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Montezemolo wants answers on problems with Ferrari F2012
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Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Mar 2012   |  6:44 am GMT  |  135 comments

Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Ferrari, has publicly entered the debate about the problems the new F2012 has been having in testing, increasing the pressure on the technical team hurrying to find the remedy.

Speaking in Geneva ahead of the launch of the new F12 Berlinetta, the most powerful road going Ferrari ever with 740 horsepower (similar to an F1 car) he said, “I spoke to Alonso and he said that that there are many positive features on the car, but it will take time to unlock their potential. It’s a car still to be discovered and only in Melbourne will we know where we are.

“I hope that the predictions about us are wrong. And if they are true I will want to know why this has happened and how many seconds it’s going to take to put it right.”

Reading between the lines it’s clear that Montezemolo does not have the patience should Ferrari start the season as some are predicting, well behind the Red Bull/McLaren battle and maybe behind Mercedes too.

Montezemolo’s comments follow those of Technical director Pat Fry on the Ferrari website last weekend, “We are disappointed with the performance level seen at these tests and I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. We will have a few updates for Melbourne, basically aimed at readapting the car to the exhaust configuration we have chosen to run for at least the first four races of the season.”

Ferrari’s own overview of Fry’s comments in the same posting on their website read, “His analysis of the twelve days of testing carried out these past two months between Jerez and Barcelona is lucid and not does not leave much room for illusion, although it does not abandon itself to self flagellation of the masochistic kind.”

According to my colleague Giorgio Piola, the veteran Italian technical journalist writing in Gazzetta dello Sport today, Ferrari is working on a significant chassis modification involving the sidepods, which could require a new crash test under Article 16.1.2 of the 2012 FIA Technical Regulations. According to Piola there could be one or two other teams making similar moves, it is believed.

It’s a race against time with the cars needing to fly out to Melbourne at the end of this week.

* Marussia announced yesterday that it’s car has now passed the FIA crash tests and is ready to race in Melbourne

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135 Comments
  1. Methusalem says:

    They have been testing these crazy bulls-wings during the last three or four races of the 2011-season. Why complain now, half a year later?

    1. Kay says:

      2011 cars had a different aero package. Wings are only a small part (although just as important as others) of the whole thing.

    2. MISTER says:

      Where do you see anything regarding wings in James’s article? I’m confused.

      1. Methusalem says:

        Can’t you see the picture?

      2. MISTER says:

        I see the picture. It’s a Ferrari. Wow! And guess what..it has a front wing. Wow! Thanks for pointing that out.

        But I still do not see the corelation between your post and James’s article. There is no mention in his article of wings or Ferrari complaining about wings. Or maybe it’s just your thought on the problem at Ferrari..front wings..

  2. DanWilliams says:

    Ever since Jean Todt left Ferrari just can’t seem to get it together… They won the championship in 2007 under Todt’s management but also using a car that would’ve had alot of input from Brawn’s days there in 2006. Then came close in 2008 but the car was not as outright competative as the 2007 car. Then from 2009 till now all we keep hearing mid year is that Ferrari are throwing everyhting at the next year’s car etc, but we haven’t seen anything happen… They just keep churning out these ugly uncompetative cars. Alonso must be getting frustrated… I wonder if Ferrari’s days are over, if they are heading back to days of the early 90′s etc where they were getting wins every now and then but not really consistently front runners..?

    1. Mingojo says:

      I think Ferrari was lucky to win the 2007 WDC and WCC. The best car that year was Mclaren.

      1. azac21 says:

        +1

        The fued in McLaren gifted the WDC to Ferrari that year.

      2. ekeaneo says:

        Ya, but the 2007 Mclaren was helped by a bit of Ferrari knowledge if i remember correctly!

      3. DanWilliams says:

        Yeah I agree with you there, but the 2007 car was good enough for Kimi to win 6 races that year, more than anyone else. I agree that MaClaren prob had a better car that year and very good driver’s albiet fighting with each other, but Ferrari were just doing abetter job fullstop that year. I’m not convinced that had the 2007 car have been designed by the team they have today under Domenicali’s management that the team would’ve still taken the championships.

      4. markdartj says:

        As others say, 2007 was lucky for Ferrari. Had Lewis not gone into the gravel at pit entry in China, the results would have been different. 2007′s car was no more dominant or competitive than 2008′s car.

    2. Yali says:

      Ferrari got it all wrong since Jean Todt left. They keep making changes in the team or firing people except for Domenicali. They forget that all the people that were either fired or re-shuffled were the same people that gave Michael all his championships when he was at Ferrari. I think they should get rid of domenicali and massa. How many points has Massa brought since 2008 compaired to Alonso?

