F1 World Champion 2014
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari denies Montezemolo threat to quit F1
Scuderia Ferrari
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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Jun 2014   |  10:20 am GMT  |  136 comments

Fernando Alonso waved the starter’s flag at the Le Mans 24 Hours race, one which is inextricably linked with the history of Ferrari, but at Maranello they were quick yesterday to shoot down a story in Wall St Journal which suggested that the Scuderia was poised to leave F1 to race again in the classic 24 hours race.

Of course,” Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo said, “We cannot do sports-car racing and Formula One. It’s not possible.”

It came on the back of another Montezemolo interview in which he slated modern 2014 F1: “Formula One isn’t working. It’s declining because the FIA have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement. Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on.

“And we cannot touch the engine,” he added, referring to the rules banning development of the engines beyond reliability fixes.

“People watch racing to be entertained,” he said. “No one wants to watch a driver save gas or tires. They want to see them push from here to there. It’s sport, yes, but also a show.”

Montezemolo has also written to Bernie Ecclestone and the majority shareholder CVC calling for a summit meeting to address the sport and its declining audience figures and its future direction.

Darren Heath
The Wall St Journal – mindful of Montezemolo’s previous threats in 2009 to leave F1 if then FIA president Max Mosley’s infamous budget cap was adopted and the threats from Enzo Ferrari to quit whenever things got sticky in the past – concluded that “Ferrari Could Leave Formula One” adding “Chairman Suggests Possible Switch to Sports-Car Competition”

Yesterday Ferrari distanced itself from such suggestions, “This is a bit of a stretch based on President Luca di Montezemolo reiterating that Formula 1 needs to evolve and renew itself, while also admitting that there is a unique attraction to the 24 Hour race.

“To say that after 2020, Ferrari could quit Formula 1 to concentrate on Le Mans and the Endurance championship takes his words to extremes. Plus of course, there’s nothing to stop Ferrari upping the ante and competing in both disciplines. So it’s just pure speculation.”

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Ferrari is committed to F1 to at least the end of 2020 thanks to the deal struck between Montezemolo and Ecclestone two years ago. They and Red Bull were the first names on the list when the F1 impresario was locking down teams for the future and they both receive significant additional payments for their participation; Ferrari as longest serving team gets a large payment none of the others are entitled to.

As the deadline of June 30 approaches for changes which can take effect next season and no sign of any meaningful cost savings for F1, it is the small teams who are under threat of not continuing in F1, not Ferrari.

There are signs that we could lose one team before the end of this season and two or three others aren’t far behind, as they struggle with the lopsided distribution of funds to teams which sees top teams like Ferrari take the lions share of the money.

Ferrari is in many ways the spine of F1 and it will always have the “nuclear” option up its sleeve of threatening to quit if it wants to strong arm through a change.

But it isn’t doing it on this occasion.

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136 Comments
  1. PaulL says:

    The constructor pecking order seems so static, race-to-race, nowadays. Back in 2006-2008 it’d flip-flops around as some teams developed their car better than others and the cars were different enough to notably suit some circuits better than others. I suspect the current regs, which stifle creativity, are doing this.

    I think the FIA should regulate safety, not cost controls. Let the chips fall.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      But it’s not that exciting if half the grid goes bust really.

    2. KGBVD says:

      That was during the tyre wars. Some tracks suited Michelin so Williams and McLaren were strong, others suited Bridge stone, so Ferrari. The cars are fine, it’s the sole tyre supplier thats the issue with F1 these days. Let Michelin come back and let them go up against Pirelli on 18 inch rims.

      I’m inclined to agree with the “chips fall where they may” approach to the teams. Would any of us be happy if teams like Simteck or HRT were still limping along at the back on the dime of the FIA? Woukd F1 be the same without Ferrari, McLaren or Williams? Sometimes a small team folding can lead to better things. After all, Stewart gave us Red Bull.

  2. goferet says:

    One of the greatest ironies is the fact that with former Ferrari employee Todt heading the FIA, one would have been forgiven for thinking that Ferrari had an ally in Paris that would have made all their wishes come true.

    But alas, Ferrari fell out with Todt just before he got shown the door and so ever since, the rules have been working against the team.

    I think the best option for Ferrari isn’t to quit the sport but rather call for a change in leadership at the FIA in a bid to turn their fortunes around.

    Now, Luca says the fans watch F1 for it’s excitement but it worth remembering their was nothing exciting about watching the Ferraris of the 2000s win nearly every race with the best car.

    What makes F1 exciting is when there’s a fight for the championship irrespective of what cars or technology is being used.

    1. W Johnson says:

      Are you asking for a change in the leadership of FIA to ensure it remains Ferrari International Assistance.

      1. goferet says:

        @ W Johnson

        Yes, bring back the good ol’ days.

    2. Tone says:

      Ferrari winning everything in the early 2000′s was boring indeed but with no testing restrictions, the teams and their tyre suppliers at least had the chance to catch up.
      The real championship under the current regs occurs in the off season. After that we see a parade that goes around the world for eight months.

      1. DMyers says:

        That’s not strictly true, since Bridgestone were effectively designing their tyres specifically for Ferrari and not all of the Michelin teams had a chance of winning…

    3. goggomobil says:

      [mod],nothing wrong with that as long you are broadly objective of other teams.
      Some of your above cpments are spot on. I have been involved within Motor industry and its sport for a very long time,yup almost ready to join a fossil society,however your coment above, bring back the good old days, it deserves 10 points,simply it was not hard to fall in love with F1 of yesteryear,History tell us a little guy named Tanzio Nuvolari in a Alfa Romeo beat the might of Auto-union and its Silver Arrows, it was mainly due to the open competition and one man wit against the other ,if the competition was hog-tighed like is currently we would never have heard of some briliant man such as Vittorio Jano, Enzo Ferrari who said let the competition be, it makes a better breed, Collin Champan and his Lotus simply briliant and of course Adrian Newey.
      The mighty steam ship FIA believe Control,Control is the way to go,is there any wonder of so much groan from the F1 engineers and fans who love the F1 and motor sport in general.

