Mans is minimal.

    His only options are to throw tantrums until F1 changes to suit him or put up and shut up. I think we can tell which route he has chosen to travel.

  46. I have no respect for Ferrari as a team. They’ve completely lost what little respect I had for them.

    They’re no better than any other team on that grid. They’re not even the fastest car! They’re being beaten by a little team run by an energy drink company! Red Bull were seen as jokes at first, look at them now.

  47. I agree with him about testing, i find it ludicrous that a top motor racing series like f1 bans any form of in-season testing. Everything else he says though is utter tripe.

  48. F1 needs heroes? Maybe its a perspective of a colonial, but many people seem to find the smaller, poorly-funded, and pedigree-free competitor to be more heroic than the established empires.

    1. I agree – to me the biggest ‘heroes’ of the season so far are Bruno Senna, Karun Chandok and the HRT team.

      They put together a car that passed all the safety requirements in a matter of weeks, and which would have only just failed to beat the old 107% rule for the first couple of races (Alex Yoong at Minardi fell foul of that one even when Minardi weren’t a new team). You can see from in car footage that the car is a nightmare to keep pointing in the right direction yet with only one or two exceptions when the car has held together it has finished the race. Both drivers have kept their chin up and got on with things without constantly whining about a lack of testing time, and Chandok in particular you can tell is having a ball this season, if his twitter feed is anything to go by!

      Here’s hoping that Lola, Prodrive and ART do come into the championship soon!

  49. Wow. LDM is a moron. I guess someone needed to fill the void left by Flavio Briatore; ‘keep his seat warm’ so to speak.

    However, I dont see anywhere in your article or the autosport article where he says the new teams are a joke. I understand that he is being paraphrased, but I still dont see any of his assanine remarks referring to the new teams in such a way. Again, not trying to defend him, but I think the headline is a little misleading.

  50. I may be wrong but doing a million laps a day isn’t reli cutting edge technology at its best its just trying some innovation ant then tweaking it until the cows come home.now the true test is who can innovate and implement in the least amount of time…I think this is cutting edge!mclaren can do it and some other teams too.why can’t ferrarri?they got all the resourses in the world with the longest running f1 experience!they should be the last to ask for extra testing.I think the new rules regarding testing adds to the spectacle.tho for the racing I do think the tyres shoulkd degrade faster.

    1. Il have to disagree with you, it does not matter how you get the cutting edge technology it is purely based on what you come up with. the current situation is a joke, you need to test new parts on the track while using simulators and wind tunnels as well.

      1. I don’t think its really necessary to bring back the in-season testing these days. Cos I think there will be an over-development of the cars, and thats dangerous for the sport.

  51. Stop it, Luca!
    I love Ferrari and I know that its Renaissance is mainly due to him, but all these ideas, such as two shorter races per GP (F1’s not Superbike!), 3 cars for the bigger teams and so on, are absolutely rubbish. Maybe I could accept more testing, but the other things sound like they could have been pronounced by Briatore. And i fear he could come back in F1 thanks to Ferrari…

  52. This guy can’t shut his trap…can he?

  53. It may just be me, but I find Luca’s seeming lack of knowledge about the actual Le Mans series rather embarrassing. I think it just comes across as him not wanting to enter a series where Ferrari will probably get stuffed by both Audi and Peugeot whilst being the ‘new Boys’ Themselves.

  54. TheGreatCornholio
    9th June 2010, 17:54

    Personally i love Di Montezemelo. Did you know they keep him in an old folks home most of the time then wheel him out on special occasions! Just like an elderly relative who comes out with inappropriate words at the worst time! Lol. Ferrari have their own version of Prince Phillip!

  55. Here’s an idea Luca, get used to the idea that Max Mosley is no longer bending the series to your every idiotic whim, and get back to improving your team.

    What Luca really fears is being overtaken in the standings by some underfunded new team. Can’t beat ’em, try and get rid of ’em!

    Without Max or Flava-Flavio around it is kinda nice having at least one loose cannon around for amusements sake!

  56. Charles Carroll
    9th June 2010, 19:02

    Luca seems to be feeling the heat from the smaller teams, which is why I believe he speaks the way he does.

    Ferrari are not what they should be, and he is shifting the blame away from where it should truly lie.

  57. this fool needs to grow up
    the more teams in F1 the better as long as they have the finances and are able to close to the gap to the top teams lets say within 2 or 3 seasons.
    he needs to worry about how slow the ferrari is at the momemnt than about the new teams

  58. Michael Griffin
    9th June 2010, 22:36

    I love how Luca hates Max Mosley and his constant, yet all Luca seems to do is moan.

    Plus, the new teams, on tiny budgets with inexperienced staff, zero infrastructure and in some cases rookie drivers, are bringing more updates than Ferrari, the supposed kings of F1 with a budget that few can even aspire to, two amazing drivers, the best infrastructure and best staff.

    Pot, kettle and all that.

  59. There is a need to have competitive teams. F1 is like soccer. It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalize everything. We need to avoid having too many small teams as it means too many compromises.

    So, we should allow Ferrari to spend as much money as they want and completetly out-class small teams like Williams, Sauber, Lotus, etc., etc.?

    That’s a total joke. What team is going to want to participate (and who’s going to sponsor them) in something they have no chance of winning (or possibly even scoring points)?

    While I’m not always the biggest fan of leveling mechanisms, I think they are clearly needed to keep the gap between the haves and the have-nots from getting too great.

  60. Hahahaha is funny to see how sensible some people could be to the words of a “clever politician”…..

  61. Will the FIA ever get someone strong and bold enough to take on Ferrari. Max tried and so someone could learn from his mistakes. Todt is a former Ferrari man so I’m guessing no, although ironically he would be ideal as he knows the inner workings of the team. I’m tired of Ferrari’s winging and its time for them to put up or shut up or leave. I more curious how well Ferrari would do without F1, rather than the other way round. F1 has proved and will continue to prove that no one team is bigger than F1 and frankly the racing, technical advancements, determination, commitment and drive is equally good with non manufacture cars…

  62. I also think Luca should leave the sport alone. as for the testing ban i also think it is a good thing. my reason for this is it shows who can develop a car/upgrades through the season and therefore instills some sort of innovation.
    On the testing thing if they want to allow test drivers to do thier jobs why not have the test drivers do a seperate short race series on the fridays, or saturdays after qualy. Then you have a 3rd car, testers doing what theyre paid for, more moneys worth for the fans visiting and a compramise for all.

  63. “I’m really starting to dislike DiMontezemolo, what an arrogant and unpleasant person!!” You said it!. So Luca wants shorter F1 races, but Ferrari is looking at participating in a series of LM-type endurance races? Huh?

    Basicaly what he is saying is he wants to be out on his yacht in July/August and September – no sitting on a beach like us plebs who pay to see races, whether live or on TV.

    Sod-off Luca and leave your job for somebody with some enthusiasm for F1 RACES, not just your glamorous part in it.

Comments are closed.