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Montezemolo: "No more dictatorship in F1"
Montezemolo: "No more dictatorship in F1"
Posted By:   |  24 Jun 2009   |  4:18 pm GMT  |  74 comments

Speaking to the Italian media after today’s breakthrough agreement, FOTA and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo took quite a strong line on the man sitting on the opposite side of the negotiating table from him these last few months,

“The satisfaction is that all of our requests have been accepted, ” said Montezemolo. “To us three things were most important; that F1 stay F1 and not become F3, that there is no dictator, but that there was a choice of rules, agreed and not imposed; and that whoever had a team was consulted and had a voice. Mosley has announced that in October he will stand down, with an irrevocable decision, and that from now on he won’t get involved in F1.

“Now finally we have stability of the regulations until 2013. I want to thank all our fans, because the public had had enough of these changes. Let’s hope that next year, with the rules finally stabilised, we will see also a winning Ferrari. Could Mosley change his mind? He can, yes, but we won’t. What has been fundamental is the unity of the teams, of the manufacturers. Ecclestone said that he fed FOTA’s cards to his dogs, Mosley said that he didn’t know what FOTA was, today it seems to me that both of them have something different to say.”

In other words, “Its FOTA, not Schmota”.

Meanwhile Mosley has put his side of the story this afternoon,

“They (the teams) have got the rules they want and the stability, we’ve got the new teams in and we’ve got the cost reduction – that’s very helpful. There is no budget cap because costs will come down to the levels of the early 1990s in two years – it’s a different way of doing the same thing. I always thought there wasn’t much between us; now we’ve agreed there isn’t.

“My departure was planned, agreed, arranged. As far as I’m concerned, the teams were always going to get rid of me in October; well, they still are. All the staff have known for months, but obviously I couldn’t say it publicly because the moment you do you lose all your influence. Now I don’t need influence, it’s a satisfactory situation. I can have a peaceful summer for the first time in three years. Whether the person who succeeds me will be more to their liking remains to be seen…”

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Formula1 is dead,
what a golden chance they lost,
here’s hoping FOTA can stand the cost,
the teams by Max,no longer bossed,
but by Bernie, millions more’ll be grossed
and once again fans, we’ve all been crossed.!
Formula 1 is dead.! ! !


Not sure what the current”latest” blog entry is here, but as I write Grabyrdy has asked who the likeliest blazer is for Mosley’s position and the online mag has made a suggestion on this subject. Worth checking out. On a broader context I again find myself feeling a sense ot sadness that the question of a breakaway series has now been resolved. Analysing this I realise that as much as anything I will miss the drama of the whole mess that has recently been played out, the bickering, the mudslinging, in effect the whole soap opera thing. With the racing itself at Silverstone being likened in the most part to watching paint dry, I sadly have to acknowledge that the pleasure of F1 now is the soap opera – because the actual show on the track is simply a big let down, a high speed parade lap. Which lead to this thought:

The latest round of rule changes were intended to allow the cars to run closer together and promote more passing. Well, it hasn’t happened. I am coming to the conclusion that given the high limits and narrow margins that all F1 cars now have reached, it is never going to happen and it will always be impossible for these cars to pass each other. The cars are too wide. They each are travelling so close to an absolute limit that there is no explorable margin to be capitalised on. There is no sufficiently large discrepancy in performance between the different cars for a driver who is not completely suicidal to try and exploit so inevitably they are destined to simply follow each other around. Qualifying position, in conjunction with the onboard fuel load, becomes all. Strategy over pitstops where virtually all of the passing occurs, is paramount.

This is really not racing. In the glory days of F1 different vehicle designs would have bequethed advantage to different designs and configurations at different parts of the track. So cars could pass each other. Instead of making tracks safer, maybe the direction should be the opposite, run F1 cars at the Isle of Man TT or the old Nurburgring. After all, it is the cars themselves that have become far safer.

I grew up obsessed with F1. in the past visiting Monte Carlo, Brands Hatch, Watkins Glen, Mosport, Mont Tremblant, Indianapolis and Detroit to watch F1 races, Now the powers that be in F1 have cast these last 6 locations aside and there is nowhere I can actually get to, but in any case over the last years I have derived less and less satisfaction from the specacle. What F1 really needs to do is shed a couple of the wheels, to allow the vehicles to run in closer proximity. The attendant loss of mass and gain in inherent instability results in a far more responsive machine which the sufficiently talented will be able to exploit to create passing oportunities. Go watch the last lap at the last MotoGP race at Catalunya.

In short if you want to find real racing, turn to motorcycles. As Michael Schumacher has. As has Jenson Button, when on the 5live buildup to the British GP ( he said that the only racing he watches now is motorcycle racing.

