9 September 2012
Montezemolo: F1 races should be shortened
Luca di Montezemolo: We have to think of something, we cannot stay always the same. We have to be innovative without losing the F1 DNA.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo reckons F1 should look at having shorter races in the future in a bid to appeal to younger fans.
His comments came while in the paddock at the Italian Grand Prix, as the Scuderia gears up for its home race in front of the fanatical tifosi. He also added that in addition to cutting the length of a grand prix, it might be good to have two separate races, rather than one, and to shift the start time to later in the day.
“Looking at young people, the races are too long,” he told reporters. “Maybe I'm wrong but I think that we have to look very, very carefully at what we can do to improve the show.
“I give you one example: one hour and a half [per race on average] for young people, it's a long time. Maybe why don't we do a test and we do two starts? Maybe it is a mistake, but we have to think of something, we cannot stay always the same. We have to be innovative without losing the essential F1 DNA. Maybe it's better to maintain the races as they are, or maybe it's time to change things...”
“I don't think it's good to race in July and August at two o'clock in the afternoon either, when the people are at the sea and on holiday,” he added.
“If you look at a sport like football, they play six o'clock, seven o'clock, eight o'clock etc, etc.”
Meanwhile, Montezemolo also went on to add that in his opinion the decision to switch to V6 engines in 2014 is a mistake, as it will push up costs and could result in the loss of some of the smaller teams.
“We now have to do the six cylinder engine. I'm not against it as such, I'm against the timing [of the change]. I think that at this moment that if we continued with the V8 engine for a couple more years, I don't think it would be a disaster. But anyway, now we have the new engine coming and this means costs and this also means innovation. I'm an engine manufacturer but I need science, so my worry is that if we don't capture the cost with determination, in two or three years there won't be enough teams.”
Asked specifically about costs, he noted that team expenditure on F1 definitely needs reducing, although he doesn't think a budget cap is the correct way to go: “I am the first person to say the priority is less cost. But this does not mean we should all be the same and spend exactly the same amount. I want to have rules that permit us to spend less because I don't think if you have a limit ... how can you control this? In the recent past somebody cheated on this, so I prefer to have clear rules that allow us to spend less. Particularly on things that are not crucial for the spectators or for the competition.
“Tell me why we have to spend a huge amount of cost to spend 24 hours in the wind tunnel to do a small wing flap that for the public is zero, for the television is zero, for me as a road-car manufacturer it is less than zero because we will never use this for the road car.
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