Montezemolo denies reports Vettel will join Ferrari

2012 F1 season

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Luca di Montezemolo has played down the prospect of Sebastian Vettel joining Ferrari in 2014, saying he doesn’t want “two roosters” at the team.

“Today the problem is not with drivers,” Montezemolo told Italian radio station Rai.

“2013 is still to come but I don’t want to have two roosters in the same hen house, rather two drivers who race for Ferrari and not for themselves.

“I don’t want problems and rivalries, which we didn’t have between Schumacher and Irvine, between Schumacher and Barrichello, between Alonso and Massa or Massa and Schumi or Massa and Raikkonen.”

Montezemolo also denied claims his team would poach Red Bull’s star chief technical officer Adrian Newey: “I can say that he is very good at his job but we also managed to win eight constructors’ titles in the last 13 championships without him: I have huge faith in our own engineers.”

Korea saw Ferrari move up to second in the constructors’ championship but Fernando Alonso lost the lead of the drivers’ championship to Vettel. Montezemolo said improving the team’s performance on Saturdays is key to their chances in the final races:

“We are a few tenths off the pace of the best, above all in qualifying. We must try to have a front-row car because otherwise, starting further back, it makes life much harder and you are at greater risk of getting caught up in accidents. To have a quicker car we must work day and night in a methodical and determined fashion.”

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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...

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142 comments on “Montezemolo denies reports Vettel will join Ferrari”

  1. Interesting denial from Luca. But there’s just way too much smoke at this point for there to be no fire, IMO. Not to mention Ferrari have a history of denying future megadeals (i.e. Schumacher, Alonso) right until they actually happen. JA wrote about it 3 years ago:

    All that said, none of this may matter if Alonso snatches the title this year. But, if Vettel does win the title this year (over Alonso at that), it might just strengthen the resolve of those at Maranello to sign Vettel.

    1. @journeyer I remember the long, long wait for Alonso to be confirmed.

      But what’s interesting for me here is that Montezemolo said more than it won’t happen. He said it goes against his philosophy of F1 racing to have two top drivers in the team. So if it does happen it would be quite a U-turn.

      I hope it happens, because I like seeing the best drivers in the best teams.

      On the basis of the last couple of seasons you could question why Vettel would jump ship to a team with a slower car and a faster team mate. But I’m sure Ferrari will eventually get it right again – they’re just too good, too rich and too well-resourced not to.

      And then there’s what this says about Massa. Montezemolo has just indicated they’re keeping him because he’s not good enough to beat Alonso. Ouch.

      1. @KeithCollantine And Alonso, according to Montezemolo, is a ‘rooster’, who drives only for himself. It’s all true but a team boss still shouldn’t talk about his drivers like this.

        I actually believe this is just Montezemolo’s strategy and that you cannot take these words at face value but some interesting things still probably can be found between the lines.

        1. @girts

          He could just mean that with two top drivers in the team there’s a good chance they would start driving for themselves instead of the team but with their current practice of having a clear number 1 driver both drivers are working for the team as they both understand their role – Alonso is there to try to win the WDC, Massa to back him up and to try to get enough points for the WCC.

        2. And Alonso, according to Montezemolo, is a ‘rooster’, who drives only for himself.

          I think you misread it…. He said he rather have two drivers that race for Ferrari and not drivers that drives for themselves. He meant that Fernando and Massa race for the Team and not for themselves or have you heard anything bad coming from Fernando towards Ferrari????
          I guess it´s all about how you chose to interpret the message!

      2. I’m fairly certain that this weekend proved that they like Massa not because he’s slower than Alonso, but because he rolls over even when he’s not.

        1. At the moment Massa is every team boss’ dream – he is good enough to be the number one but ready to be the number two.

          1. It was exactly why they were looking at Webber earlier in the year …

      3. Its going to happen. There were denials of Kimi going to Ferrari too. I think LdM wanted Kimi with Schumacher (2 roosters) but Schumacher wanted to retire then.

        Ferrari getting new drivers are always very long drawn out processes but they always happen. It will be fascinating to see him against Alonso in Ferrari and not in a Newey designed aerodynamically perfect car. Still if he does go no-one will be able to accuse Vettel of lacking balls!

      4. I prefer the drivers scattered accross the different top teams, as it allows me to see which ones are the clear ;eaders etc, and which ones can inspire great work to happen, and that’s quite interesting

      5. @keithcollantine, I wonder how secure Alonso is at Ferrari, not because he lacks talent but because he went to Ferrari as part of a massive sponsorship deal from Santander a Spanish Bank, times are not good for Spanish banks in general.

    2. Great spot. I still think it’s going to happen.

      1. I am wondering why would Vettel want to Leave his biggest supporters “Adrian Newey – Christian Horner – Dr Helmut Marko – Dietrich Mateschitz ” and more importantly a car with higher chances of WDC to move to Ferrari to have a hard time there. Is it for the Legacy ? well really interesting.

        I can think of only one thing. He is moving to Ferrari if Adrian is moving there in 2014. I guess otherwise he will stay put at Red Bull. Lets see.

        1. “a car with higher chances of WDC”
          If u watch only the present….but thanks to god driver thinks different… e.x Hamilton.
          In a winning long-term contract Ferrari is the best. They have fashion,Money, best technologies and with best possibility of winning WDC…is not a case that they have won 8 WCC in the last 13 years so they have 70% of possibility of winning cars….every driver wants to go to them, the last one is hamilton, watch:,50580.html
          if u want to compare the story of Red Bull and Ferrari let’s do it…but it will be just losing time…from 1999-2009 Newey won the amazing sum of 0 World championship and we are talking for a long long period of 11 years.
          I have the same consideration also for Mclaren a little bit less but they are good too. With all the respect that i have for Red Bull, they have to spend at least 20-25 years in formula 1 to be compared to the big Guys Ferrari and Mclaren. To be honest i bet that in 7, 8 years when publicity doesn’t have anymore money they will disappear or change name.

        2. Newey’s contract runs out at the end of 2013. I think he has achieved all he wanted at Red-Bull. After a dry spell between 2000-2009 he has re-emerged as the most dominant man in F1 again. Genius.

          1. Didn´t Newey at some time say that he will never go to Italy, because his family, specially his wife didn´t like the country?

          2. Didn´t Newey at some time say that he will never go to Italy, because his family, specially his wife didn´t like the country?

            Yes, yes he did. I remember the article.

    3. @journeyer

      But there’s just way too much smoke at this point for there to be no fire, IMO. Not to mention Ferrari have a history of denying future megadeals (i.e. Schumacher, Alonso) right until they actually happen.

      Luca flatly denied that Sergio Perez would join Ferrari in 2013 … and Perez went to McLaren instead. Elsewhere, Christian Horner has previously confirmed that Vettel is under contract until 2015.

      1. Not to mention all the reports about Webber having signed for 2013… which didn’t happen either.

      2. Yes but Perez’s ‘inexperience’ that LdM regularly emphasized clearly wasn’t the reason why Ferrari didn’t hire him.

        1. Then what was?

          1. @prisoner-monkeys There could be many reasons and I still believe that an already signed agreement with Vettel as of 2014 is the most likely of them. All that Ferrari could offer Perez was a one-year agreement and they refused to do that because 1) It would raise further questions (you usually do multi-year deals with young & promising drivers) 2) It would be unfair to Perez and might harm his future career.

            It could also be that Ferrari thought that Perez might potentially be ‘too good’ for Alonso and thus do harm to the harmony within the team although I think it’s less likely.

            But if a driver is mature enough for McLaren, he must be mature enough for Ferrari as well and nothing suggests that Massa is going to be a better driver than Perez in 2013 even if he has driven a few strong races lately. So I just don’t by this ‘inexperience’ stuff, which is a reminder that one should not believe everything that LdM says.

