Montezemolo celebrates 20 years as Ferrari boss with a wish for 2012
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Dec 2011   |  10:47 pm GMT  |  90 comments

Luca Montezemolo celebrated 20 years as the president of Ferrari with a Christmas lunch this weekend for the F1 team’s employees, sponsors and drivers.

Montezemolo began the year by saying that Ferrari had to win this season, but that didn’t work out and the team was third best after Red Bull and McLaren. He did not dwell on this too much in his speech to the staff, instead focussing on the future and asserting his confidence in the technical team under team principal Stefano Domenicali.

Ferrari ends 2011 in a place where it has been before, somewhat isolated as it now stands outside of the teams’ association. This gives it flexibility in the coming year, which will be a complex and difficult one, with negotiations over the share of the commercial spoils from F1 in the new Concorde Agreement. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, an old adversary of Montezemolo, will want to pick the Scuderia off with a large golden hello payment. But will Ferrari take it this time, or will they move back closer to the other teams?

Ferrari, as the sport’s oldest team, has special rights and a larger share of the revenues, but how far will Montezemolo want to push it? Will he judge that the best thing is to come back into the teams’ association or evolve a FOTA 2 with different objectives?

“My life is here and, after my family, this company is the most important thing to me.” he said in his speech. “There are people I want to thank for the help they have given me over all these years. Some are here with us today, such as Piero Ferrari, Amadeo Felisa and Mario Mairano. Others are no longer with us, such as the “Avvocato” Agnelli: I owe him so much, both on a personal level and professionally and, seeing some of these images again, I can’t help but think of how close he was to Ferrari through the many difficult years. Others still have chosen to move on, such as Jean Todt: I cannot forget the great job he did with us and with Michael Schumacher, who won like no one else has ever done in the history of Ferrari and with whom we went through many dramatic and amazing moments.”

“I want to be optimistic, because I can see the concentration and the attention to detail which characterises the efforts being made by Domenicali and his people, by Fry, Marmorini, Lanzone and Tombazis,” said Montezemolo. “Work is going on in all areas to improve: from the design of the new car, to the simulation work, from preparing for the pit stops, to the starts and so on. We cannot be happy with the way this year went and there is a great desire to redeem ourselves, because results don’t come on their own, they are not delivered by a stork: it will take hard work from every one of you, it will come from the ability to be perfect, to start from pole position and that ability is the strength of this company. Behind amazing products there are amazing men and women.

“All the ingredients are in place to start winning again,” he continued. “Great things are also expected from our drivers for next season. Felipe knows next year is very important for him, but it is up to us to give him a competitive car. If we manage it, then I am sure we will rediscover the Felipe who delivered so much and who could be quicker than Michael and Kimi. Fernando has had an amazing season, even though he did not have a competitive car and he made us all happy at Silverstone, with an emblematic victory, given it came at the same circuit and in the same month in which, sixty years ago, Ferrari took its first ever Formula 1 win. What I like about our drivers is their ability to work with the team: I knew that about Felipe and it was a pleasant surprise to find out the same applied to Fernando. I don’t like drivers who turn up at the track with their briefcase and do not share in the daily life of the team: they are not Ferrari people.”

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Even with Luca Di Montezemolo still having an overview at Ferrari i feel that there going back to there old ways from the mid 80’s to early 90’s. They have great staff there as they did back then but it just isn’t coming together in my view they have a fantastic driver in Alonso but i only see getting a few wins here and there as they did in the mid 80’s early 90’s .


ENTITLEMENT … This is Our Championship – Italia Uber Alles! Their sense of always being the deserving winners is a slight on their apparently better opposition. It is disrespectful to McLaren and Red Bull.

But history will allocate them the points they deserve and one suspects it will be less than the other two. Bluster.


I still totally disagree with Ferrari getting special treatment in terms special rights and extra payments. I say that as a Ferrari fan, the teams should get an equal cut except in terms of the prize money for final positions.


Wasn’t it Ron Dennis who once said “Ferrari are pretty good when it somes to winning next year’s title”?

The top three teams have every right to say things like “next year we have to win, etc”, their sponsors would expect no less.


That photo looks like it was taken at a ferrari nativity play, except for one thing: there are no wise men.


Good spot 🙂


I had the photo of 2010 Ferrari party as my wall-paper for months. Try to digest this one if you can. Yes, a Cheese color mouse, a blue “fox”.

