Ferrari lays into Mosley and the new teams adventure
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Ferrari lays into Mosley and the new teams adventure
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Feb 2010   |  6:35 pm GMT  |  151 comments

Ferrari has launched an astonishing attack on Max Mosley, the FIA under his management and the whole new teams adventure, which has changed F1 pretty substantially in the last 12 months.

Picture 5
Last season we got increasingly used to feisty posts on the Ferrari site, which posted a record 300 million page impressions in 2009. Before Monaco there was a stinging put down of the aspirant new teams, implying that if they came in the series would be no better than GP3. Now they have gone a stage further.

The cars and freight will be sent for the first race in Bahrain next week and yet we do not know how many teams will be in the pit lane. Surveying the messy scene around the new teams as the first race looms on the horizon, with USF1 asking to miss races and Campos in disarray, Ferrari has used the mouthpiece of a column on the site called “Horse Whisperer” to share some opinions.

“This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1.

“This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it.”

The two “limping” teams are presumably Lotus and Virgin, who tested last week at Jerez with mixed results. Virgin clearly has a serious hydraulic problem, while Lotus managed to do quite a few laps, but both teams are likely to be two or three seconds off the back of the established teams. To call them “limping” seems quite harsh.

“In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?”

It is political and quite provocative in its message and its timing. Speaking to the team this afternoon, it is something they felt needed to be said now.

Judging from the response in the last week to the plight of USF1 ( 82% of JA on F1 readers – in a sample poll of over 5,000 – saying that USF1 should not be allowed to miss the first four races) the fans are not too happy about the way the situation has unfolded. The feeling I get is that the viewing public does not appear to share with Ferrari a great feeling of loss for the manufacturers in question, but it does agree with Ferrari that the lowering of standards is not in the best interests of F1.

“Of the thirteen teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year’s Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call, turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but at a much reduced pace, ” the column says. Note the use of the word “induced”, which refers partly to the way that five of the teams, including Ferrari, were signed up to the championship last June despite saying that they did not wish to.

“As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal.

“The thirteenth team, US F1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again.

“Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.

“Next, we have the Serbian vultures,” it added, referring to the Stefan GP effort. “Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed.

“Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.”

Ferrari, like McLaren, cannot bear to see the grinning face of Mike Coughlan on the Stefan GP website. Coughlan was the man at the heart of the Spy Scandal two years ago and for Stefan to hire and parade him is surely unacceptable to both teams.

Today’s message takes team communications to an altogether different level. This is satire, political invective and stirring all rolled into one, it’s Private Eye meets F1 and it’s coming from the best known team in the sport.

I’m due to meet up with Mosley tomorrow in London, along with a small number of colleagues, so it will be very interesting to hear his response.

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1

Well I reckon it’s both very funny and excellent gamesmanship. Though it does remind me of a hilarious an old black and white film “School for Scoundrels” where one is taught how to win by fair or foul means, Ian Carmichael, Alistair Sim et al.

They have attacked Mosley directly and given a casual off-handed side swipe at the new teams.

Great stuff, let’s see some retaliation. Bernie will be rubbing his hands a the free publicity!

2

aah … I am enjoying this level of transparancy 🙂 So much better than the “for sure” corporate talk.

It is a little harsh on Lotus & Virgin though. Ferrari should not forget that they produced a dog of a car last year. Despite having unlimited resources and years of expertise in F1. And doesn’t the saying go that one should never awaken Mike, the sleeping bulldog? 😉

However, they are spot on the Serbian vultures, Campos and USF1. The image of Bernie as the little knight in shining armour is just hilarious 😀 thank you Ferrari!

3

I cant believe I’m saying this but for once I agree with Ferrari :O

The field has been so competitive the last two years and I can remember when I use to watch teams well off the pace and a few seconds a drift of the front runners.

Unfortunately we are going to see this all over again and to make it worse the Lotus brand destroyed.

Such a shame and the one team that should be in Formula 1….Prodrive just having to sit and watch 🙁

4

Hmm I have a mixed feeling about this. Ferrari does have a point. We should be watching BMW Toyota with strong financial backing, not getting lap instead of those teams doing a GP2 in f1.

But, there is a strong display of capitalism in it.

