F1 »

Montezemolo: Ferrari doesn't care what rivals have to say

Ferrari doesn't care' what its rivals have to say about the way it goes racing, claims president Luca di Montezemolo.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said that he 'does not care' what others in F1 may have to say about the tactics employed by the Scuderia, insisting that at least his team is open in its decisions.

Hinting that rival teams may not be quite so transparent in their activities, particularly when it comes to favouring one driver over another, the Italian admitted that he was breaking one of his cardinal rules by speaking out, but felt that it was time to respond to barbed comments from elsewhere in the paddock.

While no-one has been left in any doubt that Fernando Alonso is Ferrari's number one priority, matters came to a head when the Spaniard was gifted a more beneficial position on the USGP grid by the team's decision to break the seal on team-mate Felipe Massa's gearbox, thereby incurring a five-place penalty for the Brazilian. The ploy, within the regulations but questioned on sporting grounds by rivals, succeeded in its mission by allowing Alonso to make a better start and go on to secure third place in the race, thereby taking the title fight to the final round in Brazil.

Even after the Interlagos finale, Ferrari's motives were called into question as it decided to pursue clarification of an alleged illegal overtaking move by Alonso's sole rival, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, that allowed the German to claim the points he needed to take a third straight championship. The move, on Toro Rosso midfielder Jean-Eric Vergne, was subsequently shown to be legal, but di Montezemolo insists that there was no wrongdoing in asking the FIA to clear the matter officially.

“[Not talking about the other teams] was one of the things I learned from Enzo Ferrari," the Italian revealed, "In Brazil, we only asked for clarification, and accepted the response of the FIA, but that's not able to be clean and honest.”

On the subject of favouring Alonso, di Montezemolo insists that the decision has never been a secret.

"Since I returned to Ferrari in 1991, I have always said that the drivers did not run for themselves, but for Ferrari,” he pointed out, “Where one can win, the other must help. Whoever does not like it, I do not care. Others are critical, but they do the same, albeit though less transparent means.

"In Austin, we interpreted the sporting rules to the limit, as others do, but we did it openly. We could have lied, but still they disliked our explanation and called it 'dirty tricks'.”

Although Ferrari's reputation for employing clear number one and number two drivers has been sullied in the past by the way in which it favoured Michael Schumacher over his team-mates, di Montezemolo maintains that it is the most sensible way to go racing if success is to be achieved, although he insists that there are some boundaries that the team would not cross.

"We have done it before, and we will do it again, but never in the first three races or first half of the year,” he noted.

Backing his president, team principal Stefano Domenicali singled out Ferrari's biggest rival when questioning discrete favouritism in other areas of the grid.

"Why does Mark Webber have so many problems with his car?” he asked of Red Bull's 'other' driver, “Because the newest parts are reserved for the driver having better results? This is normal to us, so it seems logical that we never say anything about it. We do not speak of the other teams, but they still like to talk about us.

"In Austin, we did the only thing possible. What was not fair is that condition of the track meant that Alonso, who qualified on the 'dirty' side, would lose 25 metres [at the start]. We had to do everything possible within the rules."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.11.2012- Qualifying, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
18.11.2012 - Race, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8 is retiring from the race
18.11.2012 - Race, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8 is retiring from the race
18.11.2012 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Jean Todt (FRA) Fia President
18.11.2012 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
18.11.2012 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
08.09.2012- Luca Cordero di Montezemolo (ITA), President Scuderia Ferrari  and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
03.09.2015 - Autograph session, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - James Allison (GBR) Ferrari Chassis Technical Director
03.09.2015 - Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
03.09.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
03.09.2015 - Autograph session, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
03.09.2015 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
03.09.2015 - (L-R) Ivan Capelli (ITA) ACI Milano, President and Modesto Menabue, Scuderia Ferrari, Engine Specialist
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T with fans

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Moi - Unregistered

December 27, 2012 1:12 PM

I'm not usually keen on Ferrari's stance with definite #1 and #2 drivers but can't fault Montes words there. re the Austin seal breaking: while it wasn't exactly sporting nor is qualifying 9th which was ok given it was the clean side of the track, Grosjean's penalty meant he moved upto 8th the dirty side. Ordinary moving up a place would be good but in theory given the track it was most likely going to be worse than starting 9th and possibly even 11th. Surely its about time FIA did something between qualifying and race to ensure the full width of the track is always fully sweeped and clean even if that means cleaning rubber off the racing line to ensure better racing where all lines can be taken without picking marbles and other crap?

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.