          2. Vettel might be on the way to Ferrari at some point, but Alonso would have to leave first. At some point, Ferrari will cotton on to the fact that they’ll never win the WCC with a ‘one driver’ policy. Vettel has proved he can live with a competitive teammate, and that’s something that ‘Nando has never been comfortable with. So I’d predict that Ferrari’s long-term plan is Vettel and A. N. Other

          3. artificial racer
            15th October 2012, 17:21

            I’m sure inexperience is part of it. Fact is Perez has shown good speed at times, but Sauber was a quick car this year, and there’s only so much confidence one can have in Perez’s abilities. He was good in junior formulae but did not dominate.

            Ferrari are coalesced around Alonso for now and the second driver needs to be fast, but more importantly have the personality to submit. Mark Webber for example would never agree. For a young driver like Perez this also can’t be appealing. Frankly, the longstanding team orders and arrogant attitudes have always made Ferrari a team I love to hate. (But F1 needs them.)

          4. Sorry, @girts, but that theory is let down by these comments from Luca.

    4. I think LdM’s comments come as no surprise, yet it still felt to me like a slap in the face to hear (read) them. Poor LdM doesn’t want to have to deal with ‘problems and rivalries’ of having two gladiators driving for themselves rather than Ferrari (which is a sweeping generalization in itself), all the while slamming the door of true competition in the pinnacle of racing in the paying, viewing audiences faces. Shame on them. I hated the trumped up MS/Ferrari era for the extremes they went to to carry out this philosophy, but in more recent years it felt like they at least had backed off from that a bit, if not by hiring two gladiators, at least by not building the car strictly for one, and literally contracting the other to be subservient from race one…but now I have to wonder. I think perhaps today’s Ferrari was built for FA, hence FM’s struggles with it early on, and I think there isn’t a contract for FM to be subservient but the whole team, including FM, is engrained in the philosophy anyway. I guess LdM’s only problem that he is prepared to deal with is who to hire that is good enough to gain meaningful WCC points while not good enough to beat FA, and with a lacking in integrity to agree to be subservient and set aside their own childhood dreams in order to help someone else achieve theirs.

      Any of you who still think LdM is somehow speaking code for ‘we’ve hired SV for 2014’ should wake up. Ferrari want to do it the easy way….the sell-out way…the unsporting way. Sure what they are doing is legal, but it isn’t moral imho, at least not toward the viewing audience. Their’s is a formula for ‘success’ or at least numbers compilation, but the losers are the paying audience who get manipulated into thinking they are watching true racing in the pinnacle of racing.

      I’ve never wanted to see single car teams moreso than now. I like FA, and I would have been fine with him winning the WDC this year because I still think he doesn’t have nearly all the advantages that MS had at Ferrari, but today I wish FA to not win the WDC this year. And if SV wins it and some want to argue he too is favoured at Red Bull ala the Ferrari way, then I will continue to blame the MS/Ferrari era, with special thanks to the FIA and F1 for setting it all up and creating a trend that has forced some teams hand to do something somewhat similar to Ferrari as the only way to compete against an elephant in the room.

      I remain steadfast in my reaction to this type of nonsense in that I will continue to disrespect and have an asterisk beside any WDC that needed the help of a non-competing teammate from race one of the season in order to ‘win.’ My benchmark is Senna/Prost at Mac. Two gladiators who won all but one race and yet each weekend we didn’t know which Mac it would be…and we were on the edge of our seats. A viscious rivalry both on and off the track (of the type MS was sheltered from and therefore had his F1 life much easier and hence the numbers compilation), and the WDC and the WCC awarded to Mac as well. Take note LdM. Two gladiators can still win you both titles, and you can respect the paying audience and it’s intelligence at the same time.

      1. Well said.

      2. “Any of you who still think LdM is somehow speaking code for ‘we’ve hired SV for 2014′ should wake up. Ferrari want to do it the easy way….the sell-out way…the unsporting way.”

        This is harsh. Teams have had #1 drivers since time immemorial – especially Ferrari. Heck, even Fangio was undisputed #1 in all his 5 titles. Their main goal is to win races and titles. If that’s how the team wants to do it, it’s perfectly legal and acceptable. I’d rather an orderly team rather than a team taken to the brink of internal chaos – as McLaren was in both 1989 and 2007 (especially the latter with Spygate, which was blown wide-open by a disgruntled Alonso).

        All that said… LDM has a history of denying deals right until they happen. Why? Because once they do happen, people won’t care about the denials anymore. There’s a certain level of frustration at Ferrari that they haven’t won the WDC since 2007. And the longer Alonso fails to do so, the more LDM will want to hire the guy who’s winning over him… Vettel.

        1. Sorry mate but Alonso is not to blame for Ferrari failure to deliver decent car, and when they did in 2010 they failed so badly on race strategy, even more can be said they gave 1st title to Vettel…
          and LdC is always talking, talking and talking endlessly to get attention to Ferrari, thats his role, thats what he is being paid for… Nevermind that what he says is in 90% taken out of space…

        2. @Journeyer – I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said but it seems you’re insinuating that Alonso himself is completely responsible for his failure to win the WDC in the past three years. I think in 2010 that was certainly the case – he made quite a few uncharacteristic errors that year if I remember correctly – but 2011 and 2012, I’m not sure what else he could have done to win it. He hasn’t had the car. And this year especially he’s made very few errors. I think if their failure to win since his arrival could be blamed on anyone, I’d be inclined to blame them more than Alonso.

          And if they lose it this year, apart from Suzuka, China and Australia (qualy) he’s done absolutely nothing wrong. It was their inability to develop the car (assuming in the final four races they don’t have a sudden jump in performance). My point in saying this is, that even if Vettel joins them – unless they give him the machinery, I can’t see him doing anything more. In my opinion anyway :)

          1. No, not at all. If anything, Alonso is single-handedly keeping them in it (earning tons of respect from me in the process). But put yourself in Ferrari’s shoes. Vettel has beaten you for the past 2 years and is well on his way to making it 3. He, along with Red Bull and Newey, have the best package right now. What’s the next best thing you can do if you can’t beat them in a straight fight? Break up the package, of course. They’ve tried (but failed) to get Newey. The other way to break up that party is to get Vettel himself. Red Bull is a very strong team right now. But like Benetton, they still seem to be a 1-trick pony (Schumacher back then, Vettel-Newey right now). We’re all asking if Vettel can win without Red Bull. But just as important is: can Red Bull win without Vettel?

          2. @ella Tagging you here in case you haven’t seen my reply. Apologies for missing the common courtesy. :)

        3. @journeyer … I think it is erroneous to suggest that the alternative to a designated number one and two from race one of each season, which imho robs the paying audience of what they are paying for, is internal chaos.

          Rather, in respecting the paying audience, teams can gleen the talents and resources of the whole staff including the best drivers available (since this is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing) to build the best car they can to advance BOTH drivers (thus preventing internal politics and chaos) and allow them to push each other on the track (giving the paying fans what they pay for), and when the math hasn’t worked out for one of them as the season nears it’s close, then you designate a number one, which everyone can accept and understand given that both drivers had a fair shot. To me TEAM in F1 does not mean one driver on the track is there to not compete against his teammate, and nor should that define the pinnacle of RACING.

          1. @robbie The team’s job is not to get the best drivers available. Rather, it is to build the best team available. There is a subtle difference there – the best team normally doesn’t employ the two best drivers because they will just end up dividing the team. It is probably no coincidence that ever since Prost-Senna blew up, we haven’t had a 2-champion lineup that lasted more than a year (Hill-JV in 96, Alonso-Lewis in 07).

