Montezemolo and Marchionne differed over F1 team

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne and outgoing Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had differing views on how to restore their F1 team to winning ways.


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Ferrari chairman quits after ‘misunderstandings’ with Fiat boss (FT, registration required)

“Mr Marchionne said Mr Montezemolo had brought Ferrari to a new level of technological and organisational excellence that brought with it outstanding financial results. But he admitted to ‘misunderstandings’ between the two over how to improve Ferrari’s Formula 1 performance.”

Ferrari F1 team starts new era without Montezemolo (Reuters)

Bernie Ecclestone: “His leaving is for me the same as Mr Enzo dying. He has become Ferrari. You see him, you see Ferrari.”

Luca di Montezemolo and Sergio Marchionne on Montezemolo’s Ferrari departure (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

The Road to… Luca (The Buxton Blog)

Montezemolo on F1 after Ecclestone: “I think that Formula One has unbelievable potential all over the world. But I think that you need to approach Formula One even in a far [more] modern way in the future, in term of many things.”

Luca leaves Ferrari (MotorSport)

“As for Marchionne himself who will ‘spearhead’ Ferrari in the future, he is widely credited as being the man who turned the Fiat concern around. On the other hand he has shown a less sure touch at Alfa Romeo which continues to consistently under-perform its potential while his strategy to re-launch Maserati as a rival to BMW, Audi and Mercedes is too new to say whether it will be a success or not.”

Costs of staging Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix increase again (The Age)

“Melbourne’s 2014 Formula One Grand Prix cost taxpayers almost $60 million, an extra $9.3 million than 2013, due to falling ticket sales and increased costs.”

F1 teams reject customer car plan (Autosport)

“With attempts to bring in a budget cap or radical cost control having failed, there were fresh discussions at the Italian Grand Prix about other options to help the smaller outfits.”

‘Lewis one of the fastest ever’ (Sky)

“For me he is one of the quickest drivers ever to jump into a Formula One car. His natural ability is probably better than anyone in terms of outright speed.”

Perez: 2015 Force India deal close (F1)

“I believe there are big chances of me staying here. We are quite advanced in negotiations, so let’s see where I end up.”

Williams didn’t fear Bottas departure (Crash)

Claire Williams: “Of course when you’ve got a talent like him then there are going to be teams that are looking at him. But I think Valtteri started his career with Williams, he’s an exceptionally loyal driver and he wanted to continue with the team. So there wasn’t any real concern that we were going to lose him.”

The Ridiculous Price of F1 Tickets (I Watch Too Much Racing)

“[Silverstone] are ‘offering’ the chance of a 0% interest loan, payable in 9 monthly instalments, to cover the cost of two weekend grandstand tickets for the 2015 British Grand Prix. That cost? £755.”

Mark Webber’s verdict on F1 2014 (Red Bull)

“Every two or three years we’re hit with a different category, even though it’s Formula One. And I’m saying to myself, ‘Wow, if I was around this year, how would I drive these cars, would I have loved them, would I not have enjoyed them?’.”

“If you’re old enough” (Darren Heath)

“Imagine my surprise, and the disappointment of the crowd, when a number of the ‘younger’ drivers shuffled quickly past their fans, heads down, looking embarrassed, with no attempt to engage.”

Jules Bianchi column: The joy of Spa and Monza, two ‘classic’ circuits (James Allen on F1)

“The warmth of the fans is part of it; you feel it in other places too – for example in Melbourne and Montreal, where there is a great passion for Formula One – but at Spa you can actually ‘feel’ the history, in my case I feel it as a chill on my skin – it is like you can sense that on this track some unforgettable moments have occurred.”


Comment of the day

@Bullfrog has some doubts over plans to restrict team radio messages.

You can’t half-ban team radio. Who decides when a message is too much coaching? And what’s the penalty for that?

I think broadcasting of team radio could be improved; IndyCar and WEC do it better, with announcements from the Race Director, more timely and less selective drivers’ conversations and none of those awkward interruptions and pauses in commentary before some meaningless instruction to change settings, that’s often in the wrong language anyway.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sweetooth and Dimitris 1395!

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On this day in F1

Damon Hill took advantage of Michael Schumacher’s enforced absence from the Italian Grand Prix 20 years ago today to cut his championship lead by ten points.