They hired the best driver, they paid another champion to stay off the track, they tried to keep 7 times world champion off the track by making him busy with road car development etc..

And NOW they almost sound like bullying to the F1 business start ups.

5

Interesting lexicon used – any clues as to who the author is? Seems more Stephen Fry meets Ian Hislop 😉

I don’t particularly care for Ferrari normally, but I agree with the sentiments expressed here. Well said by them – whoever the scribe is!

6

I don`t like the language Ferrari used but they are mainly right. I still do not understand how coud F1 go in a direction that is opposit to the mainstream automotive trends? Carrying 100 kg extra fuel whereas its all about weight savings in the real world, getting rid of KERS afte huge investments, freezing engine development instead of encouraging developments for less fuel consumption etc etc. Now we have continually changing teams and owners sometimes with money who knows from what sources instead of well established global automotive brands.

7

Funny.

Personally I think Bernie and Max had no choice but to bring the new teams in, with Honda going and I’m sure it known much earlier than we found out that Toyota, BMW and essentially Renault where all on the way out too it would have been a PR and marketing nightmare showing up to the first race with only half the field, or which only two where manufacuters.

Force India, Toro Rosso and Sauber are all only their by good grace too and particuarly Force India and Sauber could go very quickly I think.

So there is no doubt new teams had to be be brought in, Ferrari can’t argue with that I don’t think.

But, it’s the choice of enteries that blows me away. Get a US team in, fine straight commercial reality that you want to tap that market but how could it have turned out so poorly?

Virgin is just marketing without I doubt the soul RBR brings.

And where is ProDrive?

8

I can’t wait to read the ‘horse whisperer’ the day after one of the pay drivers from whatever comes out of USF1 and Campos takes a Ferrari or Mclren off the track as they lap it for the 5th time in 40 laps.

9

It´s the ferrari style!

10

It seems to me that Ferrari are becoming the Grumpy old grandad of F1. Yes I personally am unhappy with the USF1 and Campos situation but the way that Ferrari are going about making their opinions known shows a lack of respect to the F1 fans of the world. We are big enough and ugly enough to make our own minds up about what is happening with F1 teams, by speaking out the way they are it looks like they are getting bitter, twisted and a bit too long in the tooth. Surely the biggest and best answer Ferrari should give is performance on the track.

Ferrari, Actions speak so much more louder than words! Get back to the actions and shut up with the words.

All the best

FandangoF1

11

Do not worry about Ferrari’s performance. There are not so many teams that are showing such determination, love for the sport. You like F1 because of two reasons: either you love Ferrari or you love a team that loves to beat Ferrari.

12

The thing is, I used to adore Ferrari. However, since these “outbursts” I have grown to dislike them possibly even detesting their arrogance. I’m now championing the underdogs untill Ferrari just get on with it and stop running their mouths.

It makes me wonder what Enzo would think, i’ve loved F1 for many a year and don’t remember him belittling new entrants the way the current top brass at Ferrari do. He had more grace, style and substence than the current head honcho’s.

All the best

FandangoF1

13

harsh yes, but very well done…I love their English :). LOL is what I can say. Honestly by the looks of the whole thing I doubt if Virgin nor any of the new guys would race the whole year except for Lotus (As its backed by Malaysian govt), I don’t see anyone there who has the money to sustain for more than 2 yrs. Just my 2 cents, lets wait & watch for the season to end.

14

I can understand Ferrari’s frustrations; even though as a fan I dont agree with them.

Having this kind of press brings down the value of F1; especially as it remains one of the most expensive platforms for advertising available in the world today.

Ferrari want to know that if theyr’re spending this amount of money on F1 that, they get a return on their investment. At the moment; the spiral of bad press in recent years isn’t helping things at all.

15

Best thing ive ever seen come out of Ferrari!

16

I’m surprised at Ferrarri’s constantly running their mouth during this ‘off season’. I thought they had more class than that.

Obviously not.

17

Harsh but fair!

Also harsh on Stefan GP and ProDrive that Campos and USF1 are dying a slow lingering death rather than pulling out now while there would still be time for another team to take their place – as surely once the season starts they can’t just allow a new team to join in.

Hang on … this is the FIA … what am I thinking … of course it could happen!

