Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

‘I expected bigger step from Ferrari’ – Montezemolo

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In the round-up: Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says he expected the team to make a bigger step in 2016 than they have.

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If F1 was to lose Sauber or other teams, could three-car teams be a way to bolster thin grids?

More than half of the current grid are currently in no way financially secure and realistically there are only four teams (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren) that could really afford to run a third car and one of those teams (McLaren) wouldn’t exactly be totally secure doing so as they have nowhere near the budget they once did.

Williams, Force India, STR, Sauber, Manor and even Haas and Renault would not be able to fund a third car as they simply don’t have the sort of budgets that would be required and if they did manage to enter a third car I doubt it would be at the same level as the other two in terms of the latest components.

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Sebastian Vettel took his fourth win out of five at the beginning of the 2011 season by leading home Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit de Catalunya on this day five years ago.

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  • 60 comments on “‘I expected bigger step from Ferrari’ – Montezemolo”

    1. I can’t read the article, but, given the lead Mercedes has had for the last two years, I think anyone who predicted Ferrari to actually beat them on pace would need to get their head checked.

      Blatant political stab from Luca.

      1. Agree, This is like him saying indirectly to Marchionnie that you and your team isn’t better than us in the past.
        this is mostly due to Ferrari hyping themselves in the winter time and falling flat in races time which is more or less the same point since 2009 or 2010.
        I just dont understand why they are still unable to deliver a fastest car for once and looking how they are approaching i see them falling back again in 2017 because they try to fight for 2016 which is more or less writing on the wall for every one. They want to win every year instead of focusing on another era to get the lead like merc and most importantly the Heads of Ferrari are impatient which makes it worse for the team who ever is working.
        If i were Bernie or Bernie’s successor i would put a clause in Ferrari contract that only more money when you build a fastest car that year :) :D

        1. @mike
          sorry forgot to add that :)

        2. Ferrari tried more than once to scrap a season in favor of the next, but it did not work either.

          1. @glacierre
            I rate Allison and his current work team better than their previous team so it should work this time. We also have to remember that The Ferrari is up against two very mighty chassis which is why its rated 3rd. vs Merc and RBR this is very strong and perhaps best since 2009 which is first of Ferrari downfall.
            I think they will do better if Ferrari especially their CEO’s stop hyping themselves and putting unnecessary pressure on the team like the recent articles “We should win in spain etc etc”.

            1. err Best since 2010 :D

      2. To me its sort of part of the Ferrari folklore that they keep backstabbing, binge-firing etc within the team every few years, in between saying that soon/next race/from race x onwards/next year they will be the ones to beat.

        I must say that I am glad about it too, because while we all would like to see Ferrari at least winning a bit and fighting for the championship I would certainly not want to see any years like 2000-2005 (maybe even until 2008 for the should part) anymore where Ferrari is more or less instituionally the team that “should” win and is backed to do it by the FIA.

        Sure, Red Bull dominated, and Bernie seems to push for things to help them. But the FIA/Todt never supported that, so it felt more fair and square just them being the more clever about finding tricks, just as Mercedes is now ahead with their engine-car package and proves hard to beat.

      3. The old Monte ego is alive and well:
        “I know what we made in 2014 to improve,” di Montezemolo says. “The progress of last year was a product of the work the year before. To be honest I expected a bigger step this year from last year with, after five races, not winning even one. ”

        btw you can reach the article, quite legitimately, by searching for the phrase and then in the google results click the down-arrow and pick ‘cached’. That’s the meat of it above though.

        It’s amusing for a non-Ferrari fan to see Marchionne doing the same undermining of the team as his self-important predecessor. You’d think they might learn from Mateschitz wouldn’t you, but the instinct to BE Ferrari with all those people working to glorify meeeee is too strong.

      4. I thought it was very short sighted of di Montezemolo to expect that of the team. Yes, have everyone strive for that goal, but not achieving that goal has to be a realistic outcome because Mercedes have been very dominant.
        It was surprising that a Red Bull driver won the last race because one would have expected Ferrari to have won it.

    2. I don’t care much for Montezemolo, but I’m a firm believer that in 2 or 3 years, Alonso’s words after leaving Ferrari will resonate in more than one of us: Vettel will also get tired of being second all the time, hoping next year will be better and never being quite enough.

      With Ferrari it’s either win or lose. Coming second (and quite far from Mercedes) will never please them, but to have Red Bull sneek in between them and the germans, that has to be a hard blow on the chin.

