Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has used the team's Christmas celebration to again rail against Bernie Ecclestone control over F1 and the way the rulebook militates against Ferrari's road car business.
Despite admitting to having regrets about Ferrari's season on track, the flamboyant Italian could also not let the opportunity pass to remark on incidents off it, although he insisted that he had no wish to beat any political drum.
“During the year, there were some things I did not like,” he raged “I saw cars that did not comply with the regulations but, instead of being disqualified, their teams were told to fix it for the next race.
“As for testing, it's getting close to ridiculous. The FIA is not opposed to it, we are not and so what is the reason for [restricting] it. There are teams who have put a lot of funding into simulators, as have we, while, at the same time, we have invested heavily at Mugello, which is now one of the nicest circuits in the world. In the next few days, we will meet Ecclestone and [FIA president Jean] Todt and we will put all these perplexing points on the table. I would remind everyone that test sessions are not just for developing the cars, but are also an opportunity for sponsors and for young drivers. What possible media or commercial interest can there be in testing in a simulator?”
“Above all, I also note with regret that it is no longer possible to have a technology transfer from the track to the road because, in too many areas, development is frozen and because aerodynamics is too important, so that the cars are more and more like spacecraft and less like cars. All this is born of a desire to go for the lowest common denominator, something that needs to stop and is the result of decisions made four years ago, at the time of [former FIA president max] Mosley, when there was an urgent necessity to reduce costs.”
With the next edition of the Concorde Agreement still in limbo, despite needing to take effect from the end of the year, and a new set of rules coming in for 2014, di Montezemolo believes that the time to act is now.
“We need to start a new phase, [and] we will see which means of governance F1 will adopt, but we will put forward our ideas very forcefully,” he stressed, “For our part, a choice which I wanted to emphasise to give the greatest possible emphasis with the board of directors, is that we will do all in our power to push for a strong change, to bring F1 back to its role as a real test bed for road car research.
“We will no longer accept this principal of absolute democracy. The gap between the small teams and the big ones is still very big, but you can't always do everything at the lowest level. If they don't have the resources or the structure, then they should compete in a lower series. On this subject, I will put back on the table the idea of selling a third car to the smaller teams, a solution that would allow them to have a competitive car at relatively low cost, which would allow them to attract more sponsors.”
Inevitably, di Montezemolo could not resist picking up the thread of his opposition to Ecclestone's control over the sport, particularly in light of the Briton's comments on Ferrari seeking clarification of incidents in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.