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        1992, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2010, 2011…
        1994, 95, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04…

        All these championships won by either an Adrian Newey design or a Rory Byrne design.
        2005 and 2006 were won by Renault, Ferrari in 2007 and Mclaren in 2008 and Brawn in 2009.

        Are we getting a picture here?

        Without a Newey or Byrne running the design office, you don’t get sustained success.

        Even Brawn since the takeover of Mercedes hasn’t looked anywhere near the level he achieved with Benetton and Ferrari and he still has Schumacher with him.

        Montezemolo has been in charge of Ferrari on 2 separate occasions, 1974 to 1976 and since 1992. Both times have proved hugely successful. But there was lean times amongst the 21st century success too. I well remember 2005

  3. MALLI says:

    game over luca, already ur in midfield.

    1. Sebee says:

      Just for fun, place a bet for Ferrari to win. I have a feeling. I wanted to go on record with it.

  4. Panayiotis says:

    James what’s wrong with Ferrari? They appear to have lost it. There’s just no confidence in this team at the moment, both from the public and internally I think. They lack in all areas, be it design, development, strategy… areas where a few years back they used to excel.

    What has happened? They have an ultra fast and determined driver who’s capable of winning them races and fight for championships, and yet they constantly fail to deliver a capable machine to match that. Is it about the people? Are they simply not good enough? I don’t think so since they have shuffled their personnel quite a few times but they all manage to produce the same results. Is it Domenically? Again in theory he should not be the problem, although I have a feeling that if things continue the way they do he will be part of the next shuffle.

    So, does it come down to the increased pressure that Ferrari has from the whole of Italy, from the tifosi all over the world, from their own inner being that they have to win and fight for the championship every year? Are they just creating so high expectations that they cannot handle the built up pressure that comes along? On the other hand, that’s what makes the difference between a good team and the champions.

    1. markdartj says:

      What I have surmised is that during the Todt/Brawn/Shumacher years, Ferrari was essentially a British team by makeup. If you remember before that era, they just kind of bungled along, with a few lucky wins now and then, due to unreliability of other teams. Since the TBS era, the culture has reverted back to a primarily Italian infrastructure, thus they are back where they were before, only this time, expectations are much higher.

      1. Dave Aston says:

        Essentially a British team? Nonsense.

      2. Don says:

        You seem to forget that they also had in season testing. I think the team that has suffered the most from the loss of in season testing has to be Ferrari.

  5. Rich says:

    It sounds like it’s going to be an expensive year for some of the teams. Are some of them going to come up against the RRA limits?

    1. James Allen says:

      Probably only the top 4 teams

    2. Mike P says:

      I think we know that these limits are there but not followed to the letter of the law and that teams use deceptive ways to spend more and still maintain they are within the limit. Not sure how RBR came out with 2 spec chassis before the season started under a capped system… with a whole year of upgrades to go through still.

      1. Colin says:

        they probably have some very creative accountants

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I don’t think they did. I think they played a blinding bluff.
        IMO, they designed the B-spec car and then removed all the interesting bits and just ran that car without worrying about times.
        Then to potentially demoralise the opposition said it was easier to build a new car back at base. Very, very clever.
        All teams will have different spec cars in Melbourne anyway, can we call these B-spec too?

  6. Sean hardman says:

    “reading between the lines”. Let’s wait till the season starts. Should be fascinating watching them try and catch up.

  7. Davexxx says:

    I’m not an unfair or unkind person generally, not particularly a Ferrari fan either;
    I just like it that the big mighty and rich Ferrari can stumble like this, which gives the ‘underdogs’ more of a chance. OK I know McLaren and Mercedes are hardly Underdogs… But it’s nice that the arrogant No.1 team Ferrari, who often want (and sometimes get) everything their own way, don’t, which helps take away their ‘power’ to start demanding further Ferrari-advantage stuff like entering 3 cars instead of 2.
    Meanwhile I just wonder when a driver signs up for a team (eg Alonso) can it ever happen that he has clauses in his contract whereby he somehow ‘benefits’ from when he team fails to give him the car he needs to do well?! He must be very frustrated, having moved to the traditional Number One Team then finding it isn’t!!
    These bad Ferrari years must also make other drivers think twice about secretly wanting to ‘make it to Ferrari’, unlike the olden days!

    1. Quattro_T says:

      A lot of anti “one specific team” (ungrounded) statements there, to be coming from a “not unfair or unkind” person, if you ask me….

      “arrogant No. 1 team Ferrari”? That is your perception i think.