Maybe if the fans abandoned F1 in droves in favour of 2 wheeled competion, there would actually be real change to make the premier 4 wheeled spectacle more interesting. And ticket prices would come down. And F1 would focus on locations where spectators still do actually show up.


I’m curious why Williams want to join FOTA again. Has anyone any idea why FOTA should let them back in again? Surely Williams showed that when the going gets tough, they’re not hanging around so why would FOTA accept them back again. Strange behaviour I reckon.
Personally I think FOTA should tell them to live with their decisions of leaving FOTA and ‘enjoy’!


Am i missing something here?… There were three parties involved in this;

1. The FIA/Max: End result, Max is going

2. The teams/FOTA: End result, they still have to reduce costs

3. Bernie: End result, he hasn’t given away anything – least of all a larger share of revenues to the teams

You’ve got to hand it to Bernie. Pure genius!


After all the shouting and the dust settling, we have the same as what we had before it all blew up.


What a waste of time and money that was…


When people are in power for too long they inevitably forget how they got into power in the first place and the result is leadership by ego. Mrs Thatcher was a good example and Max Mosely is yet another – both will be remembered for the good that they did, but both will be remembered for the awful.

The budget cap has proved to be Max Mosely’s Poll Tax.


I think it’s much more likely that the next president will be someone who is a ‘blazer’ ie someone who is a big wheel in one of the FIA member countries and knows the ropes and the people etc. This isn’t really a job for a figurehead, unless they plan on changing the way the FIA engage with the sport. Todt has been in the system there for some time, has a vice presidential role already etc. The question with him would be whether it is what he wants to do next, unpaid. He and his son Nicolas didn’t have a run at one of the new team slots so I don’t know what he’s thinking


FIA/FOM/FOTA, what about ticket cost reduction? as always, the fans are on the losing end.

Jonathan Legard

It’s FOTA.
They’ve made a deal.
In Paris.
Pushing on.
FOTA chasing down the FIA.
In Paris, Paris France.
Nevermind Bernie, where’s Max.
It’s Max we want to see.
In Paris.
Pushing on.
Down the straight.
Round the corner.
Cost cutting.
Will it work.
Will they stick to their guns.
Only one man can answer.
It’s Allen.
James Allen.
On the web.
The world wide web.
Pushing on.
Round the corner.
Down the straight.


I feel like the kid that wakes up on Christmas Day, excitedly opens his present, only to find that what was inside isn´t what was expected, but something very like another toy that he´s already bored stiff with.

I suspect Ferrari have stuffed everyone yet again, and have further stengthened their position to the disadvantage of all the other teams.

The one possible saving grace is the period commited to, Bernie was looking for much more. This maybe only the end of Round 1.


Winners and losers.

On the face of it FOTA have won the concessions they had been seeking. They get to compete in F-1, reduce costs in a measured way and, above all, they no longer have to deal with Mad Max.

Bernie and CVC have won; there have really been no concessions on their part as all the blame and loss of power (or apparent loss of power) has been borne by the FIA. They get to keep all their money-grabbing ways, get to go to whatever circuits Bernie can screw over and he can continue ditching any circuit, regardless of historical relevance, that he chooses.

Williams, Force India and the 3 new teams have won as they will get to compete with the big boys rather than tool around in what would have been a glorified GP-2.

The FIA has taken a hit, no doubt about that, but one suspects, despite Max’s impending departure, his fingerprints are going to be all over the paperwork of the new, yet to be determined, incoming President. Rule by proxy is not inconceivable.

The fans; should I say, last but not least? Perhaps I should just add the fans position as a footnote. I mean, in the big F-1 picture, do we really matter that much anyway?

Well, for a while there, in those heady few days of impending FOTA breakaway, we actually seemed to matter a lot. FOTA talked to us, sought our views, encouraged us and thanked us for our encouragement. FOTA even offered us the potential, if not the promise, of reduced ticket prices and a return to the traditional circuits that we used to love.

We were going to get a Brave New World Championship, free from the shackles of Bernie, Max and the whole CVC financial debacle.

For those few days, the euphoria was palpable. The internet fairly crackled in glorious anticipation. Yes there were risks, and yes, Bernie was going to give some of the teams grief, but in the end there would have been nothing Bernie, Max or CVC could have thrown at us (and by US, I mean FOTA and its millions of fervent supporters) that would have stopped us succeeding.

Unfortunately last night, we the fans, became the F-1 reconciliation’s Biggest Losers. Yes we get to have F-1 with all the teams (even 3 new ones), but if anyone out there is holding on to some grand illusion that by getting rid of Max, things will fundamentally change; the places we race, the prices we pay and way we view and attend F-1, well I need here now to burst that particular bubble of hope.

One might suggest even that the last week or so was all about FOTA spinning a tale that we, the fans, wanted to hear so Bernie would finally react the way he inevitably did.

Quite sad really.