            That said, I do applaud Ferrari for (seemingly) being ready to give an equal-driver policy another try, this time with Alonso-Vettel.

          2. Alonso-Vettel will never happen. It’s just a rumour. LdM has just said it, and unless you think they will go against their own philsophy, which you have just defended by saying to do otherwise divides the team, why are you so convinced Ferrari will be going ahead and allegedly hiring two WDC’s? According to you, it’s divisive and the last thing they should be is applauded for that.

            Fortunately Mac and Merc are two teams that disagree with you. You have conveniently forgotten that Mac has had two WDCs on their team for two years now (without division or blow-up), and Merc doesn’t have a subservient driver there either.

            Bottom line for me, I find it almost unbelievable that some people have resigned themselves to teams in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing not going with the best two drivers they can get, and building up their team that way, with healthy competition that would truly build up the best team possible, but rather to settle for a lesser driver that won’t be as useful on or off the track in providing input to advance the team, but rather is just there to not compete against the number one in the pinnacle of racing, while they hope he at least gets enough points to help them win the WCC.

            I can’t imagine any other sport where the owner would simply settle for inferior players just so there is no ‘division’ among the team.

            Some lesser F1 teams unfortunately have to settle for pay drivers that are there for their money moreso than their ability and that is an unfortunate thing that many lament as well. Most wish for the best drivers possible to be in F1.

            All this nonsense just proves to me what a terrible precedent the MS/Ferrari era set. Thankfully to this day not all teams have bought into it.

  2. Thank you Keith for not posting an article saying it was confirmed and for waiting for an official word on the matter… unlike many other “respectable” sites.

  3. Hmmm… that’s a fairly firm denial.

    I still think it’s going to happen, as I can’t see any other reason for them to retain Felipe Massa.

  4. So he’s basically saying he wants a team of 2 cars where only one can win. He doesn’t want competition between the 2 drivers and he’d rather have one good driver and one average driver.

    What a load of old tosh. Vettel will be at Ferrari in 2014 and this “denial” confirms it.

  5. I think this simply means that Montezemolo believes that it’s far too early to talk about their 2014 driver line-up openly. In 2009, he suggested that Alonso would not join Ferrari as soon as 2010 less than three weeks before the deal was officially confirmed.

  6. Kimi Räikkönen
    15th October 2012, 12:04

    Why go to Ferrari when Red Bull have Adrian Newey?

    1. Because Vettel may want a new challenge. Moving to Mercedes, who have won one race in the time that Mclaren have won sixteen, would give you the same answer.

      1. Kimi Räikkönen
        15th October 2012, 12:21

        Hamilton and Vettel ate two entirely separate cases though. Hamilton won his championship in 2008. He’s going to Mercedes because of the changes to the regulations in 2014. Vettel has won the wdc the last two years and I think he’ll win it this year too. Unless Red Bull has a serious downturn in form next year would be foolish, in my opinion. Why decide to join a team dominated by Alonso when you’re winning where you are?

        1. Kimi Räikkönen
          15th October 2012, 12:22


        2. Again, he may want a new challenge. He’s won 2 titles with RBR, and may take a third. Although he could stick to winning where he is, he has little else to actually do or prove for RBR, and may want to win for the sport’s historically most successful team. Alonso himself left Renault to join the second most successful team immediately after his 2 titles.

          1. I don´t think he needs a new challenge, they, I mean RBR, are creating history. Since 2005 they have won 2 championships, and win 36 races… yes is still a low way behind the 62 years of Ferrari, but is not necesary bad… I have been thinking in why he will do so, and te only xplenation that I can come up with is that he is promese a better car (motor regulation anyone), but we still not sure is that will happened… Fernando Alonso has been giving beto power over his team mate… there is no way in hell he will take Vettel, as much as he is saying other wise…

        3. He’s going to Mercedes because of the changes to he regulations in 2014

          What’s to say Ferrari won’t be more competitive then? Granted, Ferrari don’t exactly have a star-studded history when it comes to making turbocharged engines but they do manufacture their own engine/KERS-ERS package. They may well have an advantage over the more aero-dependant Red Bulls…

          1. Ferrari don’t exactly have a star-studded history when it comes to making turbocharged engines

            1981 first turbocharged engine to win at Monaco
            1982,1983 constructors championship
            They use to have the most powerful engine it was rumored that they have an advantage of 50 hp they were having the best engine in the worst chassis
            The battle betwenn gilles & keke demonstrate that

          2. I personally think Renault, BMW & Honda’s engines were better (but maybe not as reliable).

    2. Why go to Ferrari when Red Bull have Adrian Newey?

      During the 1995 season would you have advised Schumacher “Why go to Ferrari when Williams have Adrian Newey?”

      Räikkönen drove five Newey designed Mclarens without picking up a WDC and subsequently won a title in his first year in a Ferrari.

      1. Good point.

      2. Kimi Räikkönen
        15th October 2012, 13:06

        After 1995 Schumacher didn’t win another title until 2000. Hill and Villeneuve won in 1996 and 1997 whilst driving a Williams. Mika Häkkinen won in 1998 and 1999 after Newey went to McLaren. Many people condemned Schumacher’s Ferrari move as idiotic.
        Kimi Räikkönen nearly won the title in 2003 and 2005. I’m a huge fan of Kimi but a McLaren should have taken the 2007 title but for the friction within the team. But my point was, times have changed, Ferrari are no longer the irritatingly dominant force they once were. Newey’s Red Bulls have taken that title. Not quite as much this year but we have seen a resurgence of late. If you were mounting a title challenge would you not want to be in the best car possible which over the last few seasons has been the one Vettel is sat in?

        1. Many people condemned Schumacher’s Ferrari move as idiotic.

          Yep, the idiot won 5 titles in a row.

          1. Kimi Räikkönen
            16th October 2012, 9:04

            I didn’t mean that. When he originally moved to an ailing Ferrari did you really think it was a good idea? Sure, it paid off but when he went there in 1996 people thought it was a bit odd considering that he had just won two titles with Benetton.

    3. Maybe the 2014 engine’s regulations will compromise Adrian’s aero skills
      No driver have won more than 2 titles in a Newey car (that does not mean that Vettel will not win this year)
      The fashion of the Prancing Horse is irresistible

      1. fashion

        sorry the fascination

      2. @tifoso1989 Newey would get the engine exactly he want since Red Bull is now de facto works team of Renault. He would input many of his philosophy into the engine, but will it be great? We know Newey sacrifices many things for aero efficiency and it could be not a good idea in 2014. with much greater recovery energy, I think it would be horse power game. maybe a little bit greener than last not-freezed era though.

        I don’t think it’s the reason Vettel considering Ferrari though. but engine regulation is surely a part. Maybe Renault is not so enthusiastic about F1 and if they withdraw…

        1. @eggry – Lotus is the de facto works team of Renault, they use Renault engines and the ex-Renault factory. Adrian Newey is for sure an aerodynamicist, and perhaps sacrificing other things (such as KERS judging bytes amount of failures the Red Bull’s have had) may not be the wisest thing to do as you said, especially since the maximum capacity is effectively doubling and there is turbocharging to boot.
          Ferrari may be a wise option for Vettel, if they would allow him to join with Alonso still there.

          1. Lotus has no upperhands against Red Bull now. You should read news about Red Bull-Renault contract which is I guess last year renewed. They have largest pie for opinion for the engine now.

        2. @eggry, the FIA have pretty much determined the dimensions of the new engine, there is no opportunity for aero advantages.