      Ferrari lost in-season testing – a huge disadvantage (and stupid move for other reasons) for Ferrari compared to the others.

      Ferrari agreed to not appose the use of the EBD mid 2011 even though it was percieved to be against the spirit of the regulation and the ban of it would have given them an advantage (they did win one race 2011 – the only one were effect EBD was reduced).

      Ferrari get the bad publicity for team orders even though it is a f a c t that every other (top) team have and will use it when it is needed. Yes, Ferrari does it more openly than others…and I respect them for that. At least they are honest and do not mask it/fool fans like other teams do.

      I think that is the price you have to pay for being very successful – you are bound to get unliked only for being more successful than others.

      PS. I am not and have never been a Ferrari fan

      1. Davexxx says:

        The points you raise are fair, though actually none were what I had in mind! (I agree with you regarding team orders, for example).
        I guess the sorts of things I had in mind were:
        (a) Ferrari being (seemingly) the strongest voice originally against economic limitations – presumably because they knew they had the biggest monetary clout, so could do better than the other teams;
        (b) Ferrari’s pushing to have a THIRD car in races – I never could figure out WHY? (answers, anyone??), and could only conclude that they knew there would be few other teams who could afford to produce/bring/maintain/run a third car as they could, and so would reduce the competition also! PLUS having 3 cars on the track would increase their ‘road block effect’ (assuming they were fast and in the front) and hinder others passing and winning (Just like they (seem to) use poor Massa a lot!)!
        (c) (Here’s another question I’ve never had answered) What are the Special Arrangements Ferrari have with Bernie and the money-holders? i.e. the fact that they get more money than the other teams for their participation in F1. I assume it’s for historical reasons, but it still don’t seem fair to me!! (Can anyone give details about this arrangement very much in Ferrari’s favour?)
        THESE are the things I had in mind when speaking of Ferrari’s arrogance!
        (They always reminds me of The Americas Cup: America was happy when they won it year after year, but then suddenly cry ‘foul’ when someone else does!!) :-)

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Hmmmmm
        a)Ferrari are a small company in the World sense, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Renault and co dwarf it’s revenues. Even Red Bull have more profit per annum than Ferrari.
        What Ferrari has that no other team can call upon is huge sponsor revenues. Ultimately it’s one of the Top 5 most recognised brands in the World.
        b) Surely your argument collapses regarding 3 cars. Last year for example would have been many races where Alonso would have been 7th at best behind 3 Mclarens and 3 Red Bulls. And as for Massa, he really needs to speed up, 1 5th place in a season where your team-mate has been on the podium 10 times is frankly disgraceful!
        c) The special arrangement has been in F1 for some years, I think going back to Enzo Ferrari but I don’t think anyone has ever really got the full truth about all that.

        Regarding arrogance, I’m not sure how long you have watched F1, I doubt you remember Ron Dennis stating to journalists in the 80′s, “we are here making history, YOU are only reporting it!”
        Or how Mclaren and Williams colluded together against Ferrari through the years.

        As a team mechanic once said of Nigel Mansell, ” He’s actually a really balanced person…. he has a chip on both shoulders “

  8. Krishna says:

    One has to wonder, especially since Ferrari’s own staff is disillusioned, how long Alonso would be willin to stick around, and perhaps more importantly – what will Ferrari do, cut more key team members aka Costa etc?

  9. Justin says:

    *sigh* Why did you have to try and go all revolutionary ferrari? your car won the only race that was sans ebd last year. all you had to do was refine what you had, adapt it to the new regs, and fix your tire warm up issues.

    their new 5 element wing is a little nuts, i think the end plate is a very simple version of what will appear in melbourne, but this testing certainly hasn’t made me optimistic for the season. hopefully they can scrape it together while mclaren and RB fight it out, and then make a late season push with alonso ala 2010, though maybe winning this time?

  10. VanDhloms says:

    Sad as it may be I doubt if Ferrari will have a championship challenging car at least not until 2014 when a regulation is overhauled again. The 2009 regulation overhaul is in contrast with their fundamental design philosophy and they’ve been playing catch-up ever since. On the other hand Red Bulls got it right from the start and they are just riding the performance wave from 09/10. In my opinion if the first few races don’t go well for Ferrari they need to start thinking about 2014 because 2013 will be a waste of resources to try winning the championship if they don’t have a chance in 2012. Look at Red Bull and Honda, they brought an average car in 2008 because 2007 belonged to Ferrari and McLaren and it was pointless to chase highly optimised cars from Ferrari and McLaren 2008. Come 09 they unleashed ferocious machines and Red Bull is just riding that crest by their own admission.