  3. Gudien says:

    I can see Ferrari quitting F-1 and joining Porsche, Toyota, and Audi at Le Mans. Manufacturers all unlike Sauber, Marrussia, and Toro Rosso.

    1. Kev says:

      Ferrari is in such a strong position in formula 1 that they will never leave. They are the most powerful team and take in the most money from the sport. They could not inherit such a position in le mans or if they re-enterd formula 1. These threats are only designed to get more power and money

      1. The_Rh1no says:

        Exactly what I think. Ferrari get so much money just for being… Well… Ferrari. They’ll never get this anywhere else.

    2. Random 79 says:

      I’m not into Le Mans at all so I’d ask how that racing culture feels about teams that whinge about everything when they aren’t winning?

      1. Random 79 says:

        That’s unfair: Just to clarify when I say “teams” I mean “LDM”.

      2. Michael says:

        Here we go again. It’s the same old crap. Ferrari threatens pulling out because they’re not winning. What a bunch of cry babies. lol

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        …and then we get the same thirteen year old posters who put lol at the end of their posts…

    3. LT says:

      Of course!! and when they get thoroughly beaten by Audi, Toyota and Porsche, they can threaten to pull out of that too. Where next Ferrari??? Maybe go-karts?

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        hahahaha……..
        EXACTLY!!!

      2. PeterF says:

        They can start their own series exclusively for Ferraris, the FWC; Ferrari World Championship and then they can then win their own championship every year. From my experience Ferrari fans will love it.

  4. Olli says:

    These annual threats are getting tiresome and sounding increasingly empty. They only go to show that Scuderia are at their wits end and desperate to find someone else to blame.

    I can’t but wonder if Formula 1 were better off without them.

    1. Mhilgtx says:

      As a guy that can’t stand the current Ferrari team other than the new boss and Kimi I think it would be disastourous for F1 if Ferrari left.

      1. Marybeth says:

        @ Mhilgtx, I agree. They should keep Mattiacci, Kimi & I would add Allison. Kimi & Allison did great things for Lotus with a fifth of Ferrari’s budget. Everyone else goes.

      2. Marybeth says:

        Luca will not allow Kimi & Allison to do great things for Ferrari, he just did not want them to do them for Lotus. Luca mislead me at best or lied to me at worst.

      3. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        hahaha………
        Are you serious???
        Let ALO go and keep the under performing Kimi???
        Kimi is doing worst than MASSA. Wake up.

    2. stoic says:

      Did we read the same article? I understand it as “they denied that they are threatening to quit.”.

  5. CHEESYPOOF says:

    I really dislike the current engine freeze. It’s just another failed attempt at closing the gap but it ruins the season because we have a one horse race. I’d like to see updates to the engines allowed once a year so teams can close the gap. Regardless of these rules the small teams are still dying and F1 needs more sound regulation to keep them alive.

    1. Random 79 says:

      And I say again the engine freeze is pointless as I still believe that the engine manufacturers are spending millions developing what they can anyway.

      If I’m right then for all that money we might as well see some tangible improvement.

      Even F-E has the right idea – start at a base level, and then allow development of the electric engines so that the general public can see how the technology is improving year by year.

      Why can’t F1 do that?

      1. stoic says:

        Agreed. Just to add: isn’t the reason of the fuel flow limit was so that the engineers can concentrate on developing the ERS yet they freeze that as well. How can teams develop that aspect for better relevance to road technology when there is a freeze?

      2. Random 79 says:

        Apparently the fuel flow limit is there only to restrict the power of the turbo, otherwise it would be ludicrous…or so I’m told.

      3. Jim says:

        F1 can’t do that because the technology is already fairly mature. The move to hybrid engines this year has shaken things up a bit, but I’d say that the development of internal combustion engines has reached the point of diminishing returns, where you have to spend more and more money to gain less and less improvement. If the rules were relaxed to any interesting degree there would be the danger that one team would find a killer setup and everyone else would have to drop what they were doing and go the same way to keep up, at enormous expense.

        FE can get away with it at the moment because it’s a spec series. The technology is improving but not diverging.

  6. darth_patate says:

    What F1 really needs is to get rid of Bernie and Luca. yeah i know “all the good they have done for f1 30-400 years ago” but they are pathetic now (and actually, REALLy, please name what they have done that is so great for teams, drivers and the audience ???). Two cartels dictators wanting “more” for themselves until they die at their desk.

    all this talk from LDM is just because Ferrari is losing, it is 100% BS. If fernando and Kimi were doing what Lewis and nico are doing we woul see him parading on how F1 is back to its root when an engine is important and what matters not aero

    most of the problems for securing a grid with at least 20 cars “reasonably close” in performance is due to Bernie’s financial deals ( including Ferrari Payoff, racketing actual venues while keeping for FOM publicity revnues, double points for rich circuits

    sorry for the rant, it won’t change anything unless those two go away and hopefully someone (Todt ??) with an actual interest for the sport stirs it in a more “sport” direction

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Todt interested in the sport? I think you meant major luncheons with nameless grandees while they decide where they should build a bigger FIA palace headquarters and mostly sign off what Bernie wants because it’s just easier…

      But yes the ‘old guard’ in general are milking the dying cow, they don’t seem to mind that F1 will have to continue once they’re gone.

    2. Dave P says:

      It’s not a rant, I fully agree with you and they match my sentiments perfectly.

      Ferrari need genuine management, and get on with it. Making excuses makes them look petty.

      I do not hear complaints from McLaren, or Williams… its clear where the problem lies..

    3. Ben says:

      I agree with you. Bernie has had his time and done a great job but recently has been all about squeezing as much money out of it as possible with no real positive improvements. How someone who is in charge of a major corporation can get away with so vocally critisizing their main product is beyond me. He should be promoting it not slagging it off!

