Montezemolo: I wanted a Ferrari man, not a mercenary
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Apr 2014   |  8:37 am GMT  |  223 comments

Ferrari president has said that he has complete confidence in new team principal Marco Mattiacci and added that his Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge and he has vowed to spend more time in Formula 1 personally.

“I decided to appoint a young manager in whom I have a great deal of confidence and someone from the Ferrari family, rather than going around the world looking for some mercenary,” Montezemolo said yesterday.

“We are full of talent with quality and capability and and we are full of technical people from whom I now expect an immediate reaction. (Mattiacci’s) appointment, above all, was made in full agreement with (FIAT CEO Sergio) Marchionne.

“I will help him, like I have done in the past I will be closer to F1, I will spend more time there. Let’s look ahead, everyone must do everything they can to return us to competitiveness.”

It is interesting that Montezemolo has said that he will be “more present” in F1, as we have seen with the return of Ron Dennis at McLaren, the big beasts are returning to the jungle, sensing a change in the natural order.

There is a clear sense that F1 is entering a period of change with Bernie Ecclestone’s trial starting next week on bribery charges and – whatever the outcome in Munich – Ecclestone saying that he will step back from full control of the running of the sport to take a more strategic role. Main shareholder CVC wants to retain a stake in the business and grow the commercial revenues significantly and the big beasts want to be involved in what comes next.

Montezemolo and Ferrari have a powerful position in the sport with a veto right and a say in who replaces Ecclestone as Formula 1 CEO. Montezemolo clearly senses that he needs to stay close to the sport in this next period to be able to take advantage of uncertainties and changes in situation.

This is also because he believes wholeheartedly that the sport is on the wrong track in terms of the regulations, as he said in Bahrain, “They are ruining a great sport through the regulations, we will not allow that.” he said. “For us F1 is our life.”

As for Domenicali, the president said, “After 23 years with us, Stefano had the courage to resign, a rare quality in our country. He is paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport.

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On a lighter note, I hope Luca takes a taxi to go to the Shanghai track. Those fellas will make him change his mind about ‘taxi drivers’.


We all gravitate to those tasks at which we are best and most comfortable. For Mattiaci that is going to be schmoozing Ferrari guests in the Paddock Club as that is the extent of his F1 experience and plays to his strengths. Epic fail.


“…that his Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge…” Wrong. Wrong. WRONG! For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the logic of that statement… or was there never one to begin with… It is that sort of thinking that plagued and cost Ferrari championships in the ’80s and early-mid 90s, and it is that sort of thinking that is again plaguing the team today (post-Schumacher/Todt/Brawn). This guy, Matiacci, may be a loyal and die hard Ferrari man, but those traits should have never taken precedence and/or served as a substitute for the actual requirements of the position and job he recently assumed (skills/knowledge/industry experience)!

I understand that Ferrari is rich in history and heritage… but frankly, those are accomplishments of past, made to sound extra-legendary through some rhetoric and romanticism. As Bernie Ecclestone put it, “they think having the name “Ferrari” is enough for them to win… unfortunately, it is not.” Ferrari needs to stop living in the past… and that should start with Luca.


Pride and so called honor for his fellow country men will destroy Ferrari. Feels like the dark ages reminiscence of the renaissance period.

Luca must adapt to the new age of globalization where mercenaries tactic are used.

Alonso wasted so many years, must be real frustrating and verbal diarrhea will follow soon I suspect.

Let’s hope China will produce a good enough race this weekend.


I only liked Ferrari red color. Then started to love more when Schumacher & Alonso were there. But in the future only color will remain.

Regarding Italians vs. mercenary it’s clear. LDM failed to convince right mercenary to head his team. Plan B was to hire ambitious Italian.

Bye Ferrari. BTW Williams got best coloring for this season!

Schnell! schnell!

As much as LDM has the Ferrari man he wanted, I still think what he needed was the mercenary he eschewed.

I’m sure domenicali, whitmarsh and brawn will be very happy to be out of the pressure cooker of f1, at least for a time…..