      We’ll see… but I have my doubts for the future as well.

      1. Agree. Last year everyone thought Alonso would eat humble pie after Vettel and Arrivebene were going to start turning Ferrari’s fortunes around. But honestly, it looks just like the start of Alonso’s tenure at Ferrari. I think Ferrari’s philosophy of building a race winning car was focused around unlimited testing. In this era of efficiency, they just don’t have the innovation, skill set and expertise that some of the other top teams have developed over the past 10 years.

        I’m upset that there is no one to challenge Mercedes right now, but I’m pretty happy about Ferrari’s failure. To be completely honest, I see Red Bull jumping them for the 2nd best spot. If Mclaren somehow catches them (extremely hypothetical) that would be a massive blow to them.

        1. @todfod Ferrari got it wrong in 2014 and reversed the fortunes in 2015 with 3 wins. Alonso has been harping about the chassis for long now. Honda had the chance to rectify their mistakes from 2015. But they are now talking of getting into Q3 as an achievement. Stark difference there.

          If McLaren and Alonso can have such high ambitions from such a poor PU, then I think Vettel can dream of being a WDC in the red overalls.

          Even if Honda get it right next season, there is no real assurance that they might challenge for WDC. RB are already on the up before the Renault upgrade and next season’s Aero favoring rule changes might give them further ammunition.

          Is Alonso trying to engineer a move to RB to get his third title? He isn’t going to win it at McLaren.

          1. Or Mercedes as Totto mentioned.

          2. A lot of good points @evered7 but that doesn’t make Ferrari any better. I dont either see them challenge for championships. @todfod is right: a lot of Ferrari fans laughed at Alonso when he quitted, but Mercedes is even more dominant than last year and Red Bull is catching them.
            If (and that’s a big if) McLaren appears in their mirrors next year, I predict some heads will roll…

        2. @todfod Honestly, with the token system I doubt much people believed at the end of 2014 that Ferrari could change their dog into a winning machine. I’ve always thought that Alonso made the right decision. As for a WDC in a mcLaren I think it immediately appeared unrealistic in the 2015 pre-season tests. That target is kept to motivate the team and Honda to progress but anyways it’s another kind of challenge for Alonso.

    3. Kvyat needs to suck it up, play the team card, let the journos and fans feel for him, do not play victim or else your career is definitely over. The autosport article may have been published now but it’s an example how some motorsport publications manage their stories, as I’m pretty sure most of Kvyat’s quotes are from thursday of the spanish gp yet it is today’s news. I’m sure that Kvyat is hinting at the dutch craze over Verstappen but he’s not one to speak when there’s a russian GP and a stand with his name, redbull does hire drivers however I’m sure they look at marketing, hence why Da Costa never got the chance. I don’t know if Marko was softening the blow to Kvyat but Daniil “Formula 1 is not only what you do on the track, unfortunately” isn’t fitting in your case.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        22nd May 2016, 10:53

        You are absolutely right @peartree. It’s all but certain that Autosport copied the quotes primarily form the exclusive interview of 12 may (link); thus well before the race.
        That would be extremely bad form to copy the quotes without source link; cut/paste them to make it look like new material; and worst of all, print them after the race (and make Daniil look like he can’t let go).

        PS – DK did say “I have a very long memory and I will remember this decision that has been taken.” in the original interview. I don’t think that’s a smart comment [unless follow by “I have friends”, and “they’d better watch their back next year in Sochi” ;-) ]

        1. @coldfly You found the source, nice. I really don’t care for autosport, Dieter Rencken, the number 1 presumptuous f1 journalist wrote that article so I think he doesn’t care either. As you say, it looks as if Daniil can’t let it go, that is bad for his career, that said I never looked at it from the russian mob’s perspective, so I think you might be on to something, something certainly more interesting that that article.

    4. I think he needs to start letting it go, at least to the media. I’m sure it was a bitter pill to swallow when Max took his first win in his first race for Red Bull. In someways he thought that win could have been his. But as he said, let the driving do the talking. While marketability is an important criteria for a Red Bull driver, the most important factor remains on track performance. If he can start improving his game, then he shouldn’t have to worry about his future.

    5. Montezemolo, Kvyat; please shut up.

      Ferrari might have not won any races yet but they are in a good area currently. This is the second year running that they are challenging the top team for wins some thing that never happened during Alonso era.

