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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

This isn’t new, it happens every time


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

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

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

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


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


“Is F1 …loosing perfume?”

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


With Trulli falling off the grid this year, Ferrai have done the honourable thing and developed a car to reflect the characteristics of the last Italian Driver. True Patriotism.

The “Trulli Train” will be renamed the “Alonso Train” decent single lap pace will get them well into Q3, in the race Alonso will hold up everyone behind him until the first round of pitstops. Massa will become very familiar with the back end of a Sauber.


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

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

Adrian Newey Jnr

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


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


No. They’ll take a long view

Liam in Sydney

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Plus, it’s ugly, Monte.


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


I presume the differences in lap times is not the most worrying part. It is the lack of consistency that should frighten the reds.

This year, more than ever the pitsstops will be decisive. Not exactly their strongest feature in the past year and when they have to pit early because of their inconsistency it will drop them back heavily.


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


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


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


good job dude…nice analysis


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

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

There was NONE of that in the article linked.


Fry: “You want answers?”

Monty: “I think I’m entitled.”

Fry: “You want answers??!”

Monty: “I want the truth!”



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

Sikhumbuzo Thomo


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



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

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


“does not abandon itself to self flagellation of the masochistic kind.”

That self flagellation would be redundant, since they are already receiving public flagellation of the sadistic kind from LdM.


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

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


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


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


I dont think the situation is so catastrophic as they all want us to believe. Ferrari are probably not so far away from the Red Bulls and McLarens.

They just want to keep espectations under control. My point of view is that maybe they are just sandbagging a bit. 😉


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


AlexD, you know well, what (or rather WHO), the problem is 🙂

Mister LDM has few more years to wait 🙂


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

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