Montezemolo’s ‘quit threat’ played down

2011 F1 season

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Luca di Montezemolo, Gerhard Berger, Mugello, 2011

Ferrari deny Luca di Montezemolo threatened to pull the team out of F1 if future rules changes are not to their liking.

The anonymous Horse Whisperer column on Ferrari’s website quoted Montezemolo saying “without Ferrari there is no Formula 1″ but denied this was a threat to leave the sport:

“Montezemolo’s observations were seen by some as a sort of ultimatum or even a threat to leave Formula 1, but the Whisperer can assure you that it was nothing of the kind.

“For starters, the words ‘leave’ or ‘ultimatum’ did not even feature in his pronouncement, but what really needs to be stressed is that Montezemolo spoke in a totally constructive fashion, which is usually the case with the president of a company that has always been in Formula 1 and who has the future well being of the greatest form of motorsport so close to his heart.

“Saying that ‘Formula 1 is still our life, but without Ferrari there is no Formula 1, just as without Formula 1 Ferrari would be different’ means that Maranello is working on the front line when it comes to drawing up plans for the immediate future of the sport.

“The criticisms and comments put forward yesterday are nothing new – Montezemolo has aired them before. But they must be seen as a stimulus: it’s logical that a car constructor sees its involvement in Formula 1 as a test bench for technological research aimed at its products, while keeping in mind that keeping costs under control is a must and Maranello has always been at the forefront of this initiative.

“That’s why the number of testing days needs to be revised: not only because we are the only sporting discipline where athletes are strictly forbidden from training on their ‘pitch’ but also because the current restrictions make it impossible for youngsters to progress and experience driving for real rather than just in the virtual world of the simulator.

“And to those who think that cutting back on aerodynamics was done purely for Ferrari’s benefit, remember that taking into account Ferrari’s historic role, clearly it is right to want to think of Formula 1’s success as a sport: we don’t want to see missiles or rockets on the track; what we want is competition between cars.”

2011 F1 season

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