18

Limping teams, we would do well to remember that even Renault had a torrid entry to f1 with cars belching flames when they stopped and it didn’t take long for them to come good. Most of the great names in f1 had the advantage of running cars in Grand Prix racing built by someone else which is not available to the new teams, even Ferrari as Enzo ran Alfa’s pre-War.

19

I just wanna LOL for this:

… munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal.

and for this too:

… from that very same knight in shining armour …..

I love this kinda propaganda. Very good work Ferrari !

20

“leave the rules for 5 years (even if they are poor) and let teams and privateers have a 5 year programme”

STOP CHANGING THE ****ING RULES EVERY ****ING SEASON. That way, cars can evolve, rather than having to be redesigned every bloody year. And if a team is running low on funds, it can use last year’s car and improve it over the course of the season.

THAT’S how to reduce costs in F1.

21

The entry of the new teams does not appear to have been handled fairly or honestly.

But Ferrari are taking it too far to suggest that teams like Lotus and Virgin are making a mockery of the sport. In 1992, Ferrari themselves were at times 3-4 seconds off the pace in qualifying. It’s only in recent years that the field has been so evenly matched.

10 teams is not enough, and I think Ferrari might find that most F1 fans favour the expanded grid. It’s not easy to start a new team, so let’s give these guys a chance to get a foothold.

22

I agree the limping comment is very distressful. Ferrari remind me of a punch drunk boxers giving it large once last time believing they are the best. Well Ferrari watch out for the knockout blow from Mike “THE BULL DOG” Gascoyne.

If you don’t like the sand pit you can take your toys elsewhere

23

Very funny and very true, could not agree more with Ferrari. Although I think in the long run Virgin and specially Lotus get better as they gain experience, Campos and USF1 will end up not running this year or just dropping out in 2011. An entry should have been given to ProDrive/Aston Martin.

24

While I see the facts from this fiery attack on MM and the new teams, I think they have gone too far and too harsh on some of the more serious new teams.

I guess LDM still feel very sore about loosing MS to Merc. If the selection of new teams would have been tighter, he may have succeeded in getting the 3rd car on the grid and retain MS to race.

I also think Ferrari is talking big now because the test results has somewhat indicated they are in front. I just wish there will some occasions this season the red cars are overtaken by the “limping” ones.

25

Unless this is some form of signalling that Ferrari are using to garner some behind-the-scenes support or positioning, I don’t think these comments will endear Ferrari, or Luca, to many fans.

Max Mosley is many things, but he is not stupid. I wonder whether he ever truly believed that four new teams would make the grid in Bahrain or, as in a negotiation, he asked for four teams knowing that he’d be happy with two?

26

I’m happy that Ferrari spoke out. I, as an F1 fan of 15 years, am disappointed about the lowering of standards and the manner it was forced upon the teams.

James, I (for one) also agree with Ferrari about the loss of BMW, Toyota, and most of Renault.

27

There is elements of the Ferrari comments that are correct, however why do they feel the need to continue to repeat the same tired crap?

Ferrari layed into the new teams hours after they were announced, They laid into them at a time when they all looked in a stronger position than they do now & they are laying into the new teams that have already produced a car & got some testing, something that in my opinion deserves some credit considering the lack of time Lotus in particular have had.

Luca Di Montezemolo has been against the new teams since before they were selected because he wanted teams to run 3rd cars & I think that since that idea was refused he’s just been ranting about that, the new teams & the FIA at every opportunity. I’d say he also blames the FIA on them losing Schumacher because he more than likely would have been in any 3rd car Ferrari ran.

28

The comments put out by Ferrari do nothing but make themselves look bad. I can’t help but wonder what the desired outcome of an article like this would hope to achieve. The language itself is both embarrassing and and offensive to the traditional spirit of the sport. In my humble opinion, you could expect this from an individual from any team in the heat of the moment…but this is coming from the organization itself at their own pace….shame on them. Instead of letting it out on the track, they’ve decided to sling mud from the comfort of their computer desks.

“Holy War”, “vultures”, c’mon…it sounds like a tabloid wrote this, not a top class racing team.

While concept of voicing their opinion on the status of F1 today is warranted, the manner in which they did it is purely unprofessional.

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