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Well there’s always the opinion that he’s driving the price down so he can buy more back, and there’s always the ‘poison the well’ approach to threaten Germany against legal action, pointing out to the whole sport that he can ‘break it’ as well as ‘make it’.

        Bernie is still pretty smart despite his occasional (and no doubt well crafted) moments of senility…

  7. the_rh1no says:

    Ferrari Quitting – Haha no chance. There is no series in the world that would be mad enough to decide to give Ferrari so much money for competing, just because they are called Ferrari!

    In terms of Engine development during the season, I can understand frustrations, but manufacturers did have the same opportunity to develop. Also with in season development, Ferrari and Renault power units might still not catch up with Mercedes as they could also develop. They are really expensive these units, but I’m will come down in price over the next few seasons as well as verge on equal power. There is no need to add to the cost of the power units through competitive in season development.

    I have only been watching F1 for 17 years, but have read about and watched championships and races from before that. There appear to be very few occasions in F1 history, where cars have been able to run without worrying about tyres or fuel. The only reason why it made less of an impact on viewers in that past is that other issues to do with reliability had a greater effect on the championship. There may have still been some close championships in recent years, where reliability was good, fuel concerns and tyre wear were limited, for example 2010, but they weren’t exactly great for epic racing; it was truly a year where Saturdays seemed more important that Sundays.

    This cars this season are not perfect in terms of overall speed, but I don’t think that is mainly down to the power units. What sounds like a huge amount of downforce has been lost from the back end, which very noticeable in the way that the cars move around on track. So it is the mid corner speed that has been affected, this will probably return over the coming seasons. The issue of conserving tyres and fuel does seem to be more at the fore of our minds, especially as we get huge amounts of data whilst watching the grand prix, but to me it is great to see things unfolding. For me there have been some truly cracking races this year, I have really enjoyed watching this new season unfold.

    As for sound, I like the ability to hear tyres squealing, turbos and other weird noises which I don’t understand. I would complain more about the aesthetics of the cars – why are there so many cars which are on the white/grey/silver/black spectrum. At least we get some colour from Ferrari, Caterham and of course Force India – Bring back the Orange Arrows (or even McLaren)!

    I do like Ferrari (and McLaren) I do hope they can turn their fortunes around, if not this season, then next.

  8. Andrew M says:

    I agree that things can certainly improve, but blaming it all on the 2014 regulations when you’re absolutely nowhere just smacks of sour grapes. I didn’t hear anyone at Ferrari complaining that fans “want to see them push from here to there” when Fernando was tip-toeing to victory in China and Spain last year on the tissue-paper tyres and it looked like he was set fair for a championship challenge.

    We haven’t had flat-out racing since 2010, and arguably 2008. Moving back towards that would be a good start.

  9. Sebee says:

    They stayed true to the name with this F14T. They wanted to show us what an F1 effort from FIAT would look like. And now we know for sure.

    1. Sebee says:

      Poor Webber. Always a bride’s maid, never a bride.

      It’s really easy to see that some have the horseshoe installed in their rear wrong way up, and all the luck seems to pass them by. Ain’t that life?

    2. OsellaMan says:

      @Sebee. Love the pick up on F14T! Can’t believe I hadn’t seen that, love using the term Fiat when referring to the prancing horse to fans.

      It is not surprising that those who fail to perform, despite all the resources available to them find something else to blame or deflect, in this case the new rules.

      This years honour roll include: Dietrich, Luca, Christian, Adrian, Bernie and Seb.

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Kimi???

  10. RichB says:

    I’ve heard Ferrari get £100m for being the longest serving team, if so that is massively unfair

    1. Random 79 says:

      Confirmation that Ferrari is now so old it qualifies for a pension :)

      1. PeterF says:

        And they want a pensioner’s seat on the podium!

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Also massively humiliating. It’s not like they can turn round and say ‘oh we’re losing because we run out of development funds or were looking for a sponsor’ – given the relative funding it’s almost like the Ferrari engineering team is a net negative presence…

    3. aveli says:

      i think all the teams should be paid equally and spend equally but they can keep their sponsorship money.

    4. Wade Parmino says:

      They get that money because FOMA believes they are worth it. The rich history and subsequent popularity of Ferrari gives them a position of tremendous bargaining power. FOMA could say “no, you don’t get that much” (which I’m sure Bernie would love) however FOMA and Bernie know how much money could end up being lost if Ferrari were to leave F1. Culturally and economically, Ferrari are the most important team in Formula 1. F1 would seriously suffer and possibly die without Ferrari but if any other team left, F1 would carry on.

    5. Ben says:

      I think it’s closer to 80 million but still it’s in that ball park. They get 5% of the total revenue from Bernie and as all the financial figures are not released its just a best guess

  11. Cliff says:

    Surely Luca would have known what the team signed up to before they put pen to paper on the current regulations. I suspect that Luca’s problem is that the unintended consequence is that his technical department has not delivered a engine/power unit that matches or comes close to that of the Mercedes? This broadside is probably a gentle reminder to BCE.

    PS. James. I’ve been away and this is my first sight of the new look website, well done, the fresh look really works!!

  12. Bru72 says:

    I’m a lifelong F1 fan, but I’d love a Ferrari return to Le Mans even if it meant them leaving F1. The restrictions are way too tight in F1 now, and no testing allowed. Le Mans has become more relevant again for Ferrari, plus dare I say is also becoming far more glamorous, which is important for companies like Ferrari who wish to sell cars.

  13. Gaz Boy says:

    Luca and the Italians are just bitter because the Inglese/Commonwealth teams/drivers have made the Prancing Horse look like a knackered old cow for several seasons now!
    I remember a few years ago some Italian spectators at Silverstone complaining about us Anglo-Saxons. Ah, the insults and criticism of our green and pleasant land, I’ve heard them all:

    You’re food is stodgy, you’ve got bad teeth (???), your weather is rubbish, your women are trashy and not as elegant as the bella-donna’s in Italia, you drink awful warm beer, you’re crap at football, you play sports such as rugby and cricket which are confusing, your roads are bumpy and pot-marked, you drive on the left which is wrong (??), your music is crap with long haired beardies spouting drivel (fair point actually), your regional accents are nasal and whiny, your sense of humour is weird, you never get emotional…………..