On the same day Jacques Villeneuve scored his first IndyCar victory, brilliantly holding off the might of the Penske team at Road America. Al Unser Jnr finished second and took the championship crown off Nigel Mansell.

Images © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Williams/LAT

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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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47 comments on “Montezemolo and Marchionne differed over F1 team”

  1. Very sad to read about the attitude of some of the younger drivers in Darren Heaths blog. I understand they haven’t amassed a fanbase similar to that of Alonso or Hamilton but fans pay good money to see their favorite drivers and while no one is forcing them to interact with the fans, it’s a pretty sour attitude to have.

    Even more so when you consider only a few drivers have a guaranteed place on the grid for next season, you’d think that those looking for a new driver or worrying about loosing theirs would at least try and thank the few people who have supported them during their time in the sport.

    1. The popularity of Räikkönen has never failed to amaze me. With his ‘whatever’ or ‘go away’ attitude he’s always come across to be as extremely ignorant. Yet he is often lauded as a great character which in my opinion can only be true if you have great character.
      I think some of this has possibly rubbed off on some of the newer drivers (unfortunately unnamed in Darren’s article) who think the Räikkönen way is another way to approach the whole media circus. Be distant and aloof the fans will love you for it? Not this one…

  2. I’m wondering why not any major sponsor from the UAE, from the middle east hasn’t sponsored an F1 team yet, the football clubs are full with them (Fly Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways)

    If those guys come with their money, they can make something happen

    1. There is no profit in f1 if you aren’t Called Bernie Ecclestone

    2. Emirates has signed a five-year deal with Formula One, their panels have been at most of the grands prix.

      The main reason more of those companies don’t enter F1 is because lack of visibility, especially if you’re not associated with the front runners. Football is everywhere and it is constant; it is unavoidable. F1 wakes up for three days (only two of which are important) and then sleeps for the rest of the fortnight. Football is watched by tens, if not hundreds of millions and the number is rapidly growing; F1 is watched by millions and is rapidly dwindling. Look at the numbers for a good parallel. Within a few months of each other, Emirates agreed to sign a five-year deal with Arsenal for £150m and then to sign a five-year deal with Formula One for £125m. Sponsoring one football club is seen as more valuable than the whole of F1.

      They also sponsor other clubs in major European markets: Real Madrid (Spain), Paris Saint Germain (France), AC Milan (Italy), Hamburger (Germany), Olympiacos (Greece). All in all, they must be spending magnitudes more on sponsoring football clubs than on F1 as the increased exposure is worth the increased expenditure.

    3. Fly Emirates have been involved in F1 before as both a team sponsor (McLaren) & more recently with trackside advertising.

      Etihad has also been involved as a sponsor with a few teams including Ferrari.

      1. I seem to remember Etihad being title sponsors of Spyker of all teams!

    4. Which series are you watching ?
      Off the top of my head, recent years:
      Ferrari – Etihad & Mudabala
      McLaren – Emirates
      Toro Rosso- AABAR (Falcon Private Banking)
      Sauber – Pacific Ventures
      Lotus – Emaar

      1. I meant ‘main’ sponsor like, RedBull, Petronas, Martini etc

        1. For example the Qatar World Rally Team

          1. @wackyracer The airline industry around the globe is in trouble, not many airlines make a profit, and those that do, don’t make huge profits, hence why we don’t see many airlines as title sponsors of F1 cars. On the flip side, they have enough to sponsor an event.

        2. We dont really have that many title sponsors anymore, just Petronas, Martini and Infiniti (Santander?); all others are simply carrying their parent company’s name, like Red Bull or Ferrari.

          1. Must be getting yourself confused there…
            It’s Infiniti Red Bull Racing
            Mercedes AMG Petronas (I think)
            Sahara Force India
            Williams Martini

            And we’re still waiting for Mclaren’s…

    5. Some of my most enduring memories of F1 are from a certain white and green car, the Williams FW06 and FW07 often colloquially referred to as the Saudi Williams. Main sponsor Albilad-Saudia. This was in the late 70s.
      Much of McLaren’s funding over the years was also from the middle east. Have a look into their history and you’ll understand that there would be no McLaren as we know them today without the petro-dollars from the east.

  3. I think Heath’s article title shouldn’t read “If you’re old enough”, but “If you’re the best man for the job”…
    Found it interesting nonetheless.