You can clearly see Alonso thinking: I could have had the championship, instead I got this suit. Thanks Luca!

Sorry to post so much today James – just a slow day and all my shopping is long done!


How did I miss that Sauber also has dropped out of FOTA?

Going to be some interesting negotiating for the next Agreement!


“I don’t like drivers who turn up at the track with their briefcase and do not share in the daily life of the team: they are not Ferrari people.”

This feels pointed at Kimi.


Why is everyone picking at Kimi?

I’ve never seen Kimi with a briefcase. He probably thinks its a German name for a piece of women’s under clothing.

Did it ever occur to anyone that Luca may be talking about some engineers or tacticians? You know, people who own briefcases and have various paper and laptop crap to carry in them?

People who contributed to the 2010 Championship effort success.


He was talking about drivers, so it seems to be in reference to Kimi. Have to laugh a bit about the “pleasant surprise” comment re. Alonso, he’s been a royal pain everywhere else.

Alonso learned from his mistakes, and Kimi I think will also be different now, more talkative and closer to the team.

Running out of options does tend to motivate a person… and these guys are still fairly young, it’s not like a personality is set in stone at 25, they have changed since then and we’ll end up with a Kimi and Alonso both friendly and close to their teams.


lack of testing has destroyed this sport.

In the years when there was a dominant car with a clear performance advantage, testing would allow another high ranking team to catch up.

Now if a car is good out of the box, other teams don’t stand a chance.

I understand you could say ‘well that gives the best car even more chance to develop’, but in the past that hasn’t really held true, if you look at the fights between mclaren, ferrari, renault, over the decade. We now have 4 teams with similar levels of money to invest, yet 1 team due to a star designer is getting a jump on everyone else. This year it was the blown diffuser, which took everyone ages to copy properly.

why not have unlimited testing, and to save cost, stop changing the rules every year?


James, I’d guess you’re too busy to answer this but I’ve always wanted to know the details of what special favours have been granted to Ferrari in recent years… It has always annoyed me that they get special privileges and money that other teams don’t get. Or is it all clouded in secrecy? Could anyone else place some light on this? In full detail, not just rumours please!


You can see post #17 for one example … 🙂


Yeah that illustrates just what I mean – says nothing specific, just more vagueness. Doesn’t anyone know anything more specific?


What’s wrong with special favours? If you are someone that has run in the championship since its inception, and are part of the underlying reason why everyone is making so much money, then why not? Although I should also say I would expand these favours out to teams like Williams and McLaren too.


Love the photo.

Stefano Domenicali looks happy to be there 😉


FOTA 2?!

The Return?

This time it’s personal!

Brought to you by every action movie from the 80s.

On to another point. If we were at a pub on December 21st, 2009 and I would tell you…I bet you Alonso won’t win a Championship in his first two years at Ferrari – you probably would have taken that bet before you put beer to your lips. Talk is cheap. Don’t bet against a third year without a championship for Ferrari. In fact, odds are likely saying they won’t win it in 2012. It’s not like it’s theirs to loose. There are many capable teams and drivers standing in the way. How happy will Alonso be at Ferrari November 26th, 2012 when it’s 3 years without the championship and he’s now driving against the triple champion Vettel?


Thing is… Without the two on this picture, Ferrari would be a much better (winning) team.


Has anyone ever read the following article (3 parts, links to following parts at the end of the article). Came across it quite a while back and thought i’d share after noticing it in my bookmarks:

Its very interesting and kinda sad in a way too. And the thought that Kimi and Michael COULD have been teammates. WOULD have been a mega partnership and many more titles in the bag.

James, off topic here but I’m keen to know more about the challenges Kimi will face with the tyres. He liked the Michelins, but not so fond of the Bridgestones. How do the Pirellis compare with both? Would really appreciate some info on this.

Thanks 🙂


Well he won a world title on Bridgestones, so…

I’m always of the view that the cream rises to the top, regardless of what tyre they are on. Alonso and Raikkonen both had to learn Bridgestones in 2007 and got there after a few months. Kimi is at a disadvantage at the start of 2012 as the others all have a year’s experience on Pirellis but he’ll get there.