    To watch the Tifosi should add:

    ………..and you humiliated us in 1943 when we cowardly surrendered, your Lancaster bombers smashed up our beloved Ferrari factory and turned it to dust – like the rest of Italy – and your F1 racing cars keep on inflicting humiliation on our beloved Ferrari in the face, round after round, year after year so every other Sunday we get to see the pride of our country being smashed in the face.
    Thank you Inglese.

    That’s pretty much what Luca thinks! Never mind Luca, there’s a football match on this evening in the jungle city of Manaus, chance for the Azzuri to redress the balance!

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Nothing like a bit of racial stereotyping, is there?

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Since when have the English or Italians been a race?
        Let’s be honest, Ferrari and Luca have always had contempt for the British kit car teams, and have used their political leverage with their good buddies the FIA – aka Ferrari’s International Agency – to try and denude the English cars performance – remember mid summer 2003 when Ferrari lobbied and won an appeal to get the Michelin tyres used by the kit car teams changed to hinder their performance ?
        The Old Man used to call the English constructors “Assembletori” or “Garagista” teams, Enzo used those terms as a pejorative terms as he thought, for some reason that his beloved machines were superior to the “kit cars” made in a cold workshop in England. Mind you, the fact that he supported Mussolini and believed that Italy would crush the Allies was probably evidence of a somewhat delusional character.
        Remember the 1976 season, Hunt Vs Lauda, yet again Good Old Enzo using his political clout to get James disqualified from the 1976 British GP? Mr Ferrari got his wish, although James got perfect revenge by snatching the WDC at Fuji.
        Personally, I dislike the way Ferrari and Luca lean heavily on their buddies at the FIA whenever Ferrari are being pummelled by the British kit car teams. There is a place for Ferrari in F1, of course, but they do behave sometimes like spoiled prima donna brats, usually when they are loosing, like now. It’s a fair sporting contest, everyone has the same rules and regulations, Ferrari should just get over the fact that the likes of Merc-Brackley and Red Bull have done their homework and deserve their success and stop whining and moaning.
        Come on Luca and Ferrari, stop moaning and complaining, man up, just admit you’re shite and try better rather than try to use your political influence at the FIA to try to dis-advantage your Inglese competitors…………….
        Sorry for the rant, but I hope that explains things……

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        ………….and of course, not forgetting British TV, including our dear old ITV and BBC – two great institutions close to the British hearts (and minds).
        And then there’s the Top Gear boys themselves of course – Jezza, Captain Slow and Hamster – the most watched TV programme, as the Big Ape from Yorkshire would say IN THE WORLD!
        Again, if a country that makes TV programmes watched by 350 million around the world is is decline, it’s still go to be worth living in, right?
        And did those feet in ancient time…………………..in England’s green and pleasant land!

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        PS This is a continuation from my response to Frank Canada.

      4. Tone says:

        Garagista is hardly a racial stereotype though isn’t it? I can also see more insulting terms like a couple of threads above.

      5. Ben says:

        It’s a fair sporting contest?? Ferrari have the biggest ‘unfair advantage’ of anyone. They get 80 million just for being called Ferrari. In fact they are guaranteed to get more money than the winner even if they come last in the WCC. It is massively skewed in the favour yet they still flounder in the mid pack. LDM should go

    2. Heinz says:

      James, these quotations from the sun newspaper’s history of world war II are stale drivel. Grandfathers grew tired of this moronic talk, but the poster believes it is still funny.

    3. goferet says:

      @ Gaz Boy

      Lol… When you frame it that way, today’s match takes on a different level of significance.

      I predict an England win for hey, some are people are just born to win.

      England 2 Italy 1

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I actually want Ferrari to stay in F1, they are so amusing to us Inglese………..but they should just accept the rules and regulations rather than just try and pull rank with the FIA when the red cars are being trounced!

      2. warley says:

        Sir Malcolm Campbell, Mike Hawthorn, Sir Colin Chapman, Gordon Murray, Maggie Thatcher, Ken Tyrell, Sir Alf Ramsey, Max Moseley – Your ‘Garagistas’ took one hell of a beating!

    4. Random 79 says:

      Somehow I didn’t even have to look at the username to know this was a Gaz post ;)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Sorry Random, but Luca and Ferrari had it coming…………..
        You know what they are like, using their political muscle with the FIA for their own benefit……..
        I reckon Machiavelli is alive and well and working for Ferrari………….

      2. AuraF1 says:

        No because Machiavelli got results…

      3. Random 79 says:

        Lol AuraF1 :)

    5. FrankCanada says:

      The Italian complaint of the anglo-saxon is correct. I see your decline everyday, here in Canada. I bet if Italy or Ferrari gave up on the purity of what motor racing is about, they would win more. They coild be dancing English Monkey’s for zee Germans, or the Japanese or austrian fizzy drink makersr, or who ever shows up in old blighty with bags of cash. But of coarse no team, ever, as much as mclaren trys (Is Woking in Italy) come close to what Ferrari is and will always be. Italian, not english. And one day we can replay that war with out America bailing you out. And I think your current masters (zee germans, zee germans) lost that war also. Isn’t that something. Itaila 3 England 0