    I think Jenson may be right about Lewis, and he’s been very vocal about him this year. We need to appreciate him whilst he’s still here and when his career comes to an end, then we can compare. 2007 maybe stops the same being said about Alonso…

  4. Martin Brundle’s memory must be fading.

    2012 was the best season for racing action and championship dramas with 2010 and 2007 even better for tensions and dramas if not necessarily purely for racing.
    Also: not sure if it is on YouTube, but see if you can find Luca on the podium for the first Chinese GP in 2004: With Barrichello winning, he took the honour as Ferrari were keen on tapping the Chinese market. Rubinho (& Kimi) promptly soaked him in the Mumm. Hilarious stuff.

    1. I didn’t think much of 2012, Far too much tyre randomness for my liking. Who did well often seemed more down to how the tyres worked with there car than anything team/driver did each weekend, Especially over the 1st half of the season.

      Additionally DRS was ridiculous that year & turned overtaking into a farce most of the time. Yeah passing figures may have been an all time high that year but most of it was meaningless due to boring drs.
      I’d actually rate the racing in 2012 as some of the worst i’ve seen over my 35 or so years of following f1 just because of how artificial much of it seemed due to the tyres/drs.

      The racing in 2010 was actually pretty good, Big increase in overtaking due to the fueling ban with every overtaking move been exciting to watch unlike drs/tyre highway passes.
      good champioship fight between 5 drivers to the final few races over 3 teams with a come from behind champion.

      Coming to 2014 I think this year has been one of the best. Good title fight (Even if its just 2 drivers in 1 team), Some great on-track action, Cars that are actually exciting to watch been driven (Not planted with torque-less engines & tons of downforce), overtaking thats not all easy drs-ing & tyres that don’t fall to pieces after 5 laps nor are they the talking point each week.
      Not been a single race this year that i’ve not enjoyed & i’ve not turned any off mid-race as i did some of the stupid drs/tyre dominated races of 2011-2013.

      2014 has been fantastic, Hope not much changes for 2015 :)

      1. The 2012/2010 topic came up a while ago. So over Xmas, I decided to watch every race from 2012, and when that was done I watched every race from 2010.

        There is no comparison. 2010 was terrible for on track action. I don’t know how you can legitimately say “the racing in 2010 was actually pretty good.” It wasn’t. The only dry race that had race action on a par with 2012 was Turkey (China & Spa were wet races, Korea can’t be made exciting by any means).

        The 2010 versions of Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia, Spain, Monaco, Valencia, Silverstone, Hungary, Monza, Singapore, Suzuka, Korea, Brazil & Abu Dhabi were not exciting races by any measure.

        The only thing that made 2010 memorable was the beginning of the Red Bull intra-team politics and their poor reliability kept the title battle open until the end which allowed the Ferrari pit wall to implode.

        If you feel that 2012 was one of the worst you’ve ever seen, I feel sorry for you – especially if you are going to blame all of F1’s failings on DRS or Pirelli. I’m certain you’ll find more non-DRS overtaking in 2012 that there was in 2010.

        1. I’m certain you’ll find more non-DRS overtaking in 2012 that there was in 2010.

          The number of non-drs overtakes in 2012 was less than half when compared to drs generated highway passing.
          additionally you have to factor in the tyre effect as the tyres also generated an absurd number of ‘easy’ passes that year.

          In 2010 all overtaking was genuine & exciting, From 2011 onwards a lot of it has been generated purely by DRS or tyres & much of that has just not been exciting to watch.

          There was also plenty of good racing in 2010 & as I said there was a massive increase in on-track overtaking thanks to the fueling ban. 2010 featured the most number of on-track overtakes than any season since 1989, It went from something like 200 in 2009 to just under 400 for 2010.

          The thing for me is that I love watching good, close, Competitive & hard fought racing/overtaking. I love watching good battles & love watching exciting overtaking.
          I get nothing from watching a pass generated by DRS, I just find them all boring & have changed the channel more than once in races where DRS is too powerful.
          Its the same with the tyres, Watching one car utterly defenseless because he’s on older tyres up against a car lapping 2-3+ seconds faster on fresher rubber again I find boring.

          A majority of the racing in 2012 was Tyre/DRS dependent. DRS was at its most powerful that year & the tyres had that narrow operating window which made some things seem so random that it often felt like a team been competitive or not was a bit of a lottery.