    4. If Vettel want to emulate success of Schumacher, it’s not enough just winning 7 titles. He should make his own team and clearly Red Bull is not since there’s Adrian Newey. of course, there were Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, etc but they’re the people starting with Schumacher. Meanwhile, Vettel is simply sit the seat which Newey already made.

      so I believe Vettel would go to different team sooner that winning several titles with Red Bull. I don’t know it would be Ferrari. Well, if he doesn’t go to Ferrari in 2014, then also Mclaren seat will be available when Button or Perez’s contract expired. Anyway I’d like to see him challenging.

      1. Just because KR didn’t win in an Adrian Newey car doesn’t mean others weren’t. But the questions was to Vettel ‘why go to Ferrari when Red Bull has Adrian Newey?’ And , would you have said to MS ‘why go to Ferrari when Williams has Adrian Newey?’

        The reality is, imho, there has not even been one consideration on SV’s part to go to Ferrari, nor has he been approached by anyone at Ferrari. It is obviously rumours and wishful thinking and nothing more. LdM has just confirmed he doesn’t want two WDC’s on the team at the same time. Not even a WDC-less strong challenger. And SV has been observing the Ferrari way for 20 years now ie. all of his cogent teen and adult years have been spent seeing Ferrari favour only one driver. Why would he even have Ferrari on his mind unless they were in need of the one WDC level driver they like to have on board. FA will have to be on his way out from Ferrari for any other proven or potential WDC to be going to that team. So that ship has sailed for now. It’s FA and subservients until he is gone from Ferrari. And then it will be some other WDC and a sell-out after that. Maybe it will be SV and a sell-out but the last thing it will ever be is FA and SV at Ferrari.

        Back in 95 AN didn’t nearly have the CV that he has now, but if he had then perhaps MS would have ended up with him. But AN wasn’t quite the known entity that he would soon become, and Max and Bernie had far bigger plans to end the 16 year (at the time) WDC drought at Ferrari post-Senna. Ask yourselves why MS would even leave Benetton where he had just ‘won’ 2 WDCs to go to a team that hadn’t won a WDC in 16 years. Answer…mega bucks, mega contract that included much of his crew from Benetton, and a subservient teammate, which then gave them the green flag to go ahead and build him a designer car…and let the numbers compilation begin. And before long, the likes of Patrick Head was saying, ‘what a shame they forgo the spirit of racing for the sake of share value.’

        1. Thats funny? i remember patrick head calling the scumi/Ferrari combination a class act.

  7. I like to imagine that the discussions between Luca and Vettel went a little like this:

    [Vettel] “Bene, Don di Montezemolo. I need a man who has powerful friends. I need a million dollars in cash. I need, Don di Montezemolo, all of those FIA officials that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes.”

    [Luca] “What is the interest for my family?”

    “Thirty percent. In the first year your end should be three, four million dollars. And then it would go up.”

    “And what is the interest for the Mateschitz family?”

    “My compliments. I’ll take care of the Mateschitzes, out of my share.”

    “So, I am to receive thirty percent for finance, for legal protection and political influence. Is that what you’re telling me?”

    “That’s right.”

    “Why come to me? What have I done to deserve such generosity?”

    “If you consider a million dollars in cash merely finance …”

    “I said that I would see you because I had heard that you were a serious man, to be treated with respect. But I must say no to you and let me give you my reasons. It’s true I have a lot of friends in the FIA, but they wouldn’t be so friendly if they knew my business was energy drinks instead of racing which they consider a harmless vice. But energy drinks, that’s a dirty business. ”

    “No, Don di Montezemolo …”

    “It makes no difference, it don’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand. But your business is a little dangerous.”

    “If you’re worried about security for your million, the Tattaglias will guarantee it.”

    [Domenicali] “Whoa, now, you’re telling me that the Mateschitzes guarantee our investment without …?”

    [Luca] “Wait a minute. I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen. Anyway, Signor Vettel, my no to you is final. I want to congratulate you on your new business and I’m sure you’ll do very well and good luck to you. Especially since your interests don’t conflict with mine. Thank you.

    “Stefano, come here. What’s the matter with you? I think your brain is going soft with all that comedy you are playing with that young girl. Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking again. Go on.”

    1. wow man! Did you grunt too hard when you visited the John?? ;-P

      1. It’s a reference to The Godfather, of course.

    2. attribution please. Although we know.

  8. I believe that one more indication that Vettel might have a future agreement with Ferrari is the fact that Mercedes have now signed Hamilton for what is more than one year. Mercedes are a German team and so far they have also tried to present themselves as such. It has often been said that Vettel would be the logical choice for them in the future. If they have refused of that thought for now, then it’s possibly because they believe that Vettel is already booked.

  9. This is LdM basically saying that his outfit isn’t professional enough to manage two employees?

    I’m sorry but that’s a poor situation if he thinks that would be the case. In all likelihood theyt may come across driver related difficulties, but to not even be willing to give it a go is not a good reflection on the most famous and successful team in the sport.

    1. Why would the most successful team in the sport change the policy which has enabled them to become the most successful team in the sport?

      1. Historically they are the best team in the sport, but not because of their current driver policy.

        1. Their driver policy has been instrumental in building the success they’ve had over the past couple of decades, and arguably long before then. In fact, their driver policy is more open than it ever has been; Rubens Barichello had it written into his contract that he was the number two driver and that he wouldn’t get some of the updates etc that Schumacher received.

          Their policy is a great one from a championship point of view; you have one fantastic driver who is the de-facto number 1, who will be able to challenge consistently for victories. Then you have a second driver who is solid and reliable. Not so quick as to cause any friction with the number 1, but fast enough to deliver regular ‘runner up’ points.

          It’s actually the exact situation which Red Bull have at the moment, and looks likely to give them a third (and most likely fourth) consecutive constructors’ title.

          Compare that to McLaren who arguably lost out on securing the WDC in 2007 because they were unwilling to commit to one driver being given the perks. Ironically, to Ferrari!

      2. @mazachris I think with the quality of drivers available these days that the game has somewhat changed. Plus, they haven’t won anything in 5 years (assuming Vettel bags it this year) so perhaps a change in policy might be healthy for them?

    2. @andrewtanner well it’s a poor but nobody succeeded in that problem. You should know a team called Mclaren…even though I respect they at least tried.

      1. Define ‘success.’ I don’t consider the MS/Ferrari numbers compilation true ‘success.’ It was an unprecedented selling out to end the WDC drought at Ferrari and compile numbers once the last purebred racer of a generation, Senna, was gone and a new chapter in F1 created by contracts to guarantee it, as opposed to letting the chips fall where they may.

        To me, success in F1 is having the guts and the respect for the viewing audience to feel the responsibility to put two gladiators in top level cars and let them duke it out on the track fair and square, and win the WDC and the WCC that way, rather than shade the one driver from as much of the sport of it as possible and try to pass it off as honourable and as true racing in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing.

        And where do you draw the line toward achieving success then? I just don’t believe that the ends justify the means. Would it have been all right with any of you then that MS whack at least one challenger per race off the track for his ‘success?’ Would it have been all right if Ferrari not only paid off MS’s subservients, but also some other lesser drivers on the grid to not compete against MS? Would that have also been a way to ‘success’ for MS and Ferrari? Would a successful F1 series involve 12 designated number ones with 12 contracted subservients to not compete against them?

        Ferrari only ‘succeeded’ in the MS era because no other team had it within them to sell out to the degree that Max and Bernie helped them to do. Thank goodness. But unfortunately it did leave an apples to oranges comparison between MS and all other drivers and hence the numbers compilation. But I honour the other teams for not following suit, and instead respecting the audience and the very sport of it and the spirit of it…even if they lose that way I can honour them for their journey as opposed to the ‘winners’ that were the sellouts.

        Guess it’s obvious they sure didn’t win me over with their philosophy, eh?