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Decline? Of what? The UK F1 industry? Seems pretty healthy to me…….UK F1 drivers? Lewis is doing OK at the minute (Jenson could do better, I’ll admit that). UK car industry? Doing very well, China can’t get enough of our Jags, Aston Martins, Rolls Royces and Bentleys. UK music industry? Best music in the world mate – Beatles, Sex Pistols, Clash, Joy Division, Madness, Specials, New Order, Oasis, Stone Roses, Factory Records, Hacienda, Second Summer of Love 88/89, Madchester, Britpop. UK football? England ain’t going to win this years World Cup, I’ll admit that, but the Premier League is the best in the world, everyone wants a piece of that action. UK engineering? Same people who invented the internet, the bouncing bomb, and chicken in a basket with chips are also going for the Land Speed World Record with the Bloodhound – good luck chaps, not that’ll you need it. UK Fashion? Best in the world again – Mary Quant, Vivienne Westwood, Biba, Burberry, Barbour, Fred Perry, Paul Smith………again, like our cars the Chinese can’t get enough of our quilted Barbour jackets and British fashion in general – just go to Bicester Village, Oxfordshire (not far from the UK F1 industry incidentally)
        If that’s a declining country with the best football, music, cars, fashion, engineering, technology and above all F1 racing cars then I’m happy to be part of a declining country!

      2. Hansb says:

        To be totally fair:
        Its not just Ferrari whining when things don’t go their way.
        You must have forgotten Redbull last year,mor Mercedes ? And they are not italian teams so….
        Off topic:
        The Bentleys and Rolls Royces sold to China or everywhere as you say are in fact owned by german companies who took over when both were a mess.

        And I dont know if you watched football last night….

        Come on… get we stop this (car, music, football, war, etc discussion) and be on topic about F1?

    6. CHEESYPOOF says:

      Italy don’t have to redress anything in the football match today. They are 4 time world champions, in world football England are just something they accidentally stepped on; might cause a smell and some bother but inevitably becomes more meaningless with time.

    7. Denis68 says:

      “That’s pretty much what Luca thinks! Never mind Luca, there’s a football match on this evening in the jungle city of Manaus, chance for the Azzuri to redress the balance”

      The Azzurri did redress the balance in Mnanus.

      Don”t be to critical of Ferrari as they currently employ two overpaid (Fry & Allison) and cronically underperforming Englishmen to lead their technical department.

    8. glennb says:

      Well done James for allowing [mod] like this onto your forum. Many of my posts are moderated out for tongue in cheek fun. Seems moderating scrutiny depends on who the poster is and/or where they are from.
      I fully expect this post to be deleted also.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        I agree. It appears that it is OK to throw generalised insults at large groups of people and make pointless, irrelevant comments but if one merely highlights that another particular poster is doing this, then one’s comment gets completely deleted. I truly don’t understand it.

      2. James Allen says:

        We try to keep the standard of comments high, occasionally some slip through, such as this one.

        Apologies for that, but be reassured that with the ones which have been moderated out, it is always for a reason.

      3. Glennb says:

        @ James Allen
        “We try to keep the standard of comments high, occasionally some slip through, such as this one”.

        Yet the posts are still there.

        Incidentally, when did the word “drivel” become a moderated word? Where I come from it means “nonsence” or “rubbish”. Hardly offensive to most readers of this forum. If on the other hand it means something offensive in your country, I sincerely apologise.

      4. James Allen says:

        It’s not a swear word, but it’s not acceptable to call other people’s points of view drivel or be dismissive of them, that’s the point

  14. AlexD says:

    Two words: sour grapes.

    A couple of more words:

    Ferrari cannot figure out what their problems are. They are not winning. In the last several years LDM was saying that Ferrari will quit because of too much aero. He was insisting to reduce the importance of aero and ensure that the engine with be central. Now we have engines being central and Ferrari is the worst of 3 engine manufacturers. So he complains again.

    Ferrari is a mess. I do not see Ferrari taking title in the next 6-7 years:
    1. 2014 – Merc
    2. 2015- still Merc and they will start preparing early simply because they will take the title in Monza already
    3. 2016 – Red Bull or Merc or McLaren.
    4. 2017 – LDM will give the final warning to Marco, but they will still not win
    5. 2018 – Ferrari will get Horney as a team boss and he will try to bring Newey back (maybe rules will change and Newey will find it exciting again)
    6. 2019 -2020 -Ferrari will be close, but not yet there
    7. 2021 – Ferrari will be dominant again….maybe

    1. goferet says:

      @ AlexD

      Nice prediction.

      But I was thinking perhaps Ferrari maybe in for a longer wait.

      You see Kimi was Ferrari’s last champion in recent times, the same Kimi that was born the same year Ferrari last went through a WDC dry spell i.e. 1980-1999.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Actually Kimi was born in 1979 but I hate to see your fascinating historical stats interrupted ;)

      2. goferet says:

        @ AuraF1

        Yes Kimi was born in 1979, the last year Ferrari won the title before the start of the dry spell.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Agreed.

      Clearly Ferrari should have negotiated a deal with Bernie whereby only red cars are allowed to win.

      Of course they’d still be end up being beaten by the Marussias by the time 2016/17 rolls around, but that’s a whole different story…

    3. Mhilgtx says:

      LDM will be gone way before. 2017.

    4. Andrew M says:

      Sadly I think Ferrari are far more likely to win the title again before McLaren.

  15. Elie says:

    Well maybe if Ferrari tells Monte to quit they can start to go forward. Old regs and unlimited budget / testing won them much under Schumi ( notice how I said “under Schumi”)- those days are long gone and Luca is still there.. He is the common thread that cannot lead.. If he goes Ferrari can truly start afresh.. Until then its always going to be band aid fixes isnt it..even if they luck into success in the next few years

    1. aveli says:

      bullies are no longer attractive in the modern world. better informed people are choosing the best able for important roles so if monte is finding it too difficult a task to get ferrari to win fairly, he should ask the best able person, like brawn ,to take over and show them how to win again rather than trying to bully people into submission.

