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Montezemolo to decide on Rome Olympic role
Montezemolo to decide on Rome Olympic role
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Feb 2011   |  3:42 pm GMT  |  31 comments

As if there wasn’t enough going on already in Italy, the Corriere dello Sport is reporting today that Ferrari boss Luca Di Montezemolo is being petitioned by the authorities in Rome to take on the role as head of it’s bid for the 2020 Olympic games.

According to the paper, Rome’s mayor and the Italian Olympic federation have already tried once before to get Montezemolo to take the role, but this time he has let it be known that he will decide in the coming days.

Montezemolo was head of the organizing committee for the 1990 football World Cup in Italy and this story comes at a good time to remind everyone in the country of all the good things he has done for Italy.

Montezemolo has said that he will only take on the role if he has unanimous backing. Meanwhile it is believed that he is biding his time waiting to see the outcome of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s trial on sex charges before considering a wider political role in Italy.

Montezemolo’s lack of support for the idea of a Grand Prix in Rome earlier this year contributed to the event failing to get off the ground.

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  1. SteveH says:

    Hi James,

    I think the situation in Bahrain is probably more important than this. I’ve been anxiously waiting for you to update us on what is happening re the test session and the GP. Have you heard anything? A decision has to be made soon, I would think.

    1. James Allen says:

      Bernie says a decision will be made Tuesday or Weds of next week. One of the problems is that the medical staff who would be used at the track are needed in City hospitals dealing iwth injured protesters etc

      1. jonrob says:

        Bernie has seemed remarkably unconcerned about Bahrain in his BBC radio interview. Whilst he said that F1 does not bow to religion or politics (fair enough) he does not seem to appreciate the strength of feeling amongst the fans and the international press.
        If Bahrain goes ahead,I expect to see some sponsors withdrawing, not wanting to be associated with repression, at least for that one race.

      2. Dale says:

        If F1 had any morals they’d only race in democracies.
        The world has now seen how the likes of Bahrain treat their people remember this when the race goes ahead and we see the rulers shaking the hands of the high and mighty in F1.


      3. Excuse me? So people in non-democratic nation don’t have a right to entertainment even though they are willing to pay for it. Who said democracy is the right method? There’s plenty of ‘non-democratic’ countries that are less corrupt and run much better than certain ‘democratic’ countries.

        What a ridiculous statement.

        Also I cannot believe I’m having a political debate on an F1 blog.

      4. Tyler says:

        Excellent point. Where billions are at stake moral high ground takes a back seat doesnt it.

      5. Nando says:

        Hisham. Of course they’ve a right to entertainment, unfortunately in some of these countries entertainment is often blocked/censored unless it serves to push the agenda of the dictatorship i.e. An F1 race.

  2. Quick Nick Rules says:

    Hi James, off topic again – but any idea if there is a contingency plan in place should Bahrain be cancelled? It would be a real shame for all the fans to get excited about a new season and have to wait til the end of March for it to begin – obviously the Australian GP is booked for the end of the month so the replacement race would need to be in that part of the world but what about a Pacific GP at Fuji? The track is F1 ready and provided always provided entertaining races, certainly more exciting than the 7 borefests we have had in Bahrain.

    1. James Allen says:

      No, it wouldn’t be possible logistically to insert another race on March 13th. Much of the sea freight is already on its way. The race could be inserted later in the season, but that would be hard to do as well. As things stand I can’t see how it can go ahead, especially if FOM is taking the decision early next week.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Not even in Barcelona? It’s so sad to miss the first race… :-(

      2. Nando says:

        Three races in Spain? That would really stir the pot :). No possibility of switching it to Abu Dhabi? Not sure what the political ramifications of that would be though.

      3. Peter G says:

        Well, the first race will be Australia.

        So,you havent missed anything.

  3. Michael Grievson says:

    I think there is a good chance of him taking over from Bernie in the future

    1. Rich C says:

      Dont think its a big enough stage for him!

  4. Supa says:


  5. jonrob says:

    Aurelio Zen is needed to deal with Berluscon.

    Is Luca the right man to run Italy for a while? Only dictators can hold everyone together for very long, there are too many interested parties pulling in different directions doing their own thing, apart from the overt political parties waiting to stab one in the back, there are many vested interests who control various channels of distribution, industries and various areas of the country. The Camorra, the Mafia, the various national “organisations”. Whilst our own incumbents have a difficult job being PM in Italy must be like juggling with monkeys.

    If Luca must go into politics, the Olympics are much safer (probably with some risk of assasination even there)
    James knows far more about this than I, with his Italian connections, perhaps he might care to speculate on the desirability or other wise of Italian politics vs Italian office in sport.

