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Montezemolo: “Ferrari is disappointing, but Domenicali and the key men stay”
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Sep 2011   |  8:14 am GMT  |  23 comments

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo made his customary Saturday visit to Monza with a clear message to the tifosi and the team itself.

“We had hoped to win in our 60th anniversary year, but the truth is that the car is disappointing,” he told Italian media. “And some circumstances have not favoured us. I’m thinking about the interruption in Monaco, the incident between Alonso and Button in Canada and then the safety car always there.”

Montezemolo had said before the start of the season that “Ferrari is condemned to win”, but the only win this year has been at Silverstone, a race where the engine mapping rules were unique, so the race stands as something of an anomaly.

The important message from the president was that team principal Stefano Domenicali has his support and will not be replaced, “Domenicali stays, as do all the key men,” said Montezemolo.

Ferrari made some changes this year and the group is being allowed a chance to prove itself with Pat Fry in overall technical control, having replaced Aldo Costa. Costa was too cautious as a technical director, not wanting to take chances. But when confronting a team like Red Bull, with a technical leader like Adrian Newey, sometimes you have to take risks. McLaren is a good example of this. When their car proved slow in winter testing, they took a big chance, remaking the back end and arriving at Melbourne with it for the first race, without track testing.

Montezemolo: "The Key men stay"

The onus is on Fry to build a creative design team, keep it stable and deliver the goods. Alonso is signed for five years so the driver is in place. But he needs the car.
“We recognise that we have not been the team to beat for five years,” Montezemolo said.

Montezemolo’s old rival Flavio Briatore, also making a visit to the paddock, filled in the gaps,” Either Ferrari gets more creative, or Red Bull will have a huge advantage in 2012.

The loyal fans in the half-filled grandstands at Monza have everything crossed.

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23 Comments
  1. Iwan says:

    …”Half-filled grandstands at Monza…”

    How long will this carry on at 90% of races before F1, the FIA and promotors reacts? Off topic, but seeing races live makes fans for life and where will the next generation of lifetime fans come from with support at races taking a knock.

    2011′s rules have gone a long way, but we’ve thrilling championships the last 5 years, yet fewer people attent races.

    Too much money going to teams and drivers and Bernie’s pocket. F1 needs to cut back in order to bring ticket prices down to a more realistic level.

    Back on topic: don’t know the man, buut from the sidelines Domenicali seems to be little more than Montezemolo’s puppet. Todt too was a quiet man, but one got the idea he was ruling the team with an iron-fist – reason enough for him and Mr M not to get along.

    Teams need a clear, strong leader. And Fer is in desperate need of a better, stronger team mate for Alonso. Button, Webbber…guys with a hunger to WIN.

    On the flip-side, what the heck do I know?! :)

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      Todt is one of the greatest men of motorsport history. You can’t compare Dominicali with him ? They’re not in the same league

      1. Iwan says:

        Exactly. That’s part of Ferrari’s problem I think.

    2. Evel says:

      Guys with a hunger to win – Webber?? Seriously??

  2. goferet says:

    “We recognise that we have not been the team to beat for five years,” Montezemolo said.
    ————————————————

    Oh I would disagree with that statement. Ferrari had the fastest car in 2008 (they won the constructors title) + 2007 (with Mclaren being another Ferrari though in different livery).

    It’s just mistakes here & there by Ferrari that made those seasons look close + the Mclaren drivers were better so got more from the car.

    I guess Ferrari aren’t happy unless they have a car that’s half a second a lap faster than the competition

    Anyway if the past few years are anything to go by, Ferrari have a good car every two years or so years – 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 and next 2012

    But interestingly ever since the dream team left, they have failed to win a WDC so I think after in 2012, Domencali will be let go.

    Funny scene at the track yesterday. Montezemolo waved to the Tifosi in the grand stands & no one waved back Pwahahahahahahah

    1. coal crusher says:

      I’ve always thought Rory Byrnes role at Ferrari was underplayed (in comparison to Brawn and Todt.

  3. unoc12 says:

    GET OUT OF MY WAY HORRIBLE PEOPLE

    I AM FERRARI, LET ME ROAR

    Still quite funny to go on about this, especially given the car has been in pretty muc the same point since the start of the year.

    Also, James, under the photo you wrote ‘The Key (sic) men stay’. Is this referring to a move for James Key maybe? or just an ironic typo referring to key people with a capitalised name

  4. Roddy says:

    Can this be true? We have failed. We surrender. The rot has set in. But we won’t change a thing. This comfort zone is just so cosy.