  11. Jonathan says:

    On the plus side, at least the engineers have not yet resorted to self-flagellation of the masochistic kind.

    1. James Allen says:

      That is a blessing, as you say

      If and when they do it will no doubt be on Sky HD channel

      1. CTP says:

        oooh, sticking the boot in james! keep it up!

      2. marc says:

        and of covered by yourseles to james on radio 5 live ;-) keep up the good work on the site it really is my first stop for news of f1 and the readership comments are always cracking

    2. DingBat says:

      I wonder if that wasn’t a sly dig at Max Mosley..lol

  12. Cabr says:

    Cheats never prosper, both Ferrari and Alonso have a lot of Bad Karma stored up.

    1. Mingojo says:

      How on Earth, this message passed the Mods.

    2. Quattro_T says:

      Is it Ron Dennis talking or?

    3. azac21 says:

      Somebody has some spare moral authority then?

    4. Doug says:

      Well said!

    5. hero_was_senna says:

      Not a $100,000,000 worth

  13. goferet says:

    … increasing the pressure on the technical team hurrying to find the remedy …
    ————————————————–

    And this is the root of all Ferrari’s problems I believe.

    Unrelenting pressure from Montezemolo to perform wonders by producing a car that’s the best on the grid and if it wasn’t for Montezemolo, the Ferrari technical team wouldn’t have gone for the drastic step of producing a radical car in fear of losing their jobs.

    Now what all this pressure will do especially so close to the beginning of the season will lead to more mistakes.

    Montezemolo should take a page out of Whitmarsh’s book that’s inspire the troops to give their all without the fear of the possibility of getting fired hunging over their heads.

    Hopefully the new updates help Ferrari get an invite to the festivities for we most definitely need Alonso’s help to take points off Vettel while Massa can also help us destroy Webber’s races.

    1. CH says:

      Right on re LM, just too often opting for soap opera-like drama words to the press. LM would be right at home in politics.

  14. veeru says:

    james,

    are Ferrari working on new chassis to use it in Melbourne??

    or further down the road at Spanish gp where traditionally teams come with upgrade packages?

    if the former is their intention, will they make it?? personally I fee it is too optimistic

  15. Rich C says:

    roflmao
    Ol’ 3-car Monte just can’t keep his mouth shut and let his ppl work,can he.

    Well, here’s a silver lining, Monte: it’s ALL the fault of those [expletive deleted] little new teams that keep getting in the way! This is surely the excuse you’ve been waiting for to get them thrown out of F1!

  16. gudien says:

    Bring back Alesi and Berger

    1. Bo Amato says:

      Alesi and Berger!!! The good old days!!!!!

    2. adityanow says:

      Bring back Pironi and Villeneuve!

  17. Undoubtedly the F2012 is a complex design with many variables and varibale correlations to consider.

    Last year’s car was solid but not inherently quick. It was however a solid base (tyre warmup aside). Aldo Costa was essentially sacked for not designing a blown diffuser solution from the outset. When this element was negated in British GP last year, Ferrari’s performance was strong. I think they may have been too radical in their design approach for the F2012. However, if they unlock its potential early enough they have a chance.

    Ferrari need Red Bull, McLaren and maybe Mercedes/Lotus to take points off each other while they get up to speed. Based on testing performance I expect the F2012 to qualify well and then fall back as it degrades its tyres during race. If Ferrari can deliver a car within 1-3 tenths of top teams, Fernando will compensate.

    For the championship’s sake I hope Ferrari find solutions fast ! I think we would all love to see 4 teams slogging it out.

    1. Colin says:

      Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull: yep those are 4 great teams alright and I can’t wait to get cracking. The Italian team need to be careful they don’t fall foul of the budget constraints. A few seasons in mid table will do them good.

    2. LT says:

      I would love to see 4 teams slogging it out too…. Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Lotus :)

  18. mattoz says:

    I thought the chassis had to be homologated at the start of the year and couldn’t be significantly modified?

  19. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    Why is it that Ferrari seem to think they have a god given right to be the fastest/best all the time!
    They are NOT the only team in the competition.
    Are they never satisfied? What about all those titles they won with the Schu.
    It is very crass and arrogant.
    I’m sure they’ll still be in the top four teams. If they end up battling with HRT for track position, then fair enough, but……
    I’m sick of their whinging….. let’s move on.

    1. veeru says:

      if they are satisfied, they might as well not compete!!

      that goes to the teams like HRT too!!

      1. I don’t think it’s the lack of satisfaction that Grayzee is complaining about. It’s Ferrari’s sense of Entitlement. “Why aren’t we winning? We’re Ferrari”.