        1. What I meant success means nobody has been able to deal real top driver at same team, @robbie. I understand you want to see sort of thing but also you should admit their philosophy is quite logical. It you don’t like logical, mathmetical approach, that’s your freedom. But it doesn’t mean the philosophy is wrong.

          1. Yup it’s a logical, mathematical approach that has nothing to do with sport and sportsmanship nor fairness to the paying audience without which F1 would not exist. The philosophy is not wrong in business, but in sport, it is. Thank goodness most teams before MS/Ferrari and since haven’t bowed down to logic. Logically then, are you expecting all teams to have a contracted number one and number two from race one of each season in F1…perhaps in all forms of racing then? Half the grid trying to get out of the way or interfere with the other half? Tag-team racing? Or is it only ‘logical’ when you are the only team doing it to a great extreme, which allowed for great numbers compilation in an apples to oranges comparison, which in hindsight makes it look logical? If it is so logical, ask yourself why didn’t all the teams start doing it the MS/Ferrari way starting in 96? Answer…because thankfully most team members would not be able to sleep at night taking the sport out of the sport and letting the business side dominate 100%. Even though it would be logical.

            Logically, all Lance Armstrong was doing was trying to win 7 Tour de Frances. Does he still have them today? Did the ends justify the means?

          2. @robbie Lance Armstrong? Come on…

        2. Top drivers, I supposed to say.

        3. I honestly find this kind of attitude absolutely baffling. There’s nothing unsporting about using team tactics to achieve success. In fact, it’s surely one of the most important aspects of sport. The fact that not every team shares the same philosophy means that there is no definite tactic guaranteed to achieve success, however you would be hard pressed to argue against it in the case of Ferrari. It has won them more drivers’ and constructors’ championships than anyone else.

          I literally cannot comprehend why anyone would think that using effective teamwork, and structuring your team in such a way as to give your team the best chance of winning, would ever be considered unsporting. Any more than I could ever get my head around the frankly idiotic notion that it’s somehow undesirable for a team to use their resources to produce a good car, or that it takes away from the success it generates.

          To me, these odd ideas seem to suggest a slight misunderstanding of what F1 is all about; it’s not a sport where every competitor has an equal opportunity to win on their own merit. It’s a sport where teams compete to produce the fastest cars, and to put together a team which is stronger than any other team. This includes the drivers, who are simply members of that team, and are beneficiaries of the success that having a well-structured team will generate.

          I’m sure someone is likely to respond to this with the usual “ah ha HA! BUT what you’re forgetting is that there is a DRIVERS’ championship, not just a CONSTRUCTORS’ championship, so you are WRONG!”. Well, no, this is still not looking at the sport for what it is. People wrongly interpret this to mean that there is a team championship and an individual championship. This is not the case; the performance of an individual driver is not measured objectively in the WDC. A driver can only win the WDC if they have a car capable of winning races, and a team capable of ensuring that the car reliably finishes those races. A driver in a midfield car may brive incredibly in every single race, but their own performance is not what it measured in the WDC.

          The WDC therefor is still a measure of the success of the team rather than the individual, but looking at the results from one car rather than the combination of the two. The winner of the WDC generally being the driver of the car which wins the most races throughout the year. That being the case, the most logical approach is for the team to ensure that the same car out of the two is the one which consistently wins races. Then, in order to win the WCC, they should also ensure than the other car finishes as high up the order as possible to get the greatest possible points haul from the two cars. The best way of achieving these two goals is to do precisely what Ferrari do – have one car with the star driver, and the other car driven by someone who will do a solid job but not trouble the lead driver or beat him regularly. You also need to develop a car which is capable of winning races, and the drivers themselves are a part of that. Again, the most effective way of doing this with the Ferrari policy is to develop the car around the requirements of the lead driver, who will also play a key role in the development process. In this respect, you need to see the lead driver as being instrumental in the success which is generated for him.

          The main problem with using this approach is that it makes the team very dependent on the lead driver. If he’s unable to compete for some reason, then the second driver is unlikely to be good enough to take their place, and the team environment will make it very difficult for someone else to take his place. This is one of the reasons why other teams choose not to use this structure. But again, it’s entirely at the discretion of the team. Ultimately, you have a paddock full of teams who all have exactly the same goals (securing both championships) but their own philosophy on the best way of achieving those goals.

          Unfortunately, because there are countless other factors at work, it’s almost impossible to objectively compare each approach and determine which is best. But to try and say that one is unfair or unsporting is nonsense. Every team is free to decide which method they wish to use. One thing I will say, though, is that when the most successful team on the grid says this is the best way of doing things, it’s very difficult to argue with them.

          1. And again…defining success such as you do is to say do whatever it takes to win…win at all costs, including your own integrity…but then ask yourself why no other teams have gone to the extremes MS/Ferrari did? Answer, and what you are leaving out…the sporting aspect of it…the true rivalry between two gladiators on a top team that should be thrilling us and having us talk about it for decades. The only thing we think of when we think of Austria 02 is what a sham it was when RB let MS go with metres to go, and how they got fined for embarassing F1. If thats the F1 you want to see, knock yourself out. I don’t.

            It’s hard to argue with the numbers that MS/Ferrari achieved, but to call them the most successful team for doing it the cheap and easy way, the sellout way, is just simply not my cup of tea. You are right that every team is free to decide which method they wish to use…thank goodness most teams don’t go the MS/Ferrari way, and I’m free to be right in there with them.

          2. Actually, as I read your post further I think it is you that has the odd idea and the slight misunderstanding of how F1 works, because it has been by far the exception rather than the rule that teams go the MS/Ferrari way (read ‘your’ way). It is far more logical to have two gladiators in a sport thrilling the paying audience, rather than have the audience sit there knowing what the result will be between two drivers on a team before they have even turned a wheel. There is more logic to having the two best drivers one can get, to advance the car in the most quick and efficient manner, and to push each other to do better and better. Nothing prevents a team from using their resources and producing a good car that way. That has certainly been a far more talked about philosophy throughout the years than the scenario you so prize. And your scenario depends on no one else doing it…ie. no one else hangs one driver out to dry from race one of a season, and if they all did it, the face of F1 would look totally different, and I shudder to think what a joke it would be. Every race would end like Austria 02. And I think that would be the end of F1.

          3. You misunderstand. The ideal is not to have one driver ‘hung out to dry, but rather have a second driver whose natural abilities make him generally slower than the lead driver, but still solid enough to score good points week in week out. This is less important in the midfield, but for the teams who might regularly want to be winning championships, it makes perfect sense, and is the norm. In fact, look at McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari, and each of them clearly have one star driver who is the one most likely to win a championship, and a second driver who is very talented but unlikely to disrupt things too much by regularly beating the lead driver.

            As for your romantic notion about teams spurning ultimate performance for the sake of sporting integrity, I have to say it’s an absolute fantasy. Look at McLaren with their spying and their lying scandals. Look at the history of Lotus – under the guise of Renault they actually told one of their drivers to deliberately crash. While Alonso was winning championships with them, they had a very clear number one and number two, and certainly more so than you see even from Ferrari now. In the guise of Bennetton they ran banned electronic driver aids which helped Schumacher to his first championship. Toro Rosso exploited a situation with the rules changing to allow their cars to run much more powerful V10 engines than the V8s being used by the top teams. They were also effectively allowed to run a customer red bull chassis despite it being against Concorde. Even McLaren, who claim to give their drivers complete freedom to race each other, have regularly told one driver not to attack the other, particularly in the closing stages of GPs. Just ask David Coulthard his opinion on whether or not McLaren use team orders..

            Of course nobody wants to see teams swapping driver positions from the first round. But then if people are having to do that, they’ve not structured the team correctly. The point is not to have a second driver who is beating the main driver regularly enough to need to move over. Get the blend right and your results will come rolling in, with you hardly ever having to call on team orders. This has worked to pretty devastating effect for Red Bull for the past few years!