          I get why others liked 2012 but for me it was just all too artificial with the DRS/Pirelli effect producing the sort of ‘non-racing’ I have no interest in watching.

          1. I thought that my memory of that season may have been clouded by the decider at Abu Dhabi. But no – I watched every race over again and my initial synopsis was confirmed.

            There is a good reason why degrading tyres and DRS were introduced. Do you think they’d have done it if the racing in 2010 was the best in years? Does the “extra 200” overtakes from 2009 to 2010 count the number of times HRT, Virgin and Green Lotus passed each other? Because at the pointy end of the field it was pretty static for most races of the season.

            Too artificial is your criticism? Where is your limit of artificiality? Every season has a degree of artificiality introduced to aid racing and shake up the order. Some years are more sever that others (eg. ground effect or active suspension), but there are always changes.

    2. @kazinho 2007, 2008 and 2010 were good seasons. 2008 had the best finale I’ve ever seen in F1. (I was born in 1984 and my oldest clear memories of F1 date back to 1992).

      1. Having watched since 2002, my genuine, out loud, reaction to Brundle’s tweet was

        What, better than 2012?

        Whilst 2014 has had great moments, it’s difficult to pick out a boring moment from 2012. From the variety of winners at the start, the great drives in the middle of the season at the jam-packed races we had at the end. 2014 has had some great races, but I don’t think it’s quite managed to touch the magic of that season.

        1. 2012 had the variation in results. Over that season 13 different drivers stood on the podium from 7 different teams. So far this year we have had 10 drivers from 6 teams – not a bad strike rate.

          For comparison, 2010 had 8 drivers from 5 teams fill the podium at every race.

          The expectation of a one-sided season and the realisation that it ISN’T one like 2004 is what has pleasantly surprised many people – myself included.

      2. 2008 had the craziest Championship end that we’ll ever see. There’s no way to top that.

        But I’m currently re-watching the 2005 season at the moment.

      3. Agreed. 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014 will go down as my favourites, but 2008 will always stand-out from the others for me (unless we get even more drama this year). The number of wet races helped the drama, but also the number of winners, the title battle between Hamilton, Massa and somewhat Kubica, and the finale made it special. And I loved the cars back then. F1 was in rude health. Although I may have a slightly-biased point of view being a Hamilton fan…

  5. Holy Moly, i never knew Silverstone tickets cost so much

    1. Grandstands tickets are very expensive in some circuits. Three years ago I paid 800$ for weekend tickets for the Brazilian GP. The trick is: get general admissions tickets in advance because it’s way cheaper and the experience is generally more interesting, I had great fun last year on top of Kemmel straight at Spa and I paid 115 Euros for the ticket (Race day only).

  6. Great COTD @Bullfrog

    Re LDM being pitched from Ferrari

    Please CVC ,,,Take Note,

  7. I think Darren Heath’s article is pretty poorly thought out, to use his own language style, it’s the old, tired journalist trying to keep his head above water within the sea of journalistic talent.

    Of course the drivers who have been in F1 are more used to the attention, no dur. Who would have thought it? And yes, it would probably help the younger guys popularity if they were a bit more gregarious towards their fans (although not as much as he I thinks). But jeez, maybe experience and confidence are two things that it is natural to need to build up.

    The way to get new fans to appreciate the sport is to make the engines louder, stop bringing in daft rules and by journalists taking a NASCAR approach to it, which I often see set in a very positive light. Unlike F1, which is controversy and disaster as much as it is thrilling and technically interesting.

    1. @mike I don’t like Darren Heath. He might be a good photographer but his views on F1 are either populist or simply poorly written. In a sense, he is no better than Daily Mail.

      We should not forget that the drivers he is talking about are mostly teenagers. I was looking at GP3 drivers (they had an autograph session) at Hockenheimring and thought ‘Man, they are still kids’. When I was at their age, I knew nothing about the world and I was afraid to make my own decisions. Travelling around the world and competing in GP3/GP2 is already a huge challenge. Most people never become mature enough for something like that.

      For sure, young drivers should also learn how to communicate to their fans but give them some time, for God’s sake. Besides, if we want drivers to be themselves and all of them to be sociable at the same time, then it’s just asking for a moon on a stick. I remember that when Raikkonen thanked his fans after the race at Spa in 2012, I was sure he did not fake it. Are rare moments of true kindness not much more worth than corporate etiquette 24/7?