True. But it wasnt all plain sailing and the fact that Ferrari had tyre heating issues didnt really help. I wonder why this has hurt them so much in recent seasons? Not as much mechanical grip? I believe last year they were the only team from the top three using push-rod suspension, Mclaren and RBR running pull-rods. I wonder if that will change for 2012. I expect them to come back really strong. If the rumours were true about them bodging up wind tunnel figures, as well as not being able to take full advantage of the EBD and still able to produce a car not far off the pace….. I can imagine it all going very well for them if they get all the pieces together.

Going back to Kimi and the ’07 season, I agree, the cream always rises to the top. Hes known to adapt well and showed that in the 2nd half of that season. Hes very talented, naturally and I expect him to be on the pace next season.

One a side note, I’d love to see a return of refuelling to the sport. It’d vary the strategy and performance of the cars pending on fuel load. Its one thing I dearly miss! Especially those occasions where one driver, who is behind his opponent before the pit stops, has a few laps in hand and REALLY guns it in an attempt to make the jump. Epic stuff. Can we start a petition James? 😀


Haven’t we heard this same blah blah blah from signore Montezemolo for the past few years? All…[mod] but no …[mod] as they say. I can remember after the first or second race, Flavio Briatore told Ferrari to stuff the 2011 car and concentrate on the 2012 car. Montezemolo should have listened to him at that time.

If Ferrari wants to win, they need to be more innovative instead of stealing ideas from other teams. No wonder both Ferrari’s looked like Red Bulls later this year.

Montezemolo should know that the Silverstone win this year was a fluky one. I am sure they used their ‘special rights’ to coerce the FIA so that they can take that win. I sincerely hope, they won’t use their ‘special rights’ to win the championship next year.


There is no bigger pain than watching how the Top drive (Alonso) is driving everything out of the car and overtaking much faster car only to fade away in the dying part of the race due to the harder tyre performance…..sometimes a full second slower than other cars.


Ferrari have Alonso so they already have a driver who can deliver even if the car isnt quite there yet. If there was any driver id want in my corner it would be him.

Its going to be interesting to see Ferrari over the next few years with a potential change in driver with Massa leaving (unless he delivers a brilliant season next year)and the continued fight with Red Bull and McLaren.

Can Alonso lead the next wave of Ferrari domination or will Red Bull and Vettel be too tough to beat or will we see Mercedes finally step up and joing the big three.

F1 2012 cant start quick enough…


It is dangerous to underestimate Ferrari. Aldo Costa was too conservative in his designs. He is gone and I believe Ferrari will be contenders in 2012.


Kimi owns a briefcase??


I have been trying to figure out why LdM pushed Kimi out for 2 years now, other than Santander money. LdM is now down to criticizing Kimi for something as petty as a briefcase…? Michael doesn’t have a briefcase…? I have had an epiphany & I believe that I finally have the answer! Drum-roll please…. 🙂 LdM is jealous of Kimi’s hair. Think about it.


…Michael doesn’t have a briefcase…? 🙂


Packed with dry ice and ice-cream cones. Why not?


You forgot inflatable dolphins and Coca-Cola.

Joking aside, I’m very glad Kimi is back!


Yes, Kimi owns a briefacse full of Ferrari $ & is now back racing. He is also Ferrai’s last World Champion. So someone is bitter, no?

Yes, welcome back Mr Raikkonen!


Although I am a Ferrari fan for the last 20 years, I can not be optimistic for 2012. Some of the key ingredients of past success are missing mainly the use of their own track (unlimited testing at a low cost) and their special partner relationship with Bridgestone (data inflow from tyre manufacturer). Having said that there are other ways of winning as demonstrated by Red Bull. Can they do it? Perhaps but it seems that there is less talent back at the factory than it used to be or less leadership of the same people than it used to be. March is close enough we will learn soon

I noticed a few readers writing about the last sentence and a possible link with Kimi. I am an expat leaving in Italy and LdM comment seems very familiar to me. Italians need this sense of belonging and being part of something bigger in order to feel motivated. They have difficulty in standing out on their own and showing their capabilities. So for them they need to have people on board that are part of the team in every sense and sharing everything. From the outside this seems to be a good thing but in my experience it leads to endless meetings to share everything, align every single person which causes loss of productivity.

Thus although it could be true that this was aimed at Kimi, I would not give this last sentence too much attention


“sharing everything” like Stepney did with his buddy Coughlan



James, whats your take on Ferrari leaving FOTA?