        As you see on all investment adverts “past performance is not an guarantee of future success”

        The reason, Mr Montezemelo, that you are not ‘winning’ (though the season hasn’t started at the moment…) is that you are NOT currently the best team. Or, to put it more correctly, your team, regardless of talent within, has NOT produced the best solution this time around. Sh*t happens Mr M.

      2. Peter says:

        Winning gets addictive. After the Schumacher years its hard to accept that you are not the best anymore.
        Simple economics of the human condition. Just ask Federer or Armstrong or Rossi.

      3. Grayzee (Australia) says:

        Got it in one!

    2. franed says:

      They are one of the oldest surviving teams in F1, they have a huge amount of very successful history.
      They are one of the few (if not the only of the) original manufacturers who have been involved with or against F1CA, FOCA FISA FOTA in fact all of the many variations of the “constructors” vs the “garagistas” vs the organisers vs the rule makers vs the rights holders vs the circuits, epic battles that make F1 history.
      Ferrari have been there all the way. Enzo used every trick in the book to get an advantage, and continue to do so. Getting more money than anyone else is part of it.

      Ferrari are an institution in Italy whose fortunes are taken very personally by the many hundreds of thousands of Tifosi.

      I am not a Ferrari fan, but a McLaren fan and think it would be much better to see Ferrari start on a level playing field, but they have never done so, nor are they likely to while Bernie is still in power.

      After spending possibly three times what other teams have, a decent result on the track is expected. Of course they could be carrying a very large and heavy sand bag!

      1. adityanow says:

        They are the oldest team in F1, and the only timeless team was well.

  20. hero_was_senna says:

    LDM is making moves to move into Italian politics. Is there any indication of who would succeed him as boss of Ferrari, or would he still be overall president there?

  21. Hks7mgt says:

    I didn’t think they could make changes to the chassis after they’ve presented the a car to the FIA. At least I thought this was the case a couple of years ago. Maybe the rules changed.

    Does it take the words of the mighty man to motivate the team? Come on Ferrari, live up to your name!

  22. Thabang says:

    I wouldn’t write Ferrari off just yet. However it is abundantly clear that they are 3rd if not 4th best in the Technical department…Luca should do all that he can to lure Rory Byrne back.

    1. StallionGP F1 says:

      Was Rory not heavily involved in the development of this car?

      1. Rory says:

        No, I wasn’t.

      2. StallionGP F1 says:

        Lol, you wish don’t you?

  23. G says:

    Man, it’s so hard to believe that a company that produces the F12 Berlinetta can also produce the F2012.

    The season may not have started yet but I’m definitely not getting good vibes…

  24. SP says:

    “I hope that the predictions about us are wrong. And if they are true I will want to know why this has happened and how many seconds it’s going to take to put it right.”

    How many seconds to put right!?! No pressure there then for the tech team ;) Unless of course he is referring to the gap between them and Mclaren/RB. So maybe they will be seconds off the pace.

    On a serious note, and like many others are saying, its not until the season opener that we’ll be able to gauge the performance…. maybe it’ll take a few races for a clearer picture. I’d really like to know where they’ve gone wrong, guess its something we wont get to hear/read about in detail.

    I read a comment from an F1 engineer (maybe one from Mclaren) that Ferrari’s issue could be due to the pull-rod front suspension. Apparently it’s hard to tune/setup and the margin for a decent setup is very small. May suggest the reason why they seem to have such a narrow performance band.

    Either way, I hope for the fans sake and Alonso’s, the car turns good and he can fight for the WDC. Its a real joy watching Alonso when he’s really on it.

  25. Dan Orsino says:

    Jeez, they must know that car is really bad to be carrying on like this.
    Already, the design team are getting a public flogging from L di M. But Ferrari wanted Alonso just because he could help with “car development” ……. ???

  26. Johnny Turbo says:

    I’m not going to make myself popular in here with all you Ferrari devotees, but I have to chuckle to myself when I see Ferrari having a crisis!

    I used to cheer them on myself in the days of Alboreto, Mansell, Berger and Alesi. But after Montezemolo’s pompous and arrogant remarks about them being so much more prestigious than anyone else, them trying to hold the sport to ransom by threatening to quit… saying that the new teams weren’t worthy of being at the same race and boring us once again with the nonsense about entering 3 cars… it makes me laugh to see them in trouble. I hope it brings them down a peg or two!

    Their growing problem now is that they are likely pile so much pressure on themselves that they are liable to make rash decisions and compound their misery.

    Ferrari seem to be the main casualty of the resource restriction/limited testing rule, which prevents them spending their way out of trouble like in the Schumacher days. In that respect I think the rule has been a success!