  16. flesh says:

    I once found myself expounding the love I have for formula 1 to anybody that would listen. on one such occasion I was rudely interrupted with the comment f1 means Ferrari 1st my initial reaction was of confusion so I urged the source of the comment to explain his self. it was like a red rag to a bull for the following half hour or so I was exposed to the most savage diatribe regarding how Ferrari believe they have a god given right to succeed no matter what and any attempt to usurp them from being number one in formula 1 is not only unacceptable but almost unforgiveable for no other reason than their history and the love affair they have with grand prix racing. equally he argued that most of the variables that exist to make f1 what it is first have to be at least condusive to Ferrari having success. I mounted a strong defence that was more idealogical than fact. but given the lack of success at Ferrari and more to the point how they rationalise that lack of success I often think does f1 mean Ferrari has to be first

    1. F1 Badger says:

      Great comment!

    2. PeterF says:

      This is true of most Ferrari fans, but the cool thing about this is that no matter which other team wins, even if you don’t particularly like them, you can always enjoy knowing that their win is sticking in the proverbial Ferrari craw!

  17. Hansb says:

    Well, we can think of sour grapes and for sure LdM has had quite a lot of that in recent years.
    But I just can’t believe these top teams signed the deal with no engine development through the year. Especially this first year of new engines and the lack of testing before the season’s start. Mercedes takes credit where its due, but it robbes us from catching up from Ferrari (apperently to small turbo) and Renault this season….
    The only excitement the races will bring is the fight between both Mercs and the rest of the field.
    Or a failure from the Mercs like Canada…. Can’t they oblige Merc to kill MGU-k at 60% of every race ? :-)

    Nice new web lay-out btw!

    1. aveli says:

      montezemolo should ask the fans if they are happy with the current technology.
      he may also ask if the fans woul like f1 to return to the old style f1 before calling for a crisis meeting. after all the truth is often a lot more powerful than lies.

  18. F1 Badger says:

    Call their bluff, they’d never go. I don’t agree withFerrari getting so much funding. Never have and think its bad for F1!

  19. AlexD says:

    Guys, do you receive eMail notifications when somebody responds to your comment? I do not….:-(

    1. aveli says:

      i haven’t received any since the introduction of the new shop floor. i think james said they were trying to make certain changes to fix that. it should be sorted soon i hope because it is a very important to to get more people talking on the shop floor, who wouldn’t be otherwise.

  20. Andrew S says:

    Great new layout James.
    On topic.. Personally Ferrari can go. I cannot stand the “we are F1″ stance. Go race jn LeMans where you want to. Either put up or shut up. You didn’t whinge during the Schumacher years when you were winning.
    Out of interest are Ferrari still sponsored/linked to Marlboro? (Cancer sticks).

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      I don’t think they are sponsored by Marlboro anymore sadly. The ban on ‘cancer stick’ advertising is what is slowly bludgeoning the sport to death. Causing struggling teams and pay drivers. Tobacco advertising is iconic and synonymous with Formula 1. Consider a scenario where tobacco advertising had been banned in the 70′s; this very website would not exist because Formula 1 would now have likely been dead and buried for several decades.

      I personally have never smoked a single cigarette (or any other tobacco product) in my life and I believe it is unhealthy, yet I loved seeing the cars emblazoned with Tobacco brands, go figure. Tobacco sponsorship produced the best ever car liveries and brought in money for the greatest sport in the world. People have free will to choose to purchase and consume such products, just as they have free will to choose to drink Red Bull or McLaren’s Johnnie Walker.

      1. Ben says:

        I think you need to do a bit more research into advertising and then you will question the ‘free will’ argument. As someone who is a smoker and is not happy about it, I wouldn’t want to see a return of tobacco avertising. I don’t think the ban of tobacco advertising is bludgeoning the sport at all. Being hidden behind a paywall or the promoters not doing any promoting or a massively lopsided distribution of the prize money is doing much more damage.

    2. C63 says:

      The Ferrari website lists Philip Morris as an official team partner – so I guess the answer is yes, Marlboro still sponsor them. I also seem to remember reading (a while back) they had to change the cars livery slightly as they were getting a bit of stick with folk claiming it looked to much like the Marlboro colours.

  21. Victor says:

    I’m surprised to see LdM’s declaration getting so much attention from experienced journalists as James and Joe. How hard is it to noticed that all he wants is people talking about Ferrari? All he want is free promotion from the team – and it’s been working. Like it or not, Ferrari is what it is due this love and hate reactions towards them, they love it.

  22. Mokol says:

    In my mind Ferrari need F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. Would racing an endurance race fit in with the customer profile of a Ferrari driver? I think not .

    1. AuraF1 says:

      To be fair Ferrari does a big trade in its luxury grand tourer designs as well as it’s super and hyper cars. I think they could argue that endurance racing points towards one sector of their customer base. They should probably be in both – it’s not like they lack the funds. And then they could at least try and win something…

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      Why does either side need anything?

      I’ve never understood the reason it’s talked about as need.

  23. aveli says:

    please tell montezemolo that the most efficient team has always won f1 except when ferrari overspent and dominated from 1998 to 2004. engineering has always been about efficiency so why has montezemolo represented himself as an engineering illiterate? unless he’s pretending.

  24. aveli says:

    montezemolo lost when he refused to promote brawn to team principal.

    1. Lohani says:

      I really hope Michael recovers. Whether he’s going to be vegetative, or miraculously recover, and whether he would rather prefer the former if the latter isn’t possible is his own call, or his family’s call. To be honest, I haven’t heard any official report that talks about the extent of the damage he’s incurred. All of them have been speculations from this or that doctor about what can be expected in situations like these. Do we really know he’s going to be vegetative if he recovers?

      A guy who can put a trolly on pole can possibly just function utilizing whatever part of his brain is left working to do basic tasks. There have been cases of people with terrible head injuries miraculously turning into geniuses. I really don’t know how serious is the case. Michael, recover and become a painter, sculptor or a math genius, even if you can’t lift a cup to pour yourself a drink of water.

    2. Neil says:

      Read the article you linked again. I’m not sure it’s good news really. More “no news”. Let’s wait as requested.