            The thing you’re getting wrong though is in saying that the success which Ferrari had with Schumacher was cheap and easy. Understand that the almost unlimited budget you have to have in order to operate multiple F1 cars running through virtually every hour of daylight for the entire season on your own personal test track, while trying out literally hundreds of revisions of things like wings and turning veins, is one of the most expensive venture ever undertaken in sport. That’s the thing which underpins Ferrari’s success, more than any kind of driver tactics; a relentless development programme which had cars pounding around Fiorrano almost every day, and full scale models being used in wind tunnels. The development of those cars was something that the teams of today can only dream of. Hundreds of millions spent designing new wings, tuning engines, working indefatigably with Bridgestone to develop tyres which make the Pirrellis of today look like budget spec ditchfinders by comparrison. Tens of engines used for a single car over a single GP weekend. That’s what Ferrari were doing in the 90s and 00s to ensure that they were at the front, and even then they were far from unbeatable.

            No, what Ferrari achieved was about as far from cheap and easy as you could possibly imagine.

          4. Drop Valencia!
            15th October 2012, 23:16

            Agree, it is like alot of F1 fans do not understand the term “Team”, or they think that MS or FA was made team leader because he had more luck than RB or FM. Just like in cycling,, where you have a team of riders that tow the lead rider for most of the event, you maximise your performance in F1 if you concentrate on a leader, simple.

          5. @robbie
            ” why no other teams have gone to the extremes MS/Ferrari did”
            Red Bull/Vettel–> 2010-2011 (maybe 2012)

            All this victory are based in the same configuration:
            – nr one driver
            – nr two driver
            Or you believe that fisichella and webber had chances to win WDC.
            One team try to make another configuration in 2007 result : FAILED

          6. @mazdachris …”In fact, look at McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari, and each of them clearly have one star driver who is the one most likely to win a championship, and a second driver who is very talented but unlikely to disrupt things too much by regularly beating the lead driver.” I actually liked how the WDC Button disrupted things for the WDC Hamilton at Mac last year.

            And there’s the rub…I do not accept that in the pinnacle of racing the paying audience is there to see a driver not ‘disrupt things’. I thought this was racing, not tag-team racing. And again, I think you would change your tune if all teams did not have inter-team competition. I think you would be sorely disappointed in how races would look. You like this way because you like MS and like to defend his numbers, and they were achieved because nobody else was immoral enough to screw the paying audience to the degree MS/Ferrari did, but I think they were ill gotten and he was given a golden path to those numbers moreso than any other driver in the history of F1.

            You have misunderstood what I mean by cheap. I don’t mean literally in dollars spent, I mean cheap as in selling out. Taking the easy way by simply eliminating by contract any competition MS had with regards to a teammate, both psychologically off the track and physically on the track. MS’s life was made a ton easier than most WDC’s have it as soon as they contracted him a subservient which meant they could go ahead a build the car for him only. And I said my benchmark was Senna/Prost. MS didn’t have to think or worry for one second about the one driver who could have and should have been able to provide us with the maximum show by competing against him in the same awesome car. We were robbed.

          7. I don’t know how much value there really is in us both repeating ourselves ad nauseum. I can’t, however, agree with this romantic notion you keep repeating about the grid being comprised mostly of teams who value fairplay and sportsmanship above winning. This is demonstrably untrue, for the reasons I have already been at some length in explaining. But to underscore the point I’ve already made several times – every single team on the grid is focused solely on their own performance, beyond any other considerations. This involves pushing brinksmanship to its ultimate ends. Not only is this a fact of F1, it is in many respects its single defining point of the sport. Every team is continually pushing to get every single competitive edge they can. That’s why we end up with things like flexible wings, double diffusors, F-ducts, and so on. All of which are arguably against the principles of fairplay, and yet all have been instrumental in the success they have generated for each team.

            This sport you describe, with its sporting behaviour and competitors who value fair play above performance, it’s simply not F1. This has absolutely nothing to do with my own feelings about any particular drivers or teams, it’s simply the way that F1 has been, is now, and will be for the foreseeable future.

          8. I agree that every team is trying to maximize themselves. That is obvious and has always been and will always be, for more than just the foreseeable future. I disagree that the only way to do that is to designate a number one and a number two to not compete against him from race one of each season. You are trying to convince me that it is a fact that all teams do this, yet we have seen 2 WDC’s at Mac in the last 2 seasons seeming to be able to compete against each other just fine. Last year Button had the upper hand. How did that happen on ‘LH’s team?’ And at Merc, would you say there is a designated one and two, or are they both working to improve the car? Is RG contracted to not compete against KR at Lotus, or in fact has he had some better days than KR? And some days have they not actually taken the fight to each other?

            So for you to say it’s simply not F1, is simply untrue, is not simply a romantic notion, and flies in the face of what we are witnessing in F1 up to and including the last race.

            I think it is you that has a terrible notion that the way for the future of F1 is to have drivers out there who are not to actually race but to just support. I like my ‘romantic’ notion hand over fist over your ‘race fixing’ notion that we should just sit and shut up and not have to figure out which driver is going to succeed over his teammate because that is already ordained in a boardroom.

          9. Again, you’re taking a very simplistic view of it. I’m not sure if you’re just deliberately missing the point in order to support your own opinion. I’m simply expressing the fact that F1 teams are all, without exception, ruthlessly devoted to maximising their performance. This has nothing to do with “selling out” or any other woolly and indefinable principles which you keep mentioning. There are a set of technical and sporting regulations; anything which teams do within these regulations in order to maximise their performance is absolutely fair game. If a team like McLaren chooses to have to fairly evenly matched drivers rather than one strong driver and one weaker driver, then that’s because that is what they believe is the best way of achieving success. It has absolutely nothing to do with them feeling like there is something unethical about structuring your team in favour of one driver.

            You’re also not quite getting the dynamic within Ferrari. First of all it’s important to understand that the sporting regulations at the moment forbid teams from having designated number one and number two drivers. There is no such thing as a driver who is contractually obligated to be subservient to his teammate. What we do have, are teammates who compete for the ultimate benefit of the team, rather than their own personal glory.

            Let’s use a real world example here to illustrate how it works in practice. In 2007, both Ferrari drivers started the season with effectively equal billing. They were allowed to race freely, with the idea being that eventually one driver would naturally assert himself over the other one through the course of the season. In 2007, the driver who asserted himself was Kimi Raikkonen. Because of this, by Brazil, Massa was no longer in contention for the championship, and so naturally fell into the role of supporting his teammate. This meant that in Brazil when Massa was ahead of Raikkonen, rather than stay there and take points off of his teammate, he moved over and allowed Raikkonen past. Raikkonen won the WDC by one point. The move in Brazil, then, was absolutely decisive; if Massa hadn’t moved over for Raikkonen, then neither Ferrari driver would have won the championship. Raikkonen beat both McLaren drivers, who had fought continually throughout the year and ended up level on points.

            Move forward a year, and this time Massa was the driver who had come out on top in the latter part of the season, meaning that the roles were then reversed. Raikkonen was expected to move out of the way for Massa, as he duly did in China, allowing Massa to score an additional 2 points. Unfortunately for Massa, this time those extra points weren’t enough, and he ended up losing out on the WDC to Lewis Hamilton. Again, the championship was decided by a single point. Here’s the interesting thing; in both years, the title was contested between Ferrari and McLaren and one point was the margin. In both years, Ferrari used team tactics to maximise the points for one driver. The difference, crucially, is with McLaren. In 2007, they had two superstar drivers who fought through the entire season, taking points from each other. In 2008, McLaren had one superstar driver, and one solid support driver in the form of Heikki Kovalainen. In short, when McLaren had two top level drivers, they lost the WDC. When they had just one top level driver, they won it.