Clearly they left for a reason. Do you think they’ll have more bargaining power now that theyve broken away from other teams, or is it the first chess move in order to get an even better deal for Ferrari?


I think they did it so they can rip up the RRA and finally win. I’m sure IF (it’s the biggest if I could make) they win we’ll hear plenty about what budget they did it on.


It’s Red Bull who were suspected of breaking the RRA, not Ferrari. The scuderia want testing back, and so they should, being the only team who invested in circuits specifically for this.


If they did, the photographers/press on watch at Fiorano test track would pick up on that immediately, and Ferrari would be in trouble.

There’s alot of clued up people with camera’s out there.


I didn’t say that. I implied that since RBR may have, Ferrari wouldn’t take it being at a disadvantage that’s why they left FOTA and RRA.

And are you honestly telling me that they can’t strap a wing concept prototype to a 2009 Ferrari F1 car and give it a go in the factory back yard?


I don’t think just because they are not part of FOTA they can go and spend what they want. The RRA is a bounding agreement.


And who will enforce that RRA in Ferrari’s house? The Sicilians? Whitmarsh?

Who’s been enforcing it at RBR?

This is not a binding agreement with the FIA enforcing it. It’s some softly worded agreement which is appears is being disregarded by some at will. Ferrari probably said, OK, we’ll disregard it as well.

Let me go on record again that I don’t care for the RRA. I think it’s a half hearted effort. Either put a hard cap on teams and enforce with point panalties or let them spend what they want. Personally, I always said let them spend what they want. F1’s main purpose today is to be a marketing tool anyway. Let them spend on the marketing effort what they want to spend. What difference does it make to you or me? As long as the CEOs are drinking the koolaid and have crazy budgets would you rather they pump it into? Gives you Wings 30 second TV spots or into making the RBR 0.8s faster per lap than anyone else? Since I like F1, I say pump it all into magical things that give you a slight sdvantage over 2 GPs!


I did a post on it when it happened


James, what is your take on the SanFrancisco company ‘investment’ in Formula 1? (buying out CVC to be more precise).

Will it happen? Will it be good if it does? Do you think it will give a reason storng enough to reunite FOTA? Concord agreement styfeling?



Do you know how much money they are making at the moment approx?

CVC also own ch9 here in Australia which isn’t going so well and maybe they need the money faster?


There are a lot of different scenarios, only a few months ago BE was talking about partial flotation in Singapore or Hong Kong. Does CVC want to sell? That’s the first question. My guess is yes at the right price, but F1 is making them a lot of money at the moment.


He said the same thing last year and it didn’t work out, maybe he forgot to tap his ruby slippers or something.


It will be interesting to see how they develop their flappy wing. They’ve obviously discovered the RedBull secret. Hopefully one day we will all find out what it is. My guess is that there is some kind of highly viscous fluid injected into micro-hollows in the wing support structure – but I’m rather prone to whacky ideas with no technical base or supporting evidence. 😛


Wings get broken often enough so anything inside (a) would leak out onto the track and be visible (b) would be available ‘to the public’ from the marshals who pick up the bits!


That’s how the pics appered on the RBR forum.


There were pictures of the rose jointed internals on the RBR website back in 2010 for about 15 minuites, stupidly I didn’t copy them to my PC before they were deleted!


Best you didn’t. We don’t need another spygate.

I heard that Vettel’s car has a Flux Capacitor – gives him a “time boost” after he passes 88 MPH.


Maybe magnetism? Run an electric current through the internals to change the alignment of particles to switch from lateral strength to pass the tests to longitudinal strength to make it droop at the edges. Just a thought.


it will be interesting to see whether Ferrari can reclaim their number 1 status; Schumacher, Todt, Brawn… are long gone, and it seems merely throwing money at problems is not the answer when you do not have the right people in place; I wonder whether many fans on here are too kind to Alonso; he seems to be making the most out of the current car, but is he REALLY driving the team in the right direction and developing the car in the same way Schumi did ?

it’s also not clear how long Montezemolo will stay in charge at Ferrari; he has hinted himself that he might get involved in politics to help sort out the post-Berlusconi-mess; and if Ferrari fail to deliver in the next one or two years, that may indeed become rather tempting

there are some rumours linking Sutil with Ferrari; probably less likely to happen this season, but the one afterwards, not least since Kubica is still way off a proper come-back

have you heard anything about that, allen ?