  25. Steve C says:

    Never been a fan of Ferrari, grossly overrated, but Luca Montezemolo is right with his comment.

    People watch racing to be entertained,” he said. “No one wants to watch a driver save gas or tires. They want to see them push from here to there. It’s sport, yes, but also a show.”

    Once LH dropped out in Canada then it all fell flat until the last fifteen laps as they were all busy “saving fuel” hardly a race is it ? No wonder Adrian Newey and others are fed up with this eco rubbish. Just the FIA pandering to EU crap again and it means nothing to the rest of the World.

    1. PeterG says:

      But the saving fuel, saving tyres etc.. is nothing new to F1 2014, Its been a factor in F1 since the start.

      At no point in F1′s history have drivers pushed flat out from start to finish, There has always been a need for drivers to hold back to look after the car, manage the tyres or save a bit of fuel.

    2. Jim says:

      Luca di Montezemolo is being disingenuous with his comments. Fuel and tyre saving have always been part of the equation and he should know that better than most. For all the moaning about fuel saving, MB at least are already said to be using less than the permitted 100kg. Teams always try to use as little fuel as possible, to the extent of sometimes underfuelling in the expectation (based on statistics I hope) that there will be a safety car which will reduce fuel usage.

      I can understand Adrian Newey’s frustration, but he comes across to me as similar to Luca di Montezemolo: he has got used to winning, he knows the old rules inside out and it’s too much like hard work dealing with all the changes. I may be being unfair to them, but they’re starting to sound like old men wishing for the Good Old Days when everything was simpler and they were winning. Well, F1 is about high technology and that means changes. If they can’t keep up they’re better off doing something else.

  26. Tone says:

    ‘FERRARI DENIES MONTEZEMOLO THREAT TO QUIT F1′

    A lot of you seem to have missed this headline or failed to comprehend it.

    1. Craig in Manila says:

      Agreed.

    2. Jim says:

      “ALONSO DENIES FERRARI MOVE”
      “MALDONADO CONFIDENT OF A DRIVE FOR 2015″
      “WEBBER AND VETTEL BEST BUDDIES”

      (I may have made one of those up ;-)

      Especially in F1, you have to learn to read beyond the headlines….

  27. peter jones says:

    where have I heard this before Luca? talk about an empty threat, you would lose so much if you were to do that

  28. mike surong says:

    formula one is getting boring these days..the cars are just getting slower and slower..no matter what you give them,they will still be slower.

  29. Cedgy says:

    I’m getting tired of hearing Montezemollo’s wining and general chit chat, Ferrari needs to stop the talking, put their head down, get to work!

  30. Matt W says:

    Another veiled threat from Ferrari about leaving. It will never happen.

    I’d question their status in the sport, I personally don’t think they are anymore the spine of F1 than Man Utd are to the Premier League. Just as if Man Utd quit, the sport would be slightly diminished initially, before people forget and move on as the racing continues to take place. Ferrari don’t exactly figure much this season but fans are hardly walking away.

    Are we forgetting the 20 years or so they went without any notable success and were less than also rans in the early to mid-90s. The golden era of the sport is largely remembered as Senna and Prost at McLaren, with Ferrari as a foot note when Prost left McLaren for them.

    Ferrari have an incredible legacy, but let’s not kid ourselves that they are indespensible.

  31. Pkara says:

    He needs to quit & give the job to Brawn.
    :-)

  32. Erik says:

    I think Fernandez, Sauber, and Geni should all pack up and leave for formula E. F1 has such an 80′s mentality to business – let the big boys get everything, greed is good. Losing touch with reality fast this ‘sport’.

  33. man on wheels says:

    It’s groundhog day! Ferrari threatening to quit F1, once again. Hey, Ferrari: Stop boring me to death with that old opera, will you? Do it already. The world won’t stop turning without Ferrari and Formula-1 can pretty much get along without you as well, it may even be more fair without that certain Italian team that’s getting all the Ecclestone special treatment.
    Hey, Bernie: You shouldn’t stop traveler, don’t be scared – just let go.

  34. Lohani says:

    What I don’t understand is why the FIA haven’t just focused on the fuel. Just make it greener and we can go flatout without tinkering with engines. Make engines that can run from algae. Or, go the Formula E route. Better still, mimick it. Fake sound can be added later. Formula E sounds like toy on battery, which essentially it is. Beyond aggravating those who own, control, distribute and sell fossil fuels, I see no reason why F1 can’t go that way.

    The whole point of developing these engines was to save fuel. It makes more sense (in the long run) to replace the damn fuel, itself.

  35. Dave says:

    Hi James,
    Would Montezemolo seriously be making these silly statements every few weeks if Alonso and Raikkonen were fighting for the title? Surely the problem is not with Formula 1, but a Ferrari team who bearing in mind their special deal with Bernie, have severely underperformed since 2008.

  36. Olivier says:

    Le Mans could be a smart move to develop the technology for their F1 cars.

    And it could be a good team building exercise as well if they make use of all their racing and test drivers.

    Alonso x Pedro de la Rosa x Marc Gené

    Kimi* x Fisichella x Bianchi/Davide Rigon

    *Kimi would actually love this.

  37. jcmt says:

    Off topic but cannot find any where else to point out that the new website is a triumph of design over readability and user friendliness.