    Anyone agree with me?

    1. Rich C says:

      Yep, its 3-car-Monte doing his usual. Probably been to the Marko School of PR recently.

      He’s setting up to blame all the small teams for being in his way again.

      1. Chris says:

        “3-car-Monte”
        :) :)

    2. WiLL says:

      I agree. Also their downfall reminds me a little of Renault when they lost their bespoke Michelin tyres and suddenly fell of the pace. Its seems without having a tyre supplier like Bridgestone on their side dedicated to them and having to use control tyres like every one else, theyre having problems.

      Whereas in the past the tyres were built to suit their car, now they have to build a car to suit the tyres and this appears to be something that they are not to good at.

      1. Robbiehooper says:

        That and the fact that Bridgestone used to pay for all of Ferrari’s unlimited testing… Any team that had free testing on their own back door (Fiorano), able to run 24/7 would ultimately be able to stay at the front end of the grid.

    3. Peter Scandlyn says:

      All the way, bro.

    4. Colin says:

      Couldn’t have put it better myself

    5. Doug says:

      Agree 100%

      They’ve really built themselves up so high, surely a fall is due. If they start getting beaten by teams that ‘are not fit to be on the same circuit as Ferrari’, it will be the best F1 season EVER! :-)

  27. Degan says:

    Oooh. Could be a very tough year ahead for the boys from Maranello! Gotta feel for Alonso. That guy can certainly drive. I wonder how many times he’s thought to himself “Have I made the wrong decision?” Particularly given he’s locked into a long term deal…..

  28. DVX says:

    Well it’s way to early to say where Ferrari is compared to the others but it does look like they are in a bit of trouble if what Piola says is correct.

  29. Andy says:

    Maybe with Montezemolo looking into politics he is worried that Italy might start saying “if he can not run an F1 team how can he run a country”

  30. Trent says:

    Not totally related but – This is the third year in a row that the top 3 teams have fielded unchanged driver line-ups. I can’t recall a similar situation in the 25 years I’ve been been watching F1.

    Not entirely convinced long term relationships are the answer. It has worked for Vettel, but has it worked for anyone else?

    1. zoidy84 says:

      Unless you mean of the current crop … does Schumacher ring any bells!?

  31. Mark Gillespie says:

    The usual macho posturing from Montezemolo (“how may seconds it’s going to take to put it right”). Unfortunately that bully boy approach hasn’t worked for them over the past few seasons – time for a different management STYLE (NOTE: not TEAM) methinks

    1. Quattro_T says:

      Could not agree more.

  32. Dmitry says:

    Goodbye, Pat!

    Yes, it’s possibly not decided yet, but if Australia proves what all of us anticipates\feares\knows, I think it will become a reality.
    And it should have happened sooner. Let’s be realistic, can anyone remember a car (well, except MP4-22) built under his supervision, that was actually good?

    Right.

  33. Sabatha says:

    If they all plan to bring such major upgrades to Australia anyway,how much do they learn from the testing they do? It seems to me that they are more interested in hiding their true pace than they are in learning about their new cars.

    1. james H says:

      testing is not about getting the maximum pace out of the car(for the big teams) its about testing the cars parts,fuel usage etc etc.They will have a good idea about the true pace of the car but not until the first race weekend do they try to set the car up for the track they are racing on the try to get the maximum pace as they get closer to quali.Thats how i think they go about it.

  34. AlexD says:

    What is the problem, mister LDM? Fans are tired of hearing constant promises and no results. It will be a red year….sure…

    1. Rick says:

      Yes, a red year… from all the heads that will roll!

    2. AdamT says:

      AlexD, you know well, what (or rather WHO), the problem is :-)
      Mister LDM has few more years to wait :-)

  35. Juan says:

    I dont think the situation is so catastrophic as they all want us to believe. Ferrari are probably not so far away from the Red Bulls and McLarens.
    They just want to keep espectations under control. My point of view is that maybe they are just sandbagging a bit. ;-)

  36. “I want to know how many ‘seconds’ it’s going to take to put it right”!

    Do these competitive and professional guys really need to be horse-whipped?

    1. Rich C says:

      Yes, ofc, and the floggings will continue until morale improves!

      1. Doobs says:

        He’s the chairman, why wouldn’t he want to know?

  37. Tank says:

    “His analysis of the twelve days of testing carried out these past two months between Jerez and Barcelona is lucid and not does not leave much room for illusion, although it does not abandon itself to self flagellation of the masochistic kind.”

    Someone’s cracked open a thesaurus to fancy up that sentence.