Mosley out does not solve the FiA’s problem, only that of F1.

The AAA and the ACEA have been highly critical of the voting system and the FiA’s power. They will not be happy with Todt. My bet is that the FiA is concerned that the AAA and then the ACEA will leave the FiA’s governance in all but name, opting for protectionalism, if they get someone like Todt.

My bet is an AAA supported candidate. One who will not be keen to follow Mosley’s prominence.

If the AAA does put someone forward and they are supported by the ACEA and another candidate wins, despite the many millions of members the two organisations represent, I can see the FiA’s international authority being severly curtailed.

The F1 has been almost critically wouded over recent years but so has the FiA and perhaps more so. Mosley’s suggestion that the voting system in the FiA is democratic is rather risable. If those with the power to vote again ignore the majority wishes then I can see serious reprecussions. With GM folding, no manufacturer is safe. The FiA, and the countries it represents, need someone who is going to fight for the interests of the car manufacturers.


i am reasonably happy.
But what i am more interested on.
Ticket prices, classic race tracks back, more performance from the cars.
If they do not fix this, f1 is still down hill.


People seem to be confused. FOTA got exactly what they proposed. They only ever mentioned the breakaway series as a last resort if they did not get what they wanted, which they now have. The FIA have backed down completely.


Todt is a candidate, for sure. Many F1 teams wouldn’t like it, but they don’t have a say.


So the teams are returning to the spending levels of the early nineties.

Does this mean that they are also returning to the funding levels of the early nineties? Will Bernie return the prize money and the track charges to the level of the early nineties? Will tickets return to those levels too?

If the FIA want the sport to return to a decent financial footing, then they surely they have to take a stand on the outrageous costs & charges going on on the FOM side of the fence as well.

Or would even asking these questions get someone’s pit-line pass revoked?


Smoke & Mirrors.


I believe that this statement given by Montezemolo goes to show how important and influential Ferrari are to Formula 1.

I’m not so sure myself regarding this meeting but I think Ferrari had a large influence in the outcome of this agreement.

However, then again, I could probably say the same about Flavio Briatore and Renault.

So much for Max saying F1 can survive without Ferrari.

Thanks James for providing great insight into the politics, race build ups etc. I miss your commentaries and I think the bbc are missing out, especially with the coverage you provide near.


All that remains to be asked now, James, is who is next in line after Mosely? Is there a clear favourite? Personally, I get the feeling that Alan Donnolley or Jean Todt consider standing for election?


I am so behind the news…. this having to work for a living malarkey is ruining my F1 time! Anyway….

A cautious thumbs up from me with a few buts… Hopefully the questions will be answered in the next few days.

Does Ferrari retain the right of veto over the rules and thus becomes/continues to be the golden goose?

Will FOTA’s promise of reasonable prices and taking races back to the fans hold? Along that line, will we be back in the US and Canada? Will a mere 16,000 Turkish fans have to put up with a grandprix as opposed to 130,000 in Silverstone?

What happens to the worthy teams like Prodrive, Epsilon, etc denied an entry for 2010? Should they not be allowed to enter and if there are too many cars for a race grid, we go back to pre-qualifying?

And perhaps a rhetorical question – will we see Ron back at McLaren F1? I do hope so!


Now we can all go racing again and I can see the race in aussie next year.The only shame is that some of those new tracks looked interesting .finally just talking about cars,drivers & racing.


Am one of the many disappointed fans 🙁 Schmota used US FANS to put some pressure on max and Bernie to get what they wanted, once they did [got what they wanted] well 🙁 F…. the fans AGAIN. Am sure it would have been a different story had Ron Dennis been president of Schmota,

What did they fans want?

– More & more power V12 engines back (Alonso too)
– Mixture of traditional and futurist circuits
– Better looking cars
– Stable rules
– Affordable tickets
– U name ’em

So it’s safe to call the future F3

it’s a good thing am already getting used to watching motoGP, I need a therapy


But but…

Bernie now has to understand that you cannot charge race organizers so much to host races.

Of course you can… As long as demand remains high, as it does, with more tracks wanting a race than the season having races, this will continue.

Let’s see, Abu Dhabi is willing to pay twice what Silverstone does, which race do we drop?


So that’s it? An agreement has been reached? No more breakaway series? No more politics?

How boring. What do we talk about until the next grand prix?

Quick!!! Somebody sue someone!!!


I think it would be useful for the FIA to review the ‘overtaking’ aspect for next year.

There is reduced disturbance but is there also less downforce and does that have something to do with it?

Also, as a fan I feel like we’ve taken a hit with these unimpressive looking 2009 cars and the wheel-to-wheel racing has not been different as I see it to last year. I’m not FOR more overtaking mind you, I think it should be difficult but possible, and ALSO that the cars “look fast” which I don’t think they do this year.

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