            I totally agree that the period of Ferrari domination was a real turn-off, because of the total lack of competition. But you need to understand that the dominance of Ferrari didn’t stem from simnply having one top level driver. It stemmed instead from a huge technical advantage they had in the car and the tyres. They had a package so complete that nobody was able to compete with them.

          10. response to follow…I just lack the time right now to pick apart what you just said. But you’ve said a mouthful so I will respond.

          11. @mazdachris … I think I’ve made it clear that I fully understand that teams since the very beginning of F1 are there to maximize their performance. Surely you don’t need to be condescending in that regard. I’ve been following F1 since Gilles’ hiring at Ferrari brought television coverage of F1 to Canada. We disagree on the ethical component of how F1 should conduct itself. You are trying to convince me it is perfectly ethical to do it the MS/Ferrari way because it is within the rules. I look at it from a much more encapsulating standpoint. Just because it is within the rules doesn’t make it therefore ethical.

            My worst case scenario is when one driver is contracted to be subservient from race one of a season, and you are erroneously denying an absolute fact that MS/Ferrari did that (please watch the post-race interview with RB after Austria 02 when he admits it to the world), and because that and all that can follow once you do it (the designer car and tires and the exclusive access to the best upgrades) makes the number one driver’s life so much easier, I cannot respect that driver’s achievement as much as a team who honours both drivers, who have dreamed since their childhood about making it in F1, by giving them a fair shot, and we the viewing audience the true picture of what both drivers are really made of. I think in the last 3 years we have seen something closer to the real MS than we saw in his previous career of illegal Benettons and trumped up Ferraris.

            When LdM states that he doesn’t want any ‘problems and rivalries’ between his teammates, he has just told the world the role of FA’s teammate. Legal, but not ethical imho. And yet you are trying to argue even while team orders are legal again (made illegal after the Austria 02 debacle) that… “the sporting regulations at the moment forbid teams from having designated number one and number two drivers.” Please cite which sporting reg you are referring to.

            So I’m a fan of a more true and honest representation amongst an apples to apples field of cars and drivers. I suggest we’ve been seeing that this year at least at Mac and Merc and I think Lotus too (although KR should be the favoured one for the remainder due to his points position) and at the lesser teams. I think I’ve made myself clear on that and in fact I think you agree with me, because you have cited FM/KR and KR/FM, the two years that I actually felt better about Ferrari in a long time. Thank you for pointing out a real world example of how it should work, and how I have always appreciated that it has always worked for the most part. Two drivers get a fair shot from race one (neither one subservient to the other, neither one heavily advantaged with a designer car), and come the closing stages of the season, when one has the math work in his favour for a WDC shot the onus is on the other driver to not take points away from the WDC hopeful, as an obvious gesture to the team and it’s sponsors. It is his duty, not meaning that he has to go out and literally block cars, just don’t impede him and don’t take away points if at all possible. A team order shouldn’t even be needed. We can all understand it, including the driver for whom it didn’t work out. In the case of KR, it resulted in a WDC. So it can work.

            So you’ve cited one example of two drivers being allowed to compete for the bulk of the season and one coming out as WDC in the end. Citing another example of when LH squeeked his WDC in, after FM was WDC for half a lap, and trying to claim it is because he in comparison had a support driver in HK all season, is to me weak. It proves nothing. Even MS didn’t always win the WDC, even with a contracted subservient. A better driver might have been around to take points away throughout the season from other drivers that might have been in the mix with LH, and made life easier for him that way. A better driver may have helped move the car’s development along quicker, especially with the shortage of testing, and helped give LH a chance at a much bigger points cushion going into the final stages of the season. All the while that driver’s shot in F1 would be more legitimate than to just be there as a constant lapdog.

            And all the while we the viewing audience could be treated to a much more high quality show than when we know the running order between two drivers ahead of time (and imagine the horror if it was 12 pairs of drivers for whom we already knew ahead of time would finish behind their mates). As I’ve said before, your ethical scenario only helps a team dominate when they do it to an extreme and far and above everyone else. Otherwise it’s no quarantee, and thank goodness there aren’t 12 lapdogs out there.

            And you agree with me…”I totally agree that the period of Ferrari domination was a real turn-off, because of the total lack of competition.”

            But then you show a glaring inconsistancy with… “But you need to understand that the dominance of Ferrari didn’t stem from simnply having one top level driver. It stemmed instead from a huge technical advantage they had in the car and the tyres. They had a package so complete that nobody was able to compete with them.”

            So when LH sqeaks in a win, it’s because of HK supporting him, but MS had far more? I think you’ve finally gotten my point. By actually contracting a supporter, the team then builds the car for the one driver, the tire maker designs the tires for said car, and before you know it one driver stands out on the grid as the most heavily advantaged driver in the history of F1. And I can’t respect his numbers for that very reason.

            It’s about degrees of ethical treatment toward the two drivers on a team, and I’ll remind you that you think that because it is within the rules MS/Ferrari type behaviour is ethical, and I think that within the rules the teams can and usually do find a better way that is within the rules and treats both drivers and the viewing audience with far more respect and appreciation of their and our intelligence. And still allows them to come out with a WDC.

            Once you watch RB’s post-Austria 02 interview where he admits ‘just obeying his contract’ when he let MS past with metres to go for the ‘win,’ and when you grasp the massively negative reaction that got form the world, you will agree with me that there are rules, and then there are ways to conduct oneself to varying degrees of ethical behaviour within the rules. That race result (and team orders were legal then) was taken as so unethical it actually changed a rule…to a no team orders rule (but we all know that’s always been hard to enforce due to the million ways a team can subtley hold back one driver without anyone knowing).

            So to sum up…we agree that teams want to always maximize themselves…always have…always will. You will see that RB admits a contract. And LdM just implied to the world nearly the same and yet you are trying to claim that is against the sporting regs. Is he about to be sanctioned then? And we have agreed that the MS/Ferrari way was a turnoff and had far more to do with massive technical advantages over the whole grid. We also agree that the KR/FM and FM/KR method is fine. And I think you should be able to agree with me that if MS needed not only a subservient, but massive technical advantages, surely LH didn’t squeak his win merely because he had a supporter in HK…it’s a weak argument. It had to do with how the points fell amongst the other drivers that specific season too, no? And a million other variables throughout the season.

            You think all within the rules is fair game. I think there is room for better ethical treatment of drivers and the fans also within the rules. I will never appreciate MS’s numbers compilation due to the massive advantages it took for him to achieve them. The weren’t ethically earned imho. They were bought. And we the viewing audience did not get to see him compete against a legitimate teammate until he came to Merc. We were robbed of two gladiators duking it out on a top team in favour of a turn-off.

            There’s a reason Patrick Head said, “what a shame they forgo the spirit of racing for the sake of share value.”

            And I say what a shame you have no issue with it. Everyone should.

          12. @robbie

            I think in some respects we aren’t that far apart in our thinking. You say that promoting one driver is unethical, while I say that ethics isn’t a factor in how teams conduct themselves. However, that’s with my logical hat on, looking at it through the eyes of a team principle. I’m not a team principle, I’m a fan of motorsport, and I feel exactly the same way about wanting to see as many competitive drivers able to fight it out on the track as possible, and of course the route taken by Ferrari in the past (though as I point out, not so much today) does detract somewhat from the purity of the racing.

            I think though, that we’re probably as close as we’re likely to get, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to change our opinions. I take it as a compliment that you’ve wanted to take the time to reply to me in as much detail you have done, and I really hope you’ve found the debate as interesting as I have. We don’t share an opinion but it seems that what we do have in common is a real heartfelt passion for F1. I hope this isn’t the last time we’ll be able to have a discussion like this one. For my part though, I don’t think there’s really anything I can add to what I’ve already said.