    1. Chris says:

      “does not abandon itself to self flagellation of the masochistic kind.”
      That self flagellation would be redundant, since they are already receiving public flagellation of the sadistic kind from LdM.

  38. Sikhumbuzo Thomo says:

    Guys

    The front pullrod suspection is an issue I think that they should consider.

    ST

  39. Sri says:

    Why did he speak to Alonso about the car, but not anyone in Technical engineering team? Has he lost faith in Domenicali or other team members? Was he just using the name “Alonso” in public as he is very popular?

  40. Soren says:

    Fry: “You want answers?”
    Monty: “I think I’m entitled.”
    Fry: “You want answers??!”
    Monty: “I want the truth!”
    Fry: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

    1. veeru says:

      funny!!

  41. Jorge says:

    Hi James, I did a final analysis on all the preseason testing sessions, and yes Ferrari will probably be fighting Lotus behind RedBull-McLaren and Mercedes. Here it is:

    http://f1commentary.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/final-analysis-before-the-2012-f1-season-starts-at-melbourne-australia/

    1. veeru says:

      good job dude…nice analysis

      1. That is the worst piece of F1 analysis I have EVER seen! There is information out there about estimate fuel load / race sim work etc that has been completely ignored. In fact that analysis focuses almost entirely on fastest laps.

        A good analysis will look at consistency during long runs, drop-off in time between the 1st and xth lap of a group of teams, when cars came back in were they refueled before going out (if not then they were presumably running heavier fuel load on the first run, than a car that did need to re-fuel between stints), all that neato stuff.

        There was NONE of that in the article linked.

    2. Craig says:

      If you’re right, I hope Kimi sticks it to them.

  42. Die Scuderia says:

    The current news regarding the shape of the Ferrari progress so far isn’t great. Again, the season hasn’t started yet. So we shall see in a couple of weeks how this pans out. At least then we will have a clear pitcure where the team lies relative to the rest of the field. In the mean time, easy is exactly what the doctor ordered! when all has been said, this is Ferrari…never count Ferrari out until it’s mathematically impossible (or any team for that matter). DS.

  43. F458 says:

    Lets not forget that the season hasn’t actually started yet. No one knows what the pecking order is. IF the Fezza turns up in Melbourne and blows the doors off everyone all this talk of crisis will quickly disappear. To repeat the great Murray Walker, “F1 spelt backwards is IF”

    1. Hansb says:

      I presume the differences in lap times is not the most worrying part. It is the lack of consistency that should frighten the reds.
      This year, more than ever the pitsstops will be decisive. Not exactly their strongest feature in the past year and when they have to pit early because of their inconsistency it will drop them back heavily.

  44. Rich C says:

    Plus, it’s ugly, Monte.

  45. Irish con says:

    Hurry up Sunday evening in Melbourne so we can finally say with a bit more conviction as to we’re everyone is at. I’m tipping Hamilton for the win.

  46. Tyler says:

    Coming from someone who almost quit watching F1 during the Schumi/Ferrari parade lap years…. this is good stuff…makes the season even more interesting.

    1. Rich C says:

      But when you were watching the ‘Schumi/Ferrari parade lap years’ you were watching imho simply the best combo ever to hit the track, before or since. Leaving all the other bs out of it, it was sublime.

  47. anthony says:

    Ferrari havnt been the same since todt left, and a few other key guys and its all down to monti, his the boss afterall, all that pressure he puts on the team is ridiculous, constantly sacking and employing people is not the answer. Hope he leaves soon…….

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Pity he didnt get rid of Massa sooner. Or Domenicalli or Costa or…I can’t be bothered, what a bunch of Goons!!!

  48. Adam says:

    Is there any chance that Ferrari are just ‘foxing’? They don’t seem to have been outrageously slow at any of the tests. Couldn’t they have just been running with heavy fuel loads the whole time? They could turn up in Melbourne and floor everybody!!! Surely testing times cannot be the definition of a car… look at Mclaren last year!

    1. James Allen says:

      Why do that? Why go through all the aggro and negative media coverage?

    2. Tanaka says:

      I agree with you. I remember Pat Fry saying “You are always happy if you are half a second ahead with 60 kilos in the tank” in one of his “negative” interviews. Added this week Alonso has been saying in 2010 pre-season they were the fourth best team, turned up to Bahrain and got a one-two.

      Reading between the lines there is enough positive vibes coming from Maranello for me to think Ferrari are up to something.

      Just a question, why would the Ferrari only start chewing it’s tyres in the third test (this characteristic was not evident in the first two tests) if it were not for excessively heavy fuel loads, while not nursing the car??