The way i see it, Ferrari are lacking the brains to produce a competitive car.


Funny that there is an outrage about LdM’s comments. As much as Ferrari’s fortunes are not looking good, the other English team (McLaren) didn’t do exactly too well in the recent years.

Ferrari were the last team to challenge RB’s domination even if they didn’t have the fastest car.

So if he understands the company and his workers well, nationality doesn’t matter. Him being a Ferrari man and an Italian might actually help matters.

We need to give him sometime before judging him based on LdM’s comments.


The ‘mercenaries’ comment has been met with some bemusement by the Ferrai guys on the ground in China too


Bernie, Luca and Max…what do they all have in common other than age?

I always find myself shaking my head with disbelief after reading articles containing their soundbites. I just hope I know when it’s my time to retire


“After 23 years with us, Stefano had the courage to resign, a rare quality in our country.”

So Italians don’t know when to resign? Way to insult your whole nation LDM. (Although that is kind of true, I mean, look at how long you’ve been around Luca) And we all know Stefano decided to jump from the sinking ship before he was pushed; he didn’t have a lot of choice.

“He is paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport.”

Umm…Not everyone can win in Formula One Luca; you got two 4th places this year so far so that’s not a total disaster. Also, I don’t think there’s a “One bad race and you’re out” clause written anywhere in Stefano’s contract.


This mess will only end when LdM has the courage to take responsibility for his appointments, hence the Suderia’s performance, and fall on his sword.
[mod], I doubt he has the integrity of Domenicali. So Ferrari are in for a rough few years!


The amount of pseudo racist comments on italians in the past few blog posts is shocking and I’m surprised that James is letting some of them to be published.

I think that this is the best blog on F1 and generally has really nice insightful discussions, but some of the people in here are medieval.


It’s ok to be honest I think most Italians are not too keen on the English anyway and the same can be said about the English on Italians. Notice I say English not Irish big difference lol.

There has always been a huge bias against Ferrari from English media not from James Allen of course. That’s why I love his site a very objective guy.


“It’s ok to be honest I think most Italians are not too keen on the English anyway and the same can be said about the English on Italians. Notice I say English not Irish big difference lol.”

Wow bring on generalisation and let’s keep this discussion alive with deep intellectual involvement!

I hope you don’t know what ‘dux’ stands for in Italy, and is some kind of coincidence with this discussion, otherwise there is no point to even have a discussion.


The same could be said of Luca and his description of foreiners.


I don’t think that the mercenaries comment implied any nationality. It could be an italian mercenary. He wanted a man from within the company that understands its inner workings and is already devoted to Ferrari instead of a careerist. That’s his call, it has some logic, it might work it might not.

But whatever it is, I’m not defending LDM, but the idea that you should not place nationality to inform any judgement, and some of the comments escalated in cheap derogatory assumptions. And it is so depressing to read.


You assume too much. Assumptions are the product of a narrow train of thought. LDM is a public figure and as such the public are entitled to their views on him. I was commenting on statements that LDM made and I will interpret them as logically as I can and draw my own conclusions. Unlike you, I am not an LDM fanboy. Maybe you should apply for the position of his personal spokeman?


Ferraris are slow these days, I’m buying a Red Bull instead.


James, is the Ferrari ‘veto’ rights really true?

They seem to approve a lot of rule changes they hate.


Certainly on appointment of F1 CEO

The have had a veto right on rules for years but I’d need to double check that it’s still in place

Not something that gets talked about very often


Practically everyone in F1 is a mercenary, so silly words.

Winning is what is important to Ferrari, almost more than anyone else. They represent Italian industry from whom they get their income and the nationality of the main men is a very secondary consideration.

They have made a strange and very questionable choice and Di Montezemolo is quite definitely not the man to start interfering in the running of the team. Brawn is the man if they can get him, otherwise the cupboard looks a bit bare, or is Newey looking for a change ?


But the Italians were famed for their Condottieri (mercenaries)…


I totally agree with LDM good to see that he hired an Italian from within Ferrari. Having no F1 experience may well be his biggest asset.