    2. I did smile at the line “Fernando finally departed with a cheery wave leaving everyone happy including grown men crying with emotion.”

  8. I met an Australian at Monza. I was very shocked to hear that he had chosen to go to BOTH Spa and Monza for the same price it would have cost him to see the race in Australia… I think thats very sad.

    1. How much do Spa and Monza tickets cost? The tickets in AUS are $450-$500 for all 4 days. In comparison Silverstone tickets are $1330.53

      1. @ambroserpm It depends. General admission is quite cheap, 100 € for three days. Grandstands are more expensive, the cheapest option is 170 € for three days. I’m talking about Monza, I don’t know about Spa.
        Silverstone tickets are crazy, I don’t know how the grandstands are so full with those kind of prices.

        But, yeah, even if Monza is relatively cheap, it’s difficult for regular people (by “regular” I mean not F1 fanatics) to justify the price. Maybe it’s nothing, but this year I saw some empty seats at Monza.

    2. I’m an Aussie and I did Spa and Monza in 2012, and while it was well worth the price it wasn’t any less expensive than going to Melbourne. Silverstone that year was way too overpriced for F1 so I just went to a cheap Britcar 24 hour race instead and got to explore the great circuit without crowds.

      I also noticed during the Italian GP last weekend that the Ascari stand I sat at in 2012 which was packed at the time, was more than two thirds empty, such a shame.

  9. Lawrence Stroll is not buying Sauber, he’s taking helm of Ferrari from Montezemolo, and his visit to Sauber was just to introduce himself.

  10. Red Bull pulled the Mark Webber article already?

      1. Looks like it’s back up but it’s been changed a lot. I don’t think there was anything dubious in it though, it reads better now.

      2. Thanks. Yeah, really don’t see a reason why they pulled it. Still can’t see it on the redbull site unlik @Mike

  11. The Red Bull article’s disappeared

  12. Was time for fresh air at Ferrari. Montezemolo seemed like he’d developed a king of the hill complex with no results in 6 years to back it up. Bye bye.

    As for the radio ‘debate’, seems to me like it’s taking place along all or nothing lines. I’m all for for hearing anything and everything possible, I just think that among the sport’s troubles is the fact that drivers are excessively micro-managed from the pit wall. In a sense this has levelled the playing field somewhat because car management is less important so pure driving speed has a greater part in drivers’ success. Which doesn’t sound like a bad thing. But it has taken away two important, or at least interesting, elements I think: 1. separating drivers who can better feel out changing conditions in-race and contribute to car development over the course of a season (used to be drivers who gave feedback to their engineers more than the other way round methinks); and, as a result, 2. we’ve lost a part of the unpredictability that came from some drivers making the right choices during the race and some not. Jacques Villeneuve has become a bad joke, very unfortunately, but if he’s always been spot on in one respect is his campaigning for more control in the hands of drivers, less assistance, less telemetry coaching.

    The last few races have been great, no doubt. But in support of my point – Hamilton put pressure on Rosberg at Monza because he decided to ignore his engineer’s coaching, not because he followed it.

    1. I completely reject your opinion that JV has become a ‘bad joke’ given that he is a proven WDC who is asked his opinion and gives it and it is always one man’s opinion, as is anyone’s, including yours and mine, and given that his opinions virtually always have to do with improving F1 and making it what it should be…the pinnacle. His campaigning for more control in the drivers’ hands can be extended to many of his opinions on many aspects of the big picture of F1 overall.

      As to limiting radio comm…I don’t really see how they can police for this without FOM or FIA micromanaging the teams. And if a driver can just as easily ignore the coaching, then what’s the problem? In this case I think NR just as likely put pressure on himself than LH did. And nothing suggests LH wouldn’t have succeeded doing it his engineer’s way too. If LH hadn’t had the luxury of NR taking himself out of the equation, but rather decided on his own to get into a multi-lap battle with NR, perhaps he would have killed his own tires doing so and would have had nothing in the end to drive on, such is the nature of today’s ‘endurance’ F1. Ie. just because LH had a good outcome does not make his engineer’s advice at the time bad, but as usual it is easy to argue something using hindsight.

  13. Just how ridiculous is the idea of Luca di Montezemolo as Bernie’s successor?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. It gets more and more clear that Santander getting back with McLaren is a sign that either Alonso or Lewis are going to re-join McLaren.

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