  49. Liam in Sydney says:

    James, don’t you think it is a bit rich of LDM to criticise his team’s apparent lack of progress (love the Empire phraseology here!) at the beginning of 2011 because they were too conservative with their design and even got rid of the person(s) responsible, only to again criticise his team in early 2012 when their aggressive design is not showing instant top speed? There really must be some shrugs and rolled eyes happening in the Ferrari garage in response to LDM’s comments. Surely they were not helpful.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well they are an engineering business, making cars, pushing boundaries in technology. That’s the mission statement. So the F1 cars should reflect that.

  50. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – any feedback suggesting Satander are getting nervous about their “investment” in Ferrari?

    1. James Allen says:

      No. They’ll take a long view

    2. Kevin Green says:

      I would have thought there biggest concern would be if marlboro were nervous, cause if the cars aint smoking the peoples ain’t smoking!! :) Joke aside im sure they will be fine within a few races if even that.

  51. DaveF says:

    Looks like Ferrari are going back to the bad old days. Wonder if will be 21 years before they win another title this time? I think this just shows how good Jean Todt was to be able to stand up to LDM and ensure stability and steady progress rather than panic and hiring, firing and constant reshuffles.

    I also did wonder why Ferrari hired Pat Fry? Given that when he was at Maclaren was the time their cars generally started the season well off the pace!

  52. Jon WIlde says:

    With Trulli falling off the grid this year, Ferrai have done the honourable thing and developed a car to reflect the characteristics of the last Italian Driver. True Patriotism.
    The “Trulli Train” will be renamed the “Alonso Train” decent single lap pace will get them well into Q3, in the race Alonso will hold up everyone behind him until the first round of pitstops. Massa will become very familiar with the back end of a Sauber.

  53. Nil says:

    James, could you do an article on LDM’s political ambitions? Will we see him at Ferrari with the new regulations in 2014? Since the team is Italy’s national pride, how much does the success of Ferrari on track help LDM’s reputation in politics?

    1. James Allen says:

      Sounds like he’s working hard behind the scenes with his Italia Futura movement to come in when he’s ready and stand as someone with no political baggage a candidate to Unite Italy

      1. Nil says:

        Very interesting. Who is in the position to take over from him at Ferrari if he moves into a leadership position in Italy with Italia Futura? Does Domenicali get another season if SF fails to get either the WDC/WCC until 2014?

  54. A-Z says:

    From the hope that this New Ferrari will be the winning car. become close second or third fastest car is acceptable. but if they are falling to forth or fifth with the big surprise from Merc or Lotus which is probably be the case, there will be the big questionmark with their car. I don’t think Alonso can hide his mood anymore.

    I don’t think Ferrari are dare to make the big modification for Melbourne because they have to re-study their new car all over again in very short test time which is too danger. 3 weeks of testing, they still confuse with their car, if they make the big mod without testing, how much risk there would be?

    With the tight time as expect, Ferrari might need the soft tyre to pass the Q1 cut for several occasion.

  55. panagiotis says:

    Sounds like a proper statement to me if you are around f1 for such a long time like di Monte is. After all that’s part of F1 communication heritage, that is to say, in style wording, could be flamboyant or arrogant maybe both at the same time. Don’t you miss Ron, Flavio, Edie, Jean, David, Paul even Patrick in the paddocks? Nevermind drivers. Is F1 becoming to sterile and loosing perfume? Who else is still around except Monte, just Bernie? After all those guys made modern F1! Can someone name a prospect post modern F1 figure other than MSch?

    1. Rich C says:

      “Is F1 …loosing perfume?”

      No, it has Maria De Villota now, so its *gaining perfume.

  56. A-Z says:

    in the old day without the limit of Budget and testing, they can do trial and error or what ever they want, they can change the whole car during the season.

    Now, no new car allow, the car must be good at the birth and develop it from there, they call need basically well design, if the design is wrong that will be much more difficult to get it right.

    The big problem for Ferrari is there are a lot of good engineers, but there isn’t the Genius one.

    Without a good car and there is only one driver in the team, that hard to get the good result. Look like it not just another bad year for Ferrari , It seem to be worse than the last year.

  57. hero_was_senna says:

    What surprises me more than anything, from 1996 to 2000, Ferrari, Todt, Brawn and Schuamcher were getting constant criticism because they weren’t winning or because they were not dominating or the fastest combination out there. They worked and worked until they won in 2000, and then there was no stopping them.

    This isn’t new, it happens every time

  58. Denis says:

    I just don’t understand why Luca Di Montezemolo is obsessed with Ferrari running a three car team when Ferrari have been running a one car team for numerous years now.

    Luca put a quicker driver in your second car that should be your number one priority

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