In the world championship's 60th year, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has renewed his attack on the F1 2010 newcomers – arguing that some of the top flight's current participants should rather 'be racing in GP2' – and admitted that 'at times', he misses Michael Schumacher.
Ferrari was one of the most vocal and vociferous opponents to the advent of Lotus, Virgin and Hispania (HRT) onto the grand prix grid this year, releasing a vitriol-peppered pre-season statement ridiculing their efforts and lambasting their varying states of unreadiness for the campaign ahead.
Having blasted several months ago that the 2010 entry list was more akin to GP3 than F1, it seems time and the trio's respective performances to-date have not mellowed di Montezemolo's stance, with the Italian remaining adamant that allowing the manufacturer-backed teams to run third cars would be the right way to go
“In the 60th year of Formula 1, Ferrari is celebrating its 800th grand prix,” he told Tuttosport
. “Let me say with pride that no-one will be able to match this record. For us, it is a source of great satisfaction and pride because it represents that Ferrari has been here even in difficult times, while other teams have come and gone. I repeat that Formula 1 without Ferrari is not Formula 1, and this year there are many teams that should be racing in GP2.”
In a separate interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
, meanwhile, di Montezemolo confessed that he does still miss Schumacher, the seven-time F1 World Champion who broke off his 14-year relationship with Ferrari in order to pursue his dream of a return to active competition with Mercedes Grand Prix this year.
In evidence of that, the 62-year-old revealed that he had needed to fight the urge to ask the most successful driver in the sport's history to play in the upcoming Partita Del Cuore charity football match at Modena, which will feature current Ferrari pairing Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and the Scuderia's
tester Giancarlo Fisichella.
“We had beautiful years together and I gave him back his desire to race,” di Montezemolo reflected, alluding to the 41-year-old's near-comeback with the Prancing Horse in-place of the injured Felipe Massa last summer. “At times I miss Schumacher; he gave so much to Ferrari, but he also received a lot. A few days ago I was tempted to call him to ask him to play for us [at football], but as the team carries the Ferrari name, I avoided it.”