It’s like replacing your head chef with the guy who runs the marketing dept…so on that basis, would you think having no experience leading a kitchen would be an asset?


Read between the lines a little LDM wants to take a more active and increased role in Scuderia Ferrari. Given this info his appointment makes perfect sense.


Hahahahahahaha – good one dux – hahahahahahaha. No, stop it, my sides are hurting. Hahahahahahaha.

Alan from Toronto

What we are going to see in Ferrari is a repeat of the decline similar to 1992-1994 when the team was really low in terms of level of achievements. 1995 and 1996 were a bit better as they at least won races.

Let’s pray for Alonso and Kimi, wishing that the non-Ferrari driver market next year has room for them to jump ship. I think they are rich enough to buy themselves out of their contracts.


Toronto, Canada


But why would they want to leave? No other team would pay them the amount of money that Ferrari is paying them.


Money alone would not make any top class pilot happy (Notably Alonso). There are certain people who are born to win and only interested in winning nothing else (Alonso)

Let it be Kimi or Alonso or if both have any desire still left in them to WDC they have to move out of this Ferrari team soon and find other options, otherwise as you say if they are happy with fat pay cheque’s then no one will remember their legacy

Money is important, however what drives most of the top class pilots in F1 is a just fast package and quick car


could someone please arrange a holiday to england for this [mod] man + his italian engineers, first stop on the tour should be brixworth where they can learn how to build an engine


“…paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport.” – Luca Montezemolo

says it all, doesn’t?

but what about Luca?

Formula One is a highly specialized culture, with extremely specialized and diverse management demands.

As a management consultant with over 25 years experience, I have a lot of questions concerning, “… Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge …”?

Prima facia: I disagree.

My first pick would have been Boullier, but he’s gone.

I think it is safe to say that a short term fix is not a reasonable approach; so red fans can forget about competitiveness in the 2014 championship.

Until Red Bull sort out their power issues, it will be a one team, two horse race, and then, a two-team race.

Nobody else is close, even taking into consideration the steep development trajectory, for the entire field, as a result of stabilizing the new technologies.


What are your thoughts James?

Should Alonso look for a switch next year to McLaren?

Can Luca’s involvement really be a good thing like Dennis taking more control? I see Dennis’ involvement more effective than Luca’s


Ron said he would have him back, but I wonder if he would want to work with Ron again

Also Honda is an unknown quantity in year one in 2015.


James, does he have another option???


James, I think Fernando has more chance of gargling rusty nails than working with Mr Dennis!


But don’t they already provide engines to other series so surely they can use what they’ve learned. Only issue i see them having is getting up to speed with the two ERS systems but i’m sure Mecca would help with input there (from the Merc engine).


Will he get rid of the mercenary drivers then?


It’s a bit different at Ferrari than any other team… At least, now it’s different. Whereas other teams are only interested in hiring the best possible candidates for any given role to make the strongest, fastest most brilliant team possible; Ferrari are interested in heritage and national pride. I think that’s great, to love your country and love your team and to hire from within. But F1 is a wild, violent beast that consumes the weak and damages the strong -no one stays on top forever, no one escapes the nature of racing. Being that as it is, a game of survival; the strongest and most brilliant cut throat candidate, regardless of race, gender, nationality, previous teams and experience, etc. is what I would look for. But who knows? Maybe Mr. Di Montezemolo has done just that, and the man he hired for team principle just so happened to be at Ferrari already and has been for some time. I say good luck. They’re by no means my favourite team, but they most definitely are the team I like to see my favourite team race and hopefully beat. Cheers to you, Ferrari. Get competitive Ferrari, put on a great show and bring a massive fight to the front of the grid. I’d definitely love to see that. When it comes to championship hopefuls, the more the merrier!


Red bull and McLaren say “thanks Luca.”


Ldm seems to have lost his mental balance and is now making statements bordering on senility….perhaps he should throw out his mercenary drivers and and employ Italians from within the Ferrari family ….even if they cant drive 🙂

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