      They are pushing, having reliability problems and are working to resolve it. Only area of complaint is around the strategy. When you have nothing to lose, I would expect them to go for all. They seem to be playing it safe always. More adventurous strategies please.

      You are not #1, it doesn’t matter if you are #2/3. Just go for the win and use that softer tire aggressively.

      We will have a short memory of Kvyat after the next couple of years.

      1. It did happen in the Alonso era. So far, the Vettel era has shown to be exactly the same as the Alonso era, and I don’t think that this will change anytime soon. Vettel and Raikkonen will keep getting top five finishes and the occasional podium, but Mercedes will run away with this.

        1. 2010 – car is good and Alonso fights for WDC
          2011 – Car is bad and Alonso nowhere
          2012 – car is nowhere on pace but very reliable and Alonso fights for WDC
          2013 – car starts well but RB swoop second half of the season to leave Ferrari and Alonso in the dust
          2014 – PU gone horribly wrong, shunted to 4th in the WCC

          2015 – Car is good with 3 wins. Clear second in WCC.
          2016 – Car is good and Ferrari keeping in touch with Mercs although reliability takes a hit. Vettel loses two races even before the third corner.

          Where is the similarity here?

          1. They’re all red!!

            1. @philipgb How did I miss that? :-)

        2. @ultimateuzair Occasional podium? A Ferrari has been on the podium in every race this season. Can’t say that even about the Mercs.

        3. MG421982 (@)
          22nd May 2016, 9:57

          Occasional podium?!? If Ferrari had only “occasional podiums” since 2014, then the rest of the teams (except Mercedes) could say their podiums is like a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT.

      2. This is the second year running that they are challenging the top team for wins some thing that never happened during Alonso era


        Get your facts and your head checked.

        Alonso took the championship battle down to the last race in his debut season, which is something Ferrari will not achieve until 2017 at least.

        Alonso took wins in every season he had with Ferrari. Let’s see if Seb can take some this year.

        Start of the Vettel era is nowhere as good as the start of the Alonso era. Don’t be surprised if by 2018 Ferrari and Vettel are frustrated and a new era with a different driver is in the books.

        1. My head and facts are all right. It is Alonso’s and McLaren’s you have to worry about. Considering all the drivel they have been spouting since 2015.

          Unless there is a divine intervention, there isn’t going to be another WDC for Alonso.

          2011 GBR GP was an exception with sudden changes to the rule which helped Ferrari win their only race of the year by handicapping the competition. Otherwise, you would not have been able to spout this fact. Even then, I don’t think Alonso would be happy about it as he only finished 4th in the WDC. After all it is first or bust for Alonso, isn’t it?

    6. Regarding COTD, less teams also mean less competiton for price money and sponsors, so each surviving team could make more revenue to cover the third car cost. More importantly, the field would be much closer thus potentially increase viewership so entire F1 sport can grow. I would trade all the lower teams to see Vettel Alonso or Richiardo in the third car anyday.

      1. *in the third Mercedes any day.

      2. but critically, the likes of Manor, Haas, STR, Renault, Force inda will have a lot tougher job of getting anywhere near the poinst with 3 Mercs, 3 Red Bulls and 3 Ferrari’s as well as 3 McLarens and 2 Williamses more often ahead (and getting even better budgets) @zeus_m3

    7. Internal politics in an F1 team? :o Shock horror! There’ll be internal politics with any group of people working together towards anything, it’s a part and parcel of being human. Most of all when there’s millions of dollars involved.

      Funny quote though, that he will remember it, as if that’s some kind of threat :s

    8. Sick of hearing from Susie as if she was an actual F1 driver. I just read the guardian article and also looked up her entire racing career. 4 podiums, all in formula Renault in the very early 2000s, best finish of 7th (twice) in her seasons of DTM, yet she manages to get an F1 test drive and is disappointed at never racing in F1. If she had, I could not think of a less qualified person ever to have raced F1. ‘Tougher than some of the guys’? Tell that to Gary Paffett, Adam Carroll, or guys like Lotterer or Courtney or Briscoe who were genuinely quick, won races and championships but lacked opportunity.

      I’d love to see a girl on the f1 grid who is genuinely fast. But she needs to have done it the right way – winning races at least in GP3, GP2, even F3 or FR3.5 or whatever that’s called now. But with the exception of Danica Patrick, who should never have left Indycars, no female racer has even approached the kind of junior category performance level required of even a back marker F1 team. Compare Susie’s record with that of Riccardo Rosset or Sakon Yamamoto and see who was more successful.