          13. Well said @mazdachris … it has been a great debate and I wouldn’t have taken the time if I wasn’t finding it interesting and compelling.

  10. Good point Keith. I also believe that Montezemolo was suggesting also that Massa and Alonso are also two different personalities, where Vettel and Alonso would be too alike and it would cause friction. Massa, much like his countryman Barrichello, is not a ruthless or devious person. You have to be like that to succeed in this business and win championships. When we look at recent inter-team rivalries with the likes of McLaren and Red Bull, Ferrari always seem to keep everything ‘in house’ and contained. An amazing admission from Montezemolo and very honest in that, pretty much, he admitted that Alonso is ‘their’ main man at the moment.

    1. Ruthless maybe, but I don’t think you need to be devious person to be a WDC.

  11. Someone put some gaffa tape on this bloke. I plain just don’t like LDMs style. Massa shouldn’t sell out another year & should tell this arrogant so & so to stick his drive…

    Vets would be perfect fit for Ferrari, they both love themselves!

    1. Weheras Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher and all the previous champions loathed themselves and thought that they are nothing compared to the other drivers on the grid. Good one Sir!

  12. You also can do that by firing Alonso and hire Vetel, cost less money and less whining.

  13. Montezemolo: 2014 ‘too early’ for Vettel

    1. So he’ll end up at McLaren then with Perez?

      1. @bosyber – I think McLaren at this rate wouldn’t be an improvement on Red Bull. He’d be better off staying with the known entity, especially if they can keep the Renault engine package and Adrian Newey.

        1. Heh @vettel1, no I agree, I can’t see a sensible Vettel leaving Red Bull soon, especially not for a team that made so many mistakes in a lot of areas as McLaren did. … Don’t really know about those Ferrari rumours either, but McLaren, no.

          Was just in reference by @pjtierney to what Montezemelo said about Perez :)

          1. @bosyber – ah I see, Ferrari are just making up excuses now for not allowing some of the best drivers from racing for them!
            After all, the last time a German raced for the Scuderia we know what happened…

  14. That means Massa is not rooster. Well, I should agree with it but I don’t like the attittude of LdM anyway. Actually I hope Vettel stay there. I don’t like he comes to Ferrari. Mclaren might be better?

  15. One WDC for Ferrari is worth 3 at RBR, that’s why he wants to drive for Ferrari.

  16. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
    15th October 2012, 17:43

    All this vettel-alonso hype… personally I’d rather much see an Alonso-Button pairing. The two best drviers in F1 duking it out. Button came to Mclaren among all the naysayers telling he would get destroyed, but he himslef destroyed Hamilton over their three seasons and Hamilton is running scared to Mercedes. As Whitmarsh himself stated ‘Hamilton destroyed Alonso but not Button’. Button’s smart, he’s ousted Hamilton, made himself no.1 and will many championships. Make no mistake, an Alonso-Button pairing will be the best thing F1 has seen for a long time…

    1. @05abrahamsemere – Button has exceeded very low expectations, but out of 3 years, he’s only beaten Hamilton in one of them. Claiming him to be better than Vettel or Hamilton is a huge lie.

  17. I believe Vettel will drive for Ferrari only after Alonso retires. Vettel will be still young and according to LdM he IS a rooster…

  18. I may be alone on this matter, but the 2014 engine regs will be V6 turbocharged engines, and Renault will make their own V6 turbo unit as well.
    As the most successful Renault team, I’d expect red Bull to have some input into the engine characteristics they’d like.
    And anyway, who’s to say that the 2014 ferrari will be a brilliant car?
    And if the engine is brilliant, Red Bull proved in 2009 that it is possible to win in a relatively underpowered car due to aerodynamic sophistication.
    (I think that the loss of refuelling effectively equalised the difference in power between the Ferrari/Mercedes and Renault engines, as the Renault engines have better fuel economy.)

  19. The BBC has made a bit of an ass of itself today over this story. I woke to the blaze of the headline, “Ferrari prepare for Vettel’s arrival”. The headline has changed 4 times throughout the day and ended up, “Vettel Might join Ferrari in 2014. I wrote first thing today how ridiculous a story this was ( ) and James Allen has just posted a piece that quotes the infamous ‘horse whisperer’ (a mysterious Ferrari insider who speaks rarely) who was forced to break silence to speak on the matter. (

    Its a non-story as well as a wrong story for anyone who knows Ferrari history. They have had a plethora of pre-contracts/understandings that have never come to fruition. The best known Alan Jones in 1978, who was signed, arrived in Italy only to be told they’d since signed Gilles Villeneuve. Jones went to Williams and won the WDC.

  20. Must admit, I’ve got a secret hankering for Newey to join Sauber…

  21. As long as LdM involved in Ferrari F1 business, they are not going to win Championships, this guy is just full of it, too much bad karma.

    He should have completely retired as he was planning long time ago, instead his “Berlusconi”-fobia is just an embarrassment.

  22. So Felipe Massa is now a hen? Inferred by his boss to not be a rooster must mean he is something other than a rooster.

    The respect for Alonso has gone up this season while doing a great job leading the championship for most of the time in what is maybe the third best car. Respect would increase even more were he to race on the same team with another of the top echelon of current drivers (Vettel) on the same team. Would Alonso agree to do that may be the biggest question here.

    Maybe LdM already knows the answer to that question and Vettel will be the rooster in 2014 with another hen(?) in the number 2 car.

    2013 silly season isn’t even finished yet and already 2014 is a hotter topic. Oh my!

  23. This talk of Vettel leaving RBR for Ferrari at a time when they’re both fighting it out for the championship.

    Seems odd to me.


  24. So he is openly telling world that Massa is a chicken??

  25. Like the fact that he calls a spade, a spade.

    11th January 2013, 10:31

    Long live the true spirit of Formula One in 2013!
    ‘Broken Seal 2012’ & ‘Crashgate 2008′
    The substance of Luca di Montezemolo’s comments that ….’we cannot have two roosters in the henhouse…..’ pales into insignificance in the light of he 2012 US F1 GP Ferrari tactic of breaking the gearbox seal of Felipe Massa’s car, so that Fernando Alonso started one place up further up the grid in 7th position with Massa as a consequence penalised five places to drop to 11th on the grid. Very regrettably this does have unfortunate similarities with the ‘fixing’ of the Hong Kong F1 2008 race by Renault in order that Fernando Alonso, who started 15th, won the race after the safety car came out following Nelson Piquet Jn’s extremely dangerous yet orchestrated crash.
    To put this into context, the McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he did not agree with Ferrari’s decision to break the seal on Massa’s gearbox, insisting he would never run his team in a similar fashion. But his comment….’when Fernando [Alonso] was with us (McLaren) it was not doing those things that meant that Fernando left us’… reveals a whole sordid reality and fundamental problem with winning fairly, not infringing the rules and regulations, and perhaps more importantly, not bringing the sport into disrepute.
    I for one wonder, how long it is going to be before Ferrari come to their senses and honour their responsibilities to Formula One and the racing public – rather than continue to embarrass the racing public and dishonour the spirit and mores of F1, no doubt aided in this complete folly by the Spanish Bank Santander’s sponsorship?
    It has to be mentioned that as a consequence of this flagrant and extremely dangerous breaking of the F1 rules and regulations by Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa was denied the 2008 World Championship by one point. But it has also to be clearly said that this chicanery very nearly brought about the death or serious injury of Nelson Piquet Jn.
    As Massa said… ‘the robbery changed the outcome of a championship and I lost (the title)’…
    Vive Formula One! Rhuairi Macleod

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