Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has taken a thinly veiled swipe at out-going FIA counterpart Max Mosley by using his end-of-season address to criticise what he saw as the Briton's desire to homogenise Formula One.
Speaking to journalists at a dinner to mark the end of the 2009 campaign, di Montezemolo did not refer to Mosley by name, but make it plain that he did not agree with his rival's desire to introduce common parts for all F1 cars, even if the proposal was made in the name of cost-cutting.
“A complicated year from a political point of view is coming to an end and we now clearly want to look to the future,” he insisted, “The previous management of the FIA did a great deal of good, especially in such crucial areas as safety, but, in most recent times, there were too many problems which led to serious consideration being given to Ferrari leaving F1 – that was the feeling of our main board – and, along with the other teams in FOTA, there was a move towards establishing a different race series.
"I don't want to go over those old arguments now. It is important that we were able to find common ground in order to renew the Concorde Agreement until 2012, on the basis of redefining the rules that have governed F1 for so long."
The Italian, twice instrumental in returning Ferrari to the top of the F1 tree, even if the 2009 season was something of a disaster for the Scuderia, maintained his belief that the top flight of international motorsport should not veer in a 'spec car' direction, and hoped that Mosley's replacement, former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, would opt for technological innovation over such a strong desire to bring everyone into line.
"In Jean Todt, we have a clever and competent person at the helm, who I am certain will know what to do to maintain constructive dialogue between the Federation, the commercial rights holder and the teams united under the FOTA umbrella," di Montezemolo continued, "Indeed, it is this association - of which, until recently, I was chairman - that played a key role in such a delicate situation, as it brought together all the teams in one organisation, as is the case in football and other professional sports.
"We are going through a transition phase and we have to work very carefully in drawing up this sport's future. F1 must return to being synonymous with cutting edge technology, without an imposed egalitarianism which risks turning it into something like F3. Of course, one has to keep an eye on the costs, but we cannot go from one extreme to the other, as someone wanted to do this year."
And it wasn't only the proposed move to teams having to use common parts that caught di Montezemolo's eye, with the current testing ban also finding little support.
"In the space of three years, we went from being able to test wherever and whenever we liked, to being prevented from running the cars during the season," he reflected, "This resulted, for example, in a youngster like the Spaniard [Jaime] Alguersuari making his race weekend debut without having done even a single day's real testing in an F1 car.