Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Ferrari needs clarity over number one status between drivers – Montezemolo

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In the round-up: Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says the team needs to be clear who its ‘number one’ driver is.

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Rob Smedley’s new karting series sounds like a good initiative to Diego:

About damn time. The prices in karting have gone through the roof. Hopefully this brings a new era of larger karting grids, and why not push simracing so winners can enter karting series far more easily?

All of this could really give a chance to drives of any background to prove their talent. And why not, for the most talented of them to make it to the top, given other feeder series become cheaper
Diego (@Ofitus21)

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On this day in F1

  • Born today in 1923: Carroll Shelby, who went on to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, race for Aston Martin’s short-lived F1 team, and manage Ford’s Le Mans 24 Hours programme, as dramatised in the film Ford vs Ferrari (aka Le Mans 66)

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22 comments on “Ferrari needs clarity over number one status between drivers – Montezemolo”

  1. Another bit of Williams news: Partnering with RBC (aka Royal Bank of Canada), the largest bank in Canada.
    https://www.williamsf1.com/racing/news/2020/01/rokit-williams-racing-welcomes-royal-bank-of-canada-for-2020

    1. It’s a bit late trying to find excuses to encourage Lawrence Stroll to invest in their team, he’s already got one F1 team, and is looking at buying into a super car manufacturer as well. Mind you, with a name like Royal Bank of Canada, they could do with royalty in their team.

  2. Ferrari’s former Montezemolo described it perfectly: when you have a clear #1 it’s easier to win championships.

    But he forgot to mention that usually this #1 driver is the one making the big bucks. Strange situation Ferrari faces now when the #2 (measured by the stopwatch as he suggests) makes triple of what #1 does (again, stopwatch!).

    This is a little trickier than telling Barrichello to let Schumacher go…

    1. Very simple, someone has to justify Vetter’s stratospheric salary to the presidente Elkann.
      That’s why they kept backing Vettel, however they didn’t expect that Leclerc who was earning less than 10th of Vettel’s salary will turn up to be so strong and continuously improving his qualy and race pace throughout the season. He won them races fending off a faster Mercedes in race day, something that seemed impossible with Vettel who was failing badly every time he saw Lewis in his mirror.

      1. however they didn’t expect that Leclerc who was earning less than 10th of Vettel’s salary will turn up to be so strong and continuously improving his qualy and race pace throughout the season.

        Which is weird since literally everyone else expected exactly this.

    2. This comment doesn’t make any sense at all. Vettel getting paid more has been in line with his performances at ferrari as he has beaten his team on every season except on this one. Things like this can be changed only when new contracts are made. Ferrari can not just change the salaries of vettel and leclerc based on their finishing positions in the championships unless the contracts have clauses exactly for that…

      1. In a sense Ferrari have created something akin to a positive feedback loop: Sebastian gets paid more, therefore he gets favourable strategy and passing rights, which means he finishes ahead of his team mate more, which justifies paying him more. There’s lots of reasons why Charles got 4 Fastest Lap points last year compared to Sebastian’s 2, but one is he is genuinely quicker than Sebastian.

        1. Pretty sure what justifies SV getting paid more is he’s a proven 4-time WDC. CL has everything to prove yet when one remembers that… handling pressure when at it’s greatest for example, which he hasn’t had to do yet. I think I’ll take a race at a time and see what evolves this season, for all else is speculation and what else can we do. For all we know SV may stand up to CL much better this season. Much will be determined by where their car is competitively, and where they will be in proximity to each other stint by stint, race by race. I hope they are treated as two roosters this season, no orders, other than for obvious ones like wholly different strategies in a race or what have you.

  3. This arguement over #1 & #2 status is a disaster for recipie. Even Ron Dennis had hard time keeping 2 fast drivers in check.

    1. I hoped I had heard the last of Montezemolo

  4. Ferrari outright stated early last season that Vettel was their number 1. That may have changed for the upcoming season but that was always their official position.

    Their strategy calls though, were abysmal.

  5. Ouch, the hits keep coming for Williams, with Unilever moving to McLaren.

    With PKN Orlen and Unilever gone, are there any new sponsors that have come in?

    I predict an even worse 2020 for them on the racetrack as the only hope Williams have is of running an essentially 2019 car in 2020, and hoping (against hope) that they – and only they – can discover a “double diffuser” in the 2021 regs. Sadly, the aero and chassis path they have gone down in recent years don’t exactly instil confidence.

    Of course, my prediction that Williams ignore 2020 is predicated on the assumption that the Latifis tamely accept the lack of upgrades in 2020 in the hope for a better tomorrow.

    1. They also announced RBC joining them, the largest bank in Canada.

      1. @mtlracer – thanks for that. That’s good news for Williams. For a moment I was perplexed why they chose Williams instead of RP, then it clicked – Latifi.

  6. I just found out that this Jun Imamiya was a Japanese commentator. I had to check because I had never been aware of this person before until the Honda-tweet above. RIP nevertheless.

  7. Dear Montezemolo
    Zip it. This is a matter for me not you.
    You just worry about Alitalia.
    Regards,
    Elkann

    1. He’s just trying to stay relevant, I don’t blame him

  8. If the stopwatch says so, then just let them race. Forget orders that will only be ignored anyway, and honour the viewing audience with racing between the two Ferrari drivers, in the pinnacle of racing. Let them settle it on the track with the proviso that they not physically contact each other. Just keep the team politics out of it, which only complicates matters, and let us see them free to race. It’s what we pay for and what they’re going to do anyway.

    1. @robbie Well that’s more or less how 2019 unfolded – as you said, it’s what they’re going to do anyway. Both think they’re the de facto number one driver and neither has any wish to cede that place to the other, whatever the team wants or orders. Ferrari must know that and also know that the rivalry compromises their overall team performance – and yet they gave Leclerc a long contract anyhow. That suggests they’re willing to go with more of the same this year, 2020, and then decide as the year pans out what should happen for 2021 on, basically in relation to Vettel continuing or not. Or it’s already more or less agreed that it’s his final year at Ferrari.

    2. they let them race in Brazil, haha

  9. Best of luck with Aston Martin, Mr Stroll. For every year they’ve made a profit, they’ve been 5 years struggling to survive.

    1. If Lawrence can make a huge profit within the fashion industry I don’t see why he shouldn’t make a huge profit in the car fashion industry too.

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