      Get there on ability, not gender.

      1. Like she said, she lacked natural talent. A lot of people can run F1 car within 2 seconds of ultimate pace.

        But getting those final 2 seconds is difficult. Like any sport requires talent and dedication.

        Her dedication was up there, but 100s of drivers arededicated enough to enter F1. Not all are like Max Verstappen, instantly fast.

        1. I found the ‘lacking of natural talent’ interesting. If a someone without natural talent can get this far, it is inspiring. Or saddening.

          It’s inspiring when training and dedication can get you to the level of Perez, Button or Hill – to name a few.

          It’s saddening if only the fact that you are female gets you through, like getting on a podium being 15th. Sad for both the racer involved and the sport.

      2. Overly harsh. I liked her article. If you have a goal in life, and have to admit to yourself that you can’t reach it due to lack of natural talent, you’d be disappointed too.

        1. And to some that is normal life but for the happy few they can buy their way up there but when it eventually then backfires they are unhappy and like to pretend it was ‘hard’. Susie has been given more opportunities than many more talented men/women never will have.

          1. You can’t blame someone for their fortunate circumstance, ie with money, that’s just being bitter.

          2. And she never said it was hard, like she had a tough journey to get there or anything, just that it was harder than (emphasis on this next word;) some men have had it. It’s like not even half a sentence in the whole article that she mentions it. Hell that the one line is being focused and singled out so much proves how hard it can be.

      3. “with the exception of Danica Patrick”. Why would you make an exception for Danica Patrick? Danica Patrick raced cars from 1998 to 2004 before her elevation to Indy Cars in 2005. She raced Formula Ford, IMSA sports cars and Formula Atlantic. Every car and team was capable of winning races, with her rides sponsored by, among others, Bobby Rahall. And how many automobile races did she win in this seven year pre Indy career? Zero. The only time Danica was a consistent winner was when she was powered by Briggs & Stratton.

    9. Kvyat needs to be careful a bit, if Red Bull had any promising talents waiting on the wings, he’d definitely be out of a drive. Quotes like these won’t be helping hi.

      If he manages to get a drive in some other team in near future, he can say anything he wants.

      1. I think he knows Red Bull is over for him so he doesn’t care that much.

    10. I wonder if Mateshitz would not just increase TR’s budget to pop that third car? @gt-racer
      I remember a quote from him during the Scott Speed years, something along the lines of I have too many good racers but so few seats. Wouldn’t it makes sense to pump just enough cash to sustain that third car?

    11. People at Ferrari need to realise a few things about people.

      Step 1, to much pressure reduces performance.

      Step 2, being #1 takes time effort, planning and stability.

      Step 3, stacking advantages in your favour.

      Ferrari fail in all 3.

      They are an amazing team, but for around ten years they are not #1. Arguably Montezemolo, loud voice in the matter is to blame.

      If after 5 races there is no win, heads start to roll.
      Example Aldo Costa, not good enough for Ferrari, good enough for Mercedes.

      Take a look at Mercedes team, started on preparations in 2010 for 2014, team is stable now since 2013. Changing your team boss every 6 months, main engine guy and chief chassis designer is not the way to go.

      Even if right now lets say James Alison is the best in F1, no point in changing him after 1 year of work, when Mercedes guys had 3 years to get some dominance going.

      Remember Mercedes had stability even while they were performing poorly.

      Red Bull last year, didnt fire Adrian Newey, just because Chassis was not top notch. Now when they are fighting for wins, wohoo.

      So Ferrari needs to eat some humble pie and get to work. Pressure of you must fight for wins every weekend is hurting their chance of actually winning every third weekend.

      Their level is good enough to win, every fourth weekend, but pushing to hard leads them to loose out.

      1. Agree with this. imho with schumi dominance the Heads of Ferrari who ever it will be always wants Wins and Championships if they aren’t getting heads roll is the Action they take. Every year they speak about next year completely forgetting that even to get in schumi style dominance it took them 4 years of hard work and prior to that they had 21 years of Championship drought.

        1. Exactly. It takes the best people 4 to 5 years.

          Ferrari is now moving in the right direction. It will take time and patience. Something italians tend to not have.