  6. JJ MUPPET says:


    1. James Allen says:

      Yes you are but don’t seek to cause trouble

      1. JJ MUPPET says:

        Many Apolagies :<)

  7. Dave Hunt says:

    Could we see him take over from Berlusconi in the near future, esp. after the events in Italy this week ?

    And sorry, off topic, but if Bernie thinks events in Bahrain aren’t quite so bad and that the race could go ahead then he is kidding himself.

    Even if events were to settle down in the next week how would it look to the world if the glamorous mobile circus that is F1 turns up in 3 weeks and pretends as if nothing has happened?

    Out of respect if nothing else: BERNIE, CANCEL THE RACE!!

    1. Galapago555 says:


      To cancel the race sounds painful, after waiting so long for the season to start.

      But I think it’s not acceptable to go and race as if everything was ok. The medical staff is not available at the circuit because they are taking care of the people severely injured by their own troops – even there are doctors among the injured ones, just because they tried to help the victims.

      So I’m afraid the only fair decision will be to cancel the GP.

    2. Why should F1 care about world politics? It’s a sport.

      1. Andy C says:

        Because people on the streets dying in whatever country is infinitely more important to an F1 race perhaps?

        And because by turning up (even if it did go ahead) two weeks after people were shot in the streets (read any international newspaper you like from someone who is there) and schmoosing at the royal palace would be wildly innappropriate to say the least.

    3. Harvey Yates says:

      Harsh though it is, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. We are told by one side that the demonstration at the roundabout was peaceful and by others that more than one weapons cache was found.

      The monarchy is the legal ruler of the country and surely the state has a right to defend itself against rebels as long as they respond proportionately. The only question is whether it was reasonable. The British army has discharged weapons on the streets of the UK in the recent past.

      Would you consider it right if Bernie pulled the GP from Silverstone if there was another Miners’ Strike? There was a considerable degree of international condemnation of my state’s response to that. Indeed, there was considerable criticism by the police as well.

      The newspapers in this country seem to be rejoicing because a revolution would appear to be starting, seemingly oblivious to the harm this will cause to the infrastructure and stability of the country as well as the region.

      The population might be oppressed to an extent: it is extremely difficult to assess the situation from this country. What I can say though is that there are other venues on the calendar where is it much more clear cut and there appears to be no similar condemnation nor demand to pull their GPs.

      Bernie has an important decision to make, one I don’t envy him. I hope that he won’t make it purely on the grounds of cost, nor on some misplaced belief that if they don’t do it the way European countries largely do then it must be wrong.

      I hope he chooses the option that is the best for that country.

      Whatever you think of the way Bahrain is governed, its population is on the cusp of a difficult and dangerous time. This year’s events in what seems to be called the middle east will be written of in years to come, with learned professors arguing various points despite them having all the facts, which is more than we have at this time.

      It is easy to make a judgement when you don’t.

      Whatever Bernie does will be seen as political. He can’t win.

      1. Tim. says:

        “The monarchy is the legal ruler of the country and surely the state has a right to defend itself against rebels as long as they respond proportionately. The only question is whether it was reasonable. The British army has discharged weapons on the streets of the UK in the recent past”

        As I completely agree with you on the response the problem with the region is not always the indigenous population…the people that live there, are infiltrated by The Sunnis and small minority of Shiites they are all Muslims but they want a stage, it would be a bit easier for the outside to judge if we knew the real people of Bahrain where the protesters, my belief the only ones starting crap is the ones that are sent there to raise hell.. as I have stated before …the perfect storm…..

        The difficult part for Bahrain…is the strait of Hormuz…the very reason the 5th fleet is there (and cannot leave), to protect the little stretch of water that flows (no pun) 33 % of all the oil in the world…bad thing to lose …Bernie will lose on this one and the race will be canceled…IMO

        ..I am all for freedom but keep the agitators that are not from there… out of the mix and it would be better….but after all isn’t that how terrorism works …food for thought

    4. Rich C says:

      He probably will, eventually. But atm its a PR bonanza for the rioters, so maybe he’s sneakily supporting them by keeping the decision open. It keeps *us focused on them, doesn’t it.

  8. Peter says:

    I have a lot of respect for Di Montezemolo. He is a very crafty guy so to make him the head of the 2020 Rome bid would be the best decision to make. Good luck to Rome. Really hope the city wins the bid.

  9. Nando says:

    Seems a bit strange after Ferrari vetoed the Rome Grand Prix.

  10. Andy C says:

    Does Luca realise the potential branding conflict with 20/20 drinks in the UK ? ;-)

    or are they planning it to be called 2020th games?

    1. James Allen says:

      2020th Italia, please

      1. Andy C says:

        See how easy it is to get it wrong LOL :-)


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