    Or is this part of the build up to maximise the effect when ALO storms to a historical win employing the new secret device that will give him a 6/10ths advantage per lap?

  5. astonf1 says:

    off topic ,but what’s the difference between technical director and chief designer?and why during the ferrari dominance era they gave the credit for schumi and brawn and not for rory byrne?what was byrne’s role ?and why everybody want domenicali and whitmarsh out if they are not the one making strategies and designing the car?why did ferrari sack aldo costa and not nicholas tombazis for example?

    1. James Allen says:

      Tech director is the orchestra leader, chief designer is the lead violinist. In other words TD is an organiser, deploying resources while chief designer has the overview of the car with the aero guys and other design engineers.

      1. Liam in Sydney says:

        Who says Rory Byrne didn’t get the kudos for designing the best cars???

  6. mo kahn says:

    I completely agree with Montezemolo. Ferrari must get more creative and aggressive. Agreed, under Aldo Costa they were too conservative. Now it up to Fry to deliver.

    Cos’ like it or not.. Ferrari is the heart of F1.

    1. Jez says:

      Maybe once upon a time? Since 1980 Renault have powered more drivers to the WDC, McLaren have have won the most WDC’s whilst Ferrari have won more constructors than anyone else.

      Hardly makes the all winning “heart of F1″.

  7. AlexD says:

    ……NO ASWERS KNOWN…….
    ……………………….
    Look, Ferrari should have some positive up trends and it is not happening. Alonso is driving like never before in his life. It looks like the team should be free to try something more creative with the current car as Costa is out. They should use the current car to try something radical for next year. Nothing happening. Mercedes seem to be on the way up. Red Bull is only getting faster and faster and noone if really catching them up as previously though it would happen. McLaren is doing OK. Ferrari is where the were – not really sure where to go.
    Domenicali used some very strong words recently as they are building UNBEATABLE STRUCTURE and also LDM said that THEY DO NOT NEED NEWEY to win.
    At the end of the day, LDM [mod]…should have agreed to put Ross Brawn in change, but instead he wanted a fellow Italian ruling the team.
    I think Ross Brawn is smiling at it and is focusing on building HIS UNBEATABLE STRUCTURE with fellow Ferrari boys – Costa and Dyer.

  8. F1Fan4Life says:

    James, do you have any thoughts on why Ferrari have still seemingly not fixed their tyre warming issue? And why they seem to be losing ground, while Mclaren are keeping some pace, yet Red Bull seem to be getting faster and faster.

    Lots of Hamilton fans commenting on this post, I guess when your guy is showing how second class he is to the top drivers this year turning to Ferrari bashing is commonplace.

  9. bryan says:

    At least the guy in red shirt and trousers has a sense of humour. ;o)

  10. kowalsky says:

    ferrari has always been like that. A period of domination followed by years of just a couple of wins a year.
    It’s the era of domination coming soon. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  11. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Does Massa feature in the new structure?

  12. noahracer says:

    “We recognise that we have not been the team to beat for five years,”

    Since they made the king go away.

  13. Andy C says:

    I’ve always thought Rory Byrnes role at Ferrari was underplayed (in comparison to Brawn and Todt.

    I always thought Rory was right up there with Newey in terms of ability. Ultimately, F1 is about innovation (flexi wings/F Flaps/Diffusers) and getting a lead on the competition. The rest of it, while important is secondary.

  14. Bill says:

    I still can’t get over how stunning that top photo is?

    James, who is the photographer?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. James Allen says:

      The one and only Darren Heath of course!

  15. herowassenna says:

    Just a thought on the tyre warming issues Ferrari is suffering. Certain commentators say this has been a Ferrari factor for a couple of years, but they seem to forget that Ferrari has had this design trait in their cars since 2000.
    They have always been very kind to their tyres since Schumi was dominating F1, for example, how many time did Montoya get pole positions in 2002 and come the race, Schumi would take a number of laps to get his tyres up to temperature, wait for the pit-stops, then blitz the opposition over a couple of laps, stop for fresh Bridgestones and waltz away at the front.
    Aldo Costa’s designs have followed in the same vein as Rory Byrne’s, in that they have very light tyre usuage. Maybe this is some indication of Costa’s design philosophy, seeing as he worked under Rory Byrne for some years.
    Pat Fry has a long history at Mclaren, and maybe his understanding of tyre dynamics will allow a different tyre use philosophy to be introduced to Ferrari. I certainly hope so, I hate seeing Ferrari being “third” best…

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