          1. Agreed. MS has to have patience to get to the top.

            2015 – a total clear out at Ferrari plus Vettel always excels in the second half of the season.

            Keep watching.

      2. @jureo Agree totally, and the needed culture change is what Arrivabene and Allison are pushing for.

        Marchionne just don’t seem to get it.

    12. WillOfTheSupremo
      22nd May 2016, 9:52

      Yeah, about that Sauber thing.

      Is it even worth it for them to continue racing in 2016? If they really want to stay on F1, wouldn’t it be better for them to quit developing for this year and switch all efforts on 2017? Like, not even show up on track this season any more. I don’t see what they can get from it. A rare point here and there? That’s it.

      That was -and still is- my biggest gripe with the 2017 regs. A lot of small teams invested a fortune to develop hybrid tech and compete in the new era. Now there’s a major rulebook change again, within 3 years. How are they even going to survive??

      1. It’s against the rules to not show up for a race. Or it’ll hurt your finances, anyway.

      2. As Erik mentions, you get canned your spot in the sport (and any outstanding money from past success) on top of having to maybe pay Bernie/FOM off as well for failing to present your cars to all bar 3 races in a season.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          22nd May 2016, 13:04

          exactly @bascb – and even ‘missing 3 races’ is not that easy. I recall how Bernie wanted to punish MRT (then Manor Marussia) for not racing in Melbourne las year, even though they did send their car/drivers/personnel.

          1. indeed, it will certainly get you in the “not favoured by bernie” corner, which can be the death knell of a small team when it finds itself in a tight spot with getting things to the airports/terminals in time or in need of an advanced payment to get through the winter @coldfly.

            And off course losing 3 races might also mean losing further money from their (pay) drivers and any other sponsors and enlarging your gap with regards to knowledge about the current tracks, tyres and engines.

    13. Robert McKay
      22nd May 2016, 12:03

      Kvyat might as well say whatever he likes, he knows what the game is now. There’s zero chance of him being promoted back up to Red Bull and his Toro Rosso drive will only last as long as they don’t have a ready made replacement. If Pierre Gasly has even a half-decent season in GP2 I think he’ll get the drive next year.

      Kvyat’s only real aim is to use every single race he gets from now as an audition to try and be the first Red Bull “failure” (and I use the word advisedly – I don’t see him as a failure but I didn’t see Buemi or Alguersuari or Vergne or probably even Bourdais as failures) to get a drive with another F1 team.

      1. Fair description of his perdicament. There is very little room in F1 for a not top, non pay driver. But Kvyat now has some sponsorship to his name, so not all is lost.

        Red Bull has a clear goal of producing Vettel clones.

    14. i think most people didn’t really take the whole Ferrari is going to challenge Mercedes seriously. In no way have they been looking like a winner on their own strength. Mercedes isn’t even pulling out everything. When RB starts to get close, they will find 0,5 sec easily to pull away again.

    15. Todt’s statement is the same as a head doctor in a hospital saying, ‘we’ve always had people coming in with malaria, so why change it now?’ Because it’s your job, Jean. Because people get bored when there’s an extended period of dominance, especially in a sport where it’s bought and not earned. Is it really a good idea to completely disregard things like this in a period where interest in the sport is flagging? Don’t get me wrong, if a team dominates fair and square, good on them. But we’re talking about putting flyweights up against heavyweights, and then wondering why people get bored, week after week, of watching the big guys dominate. It’s time for F1/the FIA to remember that being a ‘sport’ includes starting with a level playing field.

      1. At least Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes all have similar budgets. So they are all the same “weight”. Some just do less with their “weight”.

        It was much worse when Ferrari were dominating largely based on their veto plus an extra 100 million a year bonus over the rest. Or when RB was dominating because they were using flexible bodywork and FIA never had the guts to either ban it or allow the other teams to use it. In the end they did decide everyone can use it.

        There is nothing unfair about Mercedes simply designing a better power unit. It’s motorsport!

        If you want fighting analogies, it’s like saying to Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, “OK son, you’ve won enough now. It’s getting boring and unfair to the others.”

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          22nd May 2016, 19:16

          Well, the token system keeps teams from upgrading as much to catch up to Mercedes, but at least that’s going away next year.

    16. Burch Gürler
      22nd May 2016, 23:54

      ‘I never expected the CEO get trapped with a Ferrari together with his F1 drivers’

      Get outta here man really, learn how to drive talk later !!!

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