  38. kenneth chapman says:

    to those people who dump on LDM just consider this….have you ever been involved in F1 and have you ever risen in your chosen field of endeavour to head a multi billion $ enterprise? sure LDM says some controversial things from time to time but when i consider the comments made in relation to LDM’s daily involvement and business career in F1 i do get a laugh.

    consider all the chatter about reducing costs in F1 and then marry that to the current crop of cars and you will see just how ludicrous it has all become. these PU’s are the most expensive ever created for F1. why inflict these costs on a struggling formula? i have no problem with new technology. what i do find ludicrous is the restrictive nature of the R & R that strangles engineering innovation. people would do well to consider just what adrian newey has said. sure he is only one person but i am pretty sure that most engineer/designers in F1 would agree with him.

    this first year of the new tech should’ve been more open and some of the restrictions never imposed then we could well have seen more innovation as teams tinker with their approaches. in any case this new ‘
    eco’ approach is more suited to LMP/WEC racing than F1. those racers are well in front of the F1 tech when it comes to ‘hybrid’ racing.

    ferrari are in a bind and they need to do something different but with development choked off until the ’15 season they are being suffocated. look at the picture in an overall manner and the look for solutions. LDM is the scapegoat in a lot of people’s eyes. as chairman he has to cop it, that goes with the with task but don’t dump on the guy. he’s doing what he does in the name of ferrari and that can’t be a bad thing.

  39. Craig in Manila says:

    I really don’t understand the hoo-har about this.

    A journalist asked him a question and, in his answer, he said nothing to state (or even infer/imply) that they were threatening to pullout of F1.

    His comments are then somehow linked to a previous interview where he stated that he wasn’t particularly happy about the current rules. No news there. Plenty of people have said that. Doesn’t mean that Ferrari are thinking about pulling out though.

    Journalist/s then put two and two together, come-up with five, and have a nice headline containing the words “Ferrari”, “threat” and “quit” to get their headline-only-reading readers to click and comment.

    Must be a slow news week in-between races.

  40. Sujith Radhakrishnan says:

    What is all the fuss about? Ferrari is struggling yet again, that’s it. There’s nothing in there to make sensational news.

    Next year, James Allison is gonna design a monster of a car and Ferrari will be competitive. Even if they don’t bag the championship, they will still be there or there about’s with a steady way forwards. I am sure. All this rant about the “Ferrari International Assistance” is non-sense.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I think James Allison can obviously direct them to build a stunning car that’s easy on its tyres and has a few clever tricks up its sleeves – but unless the engine department step up it won’t matter. I mean if Newey can’t regularly overcome the Renault deficit then we’re probably looking at another Mercedes year next year (although I expect it will be less of a monster advantage).

  41. janis 1207 says:

    Well, Ferrari playing these political games is nothing new. We should be used to it.
    What is serious, is this hint about one of the teams not even making it to the end of this season. Is it about Caterham? They mentioned it during the Le Mans commentary on Eurosort, and I took notice.

    Now, that would be sad indeed. The Alpine deal with Renault fell through, and now this rumor. All is not well there!

    BTW don’t like the new site layout. Very artsy, but for a regular visitor it’s difficult to make sense of what’s new there. Huge banner with the timer till the next race – is it That important,,, ?

  42. Kieran Donnelly says:

    More political posturing by Ferrari – plus ca change!

    It has been shown that great races can occur under the new rules – we’ve just come off the back of a great Canadian Grand Prix. It cannot however be said how much of this excitement was down to the 2014 rules and how much was down to pure happenstance as there have certainly also been races of drudgery this season.

    Although it is common to hear that even the championship leader in the dominant car of a season in unhappy with something, rumbings and grumblings from drivers seem to me (and I could be corrected on this) to have increased greatly this season regarding tyres, the driving challenge and so on. Motivation to continue in a series dominated by eking out fuel & tyres seems to be increasingly an issue for many of the top drivers. Perhaps we need to be as worried about losing them as about losing Ferrari?

    A breakaway series might not be such a bad thing in the mid- to long-term. Personally I would like to see where some teams would take their view of the sport and how that would evolve. Given the likelihood of a reconcilation after a few years (like Champ/Indy), there could be a best of both worlds formula to come out of such a venture. Would there be hard times for a while? Yes, quite probably but the sport is heading for hard times anyway with financial issues facing some teams, ennui in the ranks of the drivers, a massive imbalance of power and money in the sport and an increasing number of fans feeling like their interest could be better places elsewhere due to the lack of “real racing”. Granted some manufacturers’ participations in F1 are brought about by these rules but history has shown that manufacturers will come and go as suits them.

    No one wants to see an F1 that is constantly flim-flamming with its rules but many are not that interested in hearing engineers tell their drivers over the radio to only push for two laps and then wait til the next stops. That’s not racing – it’s some sort of engineering expeirment made to look like a sport. Everyone here will have their own ideas on what would make things better but few will disagree that F1 needs to have a long, hard think about itself and what it wants to be in the post-Ecclestone era, whenever that comes to be.

  43. Tom Taylor says:

    Could Ferrari sign up for Honda engines?

    1. warley says:

      Only in LDM’s dreams!

  44. Olivier says:

    Somehow related to this article:

    hello James,

    Do you know if Newey will be involved in the Nissan Le Mans project?

    Here’s why I think he will:

    1. He attended the LMP1 race in Silverstone.
    2. Horner did confirm that Newey is going to be involved in projects outside F1.
    3. Nissan and infinity are part of the Renault brand.

    And perhaps the LeMans project could carry over useful insights to F1 Red Bull?

    It does make sense to be involved in related series.

    1. James Allen says:

      According to Horner we will find out what Newey will be working in before the summer break – they will announce it

  45. Chris says:

    To be fair guys, this article states Ferrari haven’t threatened to quit. We all know they will never quit, and even if they are not your favourite team, you can’t deny F1 needs them more than any other team, and Ferrari need F1 more than any other project they’re involved in. Imagine a starting grid without them, it would be horrible.

    Ferrari need to get innovative again, and signing RB would be a good start. James, who does Montezemolo report into? Is it Fiat bosses? Any pressure being applied to him from above?
    .

  46. Adam says:

    Monty is right, we do watch for the entertainment – efficiency should be in the background. However, I do not think he would be complaining if Ferrari were winning. If he wants his drivers to go flat out…great, no one is stopping from them from doing that…he just needs to provide a car that can be driven on the edge efficiently.
    Also, the comments contradict each other – why leave F1 because of its efficiency focus, to race at L Mans,which is all about efficiency and endurance.

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