Well, Shummi had one advantage in comparison to Fernando, he could test during the season. Anyway, next year Fernando will start his third season in Ferrari, Michael needed 5 years in Ferrari to win a WDC with them.


Kimi won in his first year, in a car MS could not win in 2005 & 2006.


Strangely, I’m happy that Ferarri departed from FOTA. I’ve never trusted them in negotiations with Bernie, nor trusted whether they can be bought off over *anything*.

At least seen from outside FOTA we know that they will be acting selfishly without the nagging doubt.

I do always find their statements beguiling though – but is this just a problem with translation? Was the last word a dig at Kimi?

And while the Silverstone victory may have been emblamatic, it only came about because of some fundamental rule fiddling. It denied the British audience a GP that could be considered properly within the 2011 season… and frankly I’d be embarrased, as Ferarri, to claim it with anything other than a cough and an apology.


At least seen from outside FOTA we know that they will be acting selfishly without the nagging doubt.

That’s so funny, whatever name the “teams” (garagista) have called themselves they have always failed to pull their collective weight.Like it or not throughout the world Ferrari is THE show, doubt that at your peril (in a commercial sense).


Whoa 20 years that Montezemolo has been the top dog at the Prancing Horse, that’s some run he got there & congratulations to him but it’s quite interesting that in all his reign, it was thanks to the Schumi years that he has something to write home about.

It’s really amazing how Ferrari are placing all their eggs in the 2012 season & hyping it like never before, one can’t help but worry for the likes of Domencalli for if he fails to deliver (which he shall) then heads are surely going to roll.

Not only is Ferrari lacking talent in the drawing board but their number 2 driver is lost at sea too (did Montezemolo miss Hungary 2009?) and to make matters worse, Ferrari no longer has a tyre manufacturer that can solely cater to it’s needs like Bridgestone used to.

And get this, with the Pirellis being Italian, am reckon those Red Cars are going to get jinked with one problem or the other for more seasons to come till a certain Vettel enrolls to sort them out just like Father did.

So yes, lots of Ferrari employees didn’t realize over the weekend the fact that their Christmas lunch was infact their last supper.

Food for thought:

1. In it’s entire history (60 years), Ferrari has only won the WDC twice under Italian team principles i.e. Enzo Ferrari + some bloke in the 70s

2. Alain Prost (aka Fernardo Alonso) never and I mean NEVER won a single WDC with the Red Team

3. No Italian driver has ever won an F1 WDC driving for Ferrari. Yes Ascari won the 1952-1953 titles but under F2 regulations

4. Aryton Senna never drove for Ferrari = No Hamilton in the Red suits EVER!


What an odd post.


Hamilton = = Ayrton Senna? ROFL!


not sure if you just post this stuff to get a reaction or you actually believe the stuff, what you write…?

Having some random F1 facts means nothing in regards to future performances of people/teams/cars.

This time last year you could have been ranting that a RBR car has never sat on pole more than 10 times in a season – and now look….

As the saying goes, if you’ve nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all! 😛


Well said.


Love your post, can you add something about kimi?


Probably not too busy ranting 🙂


I’m not sure of the relevance of these points?

Prost was pretty close to the title in 1990, and of course didn’t see the 1991 season out. It took Schumacher 5 years to clinch his first title for the team.

Senna never drove for Ferrari, but what’s the correlation to Hamilton. Yellow helmet? Mansell drove for McLaren so stranger things have happened…


But Schumi had to come into a team which hadn’t won a title for 16 years and turned it around in 5 years. That’s a lot of work and determination shown from Schumi and his team.


Alain Prost was one shove from Senna away from winning the WDC for Ferrari.

Prost is a very different person to Alonso. Both may be able to work the team to their advantage and both are very quick, but one is very much emotionally connected with the team while the other never really cared for the Ferrari antics.

Senna planned to finish his career at Ferrari, but died driving a Williams.

No 3 is pointless… It has never happened, sure, but it means nothing, and you could argue quite easily that it has, given that he won the championship those years.


“I don’t like drivers who turn up at the track with their briefcase and do not share in the daily life of the team: they are not Ferrari people.”

I wonder if this last sentence is aimed at Kimi.


Would like to know myself who is this driver who turned up with his briefcase to drive a ferrari?


Kimi. He was the only one that needed a briefcase to fit in the amount of money they were paying him.

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