Luca di Montezemolo has revealed that he will hold talks with FIA President Max Mosley regarding what he calls the 'hypocrisy' of the ban on team orders in Formula 1 – ironically implemented following Ferrari's controversial 'switch' in the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.
In that race Rubens Barrichello slowed dramatically just before the chequered flag to allow title-chasing team-mate Michael Schumacher to take the victory – the Brazilian responding to the demands of his team but at the same time making clear to the watching world his unhappiness with the situation by slowing in such a dramatic manner.
Worse still, as a result of jeers from the crowd who felt they had been cheated of the rightful winner, Schumacher pushed Barrichello onto the top step of the podium and insisted the São Paulista receive the trophy for first place – an embarrassment that saw the Scuderia
fined $1 million and team orders banned from the top flight in an effort to prevent results from henceforth being artificially manipulated.
The controversial topic, however, surfaced once more during the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai earlier this month, when Kimi Raikkonen clearly made way for team-mate Felipe Massa in the closing stages to boost the latter's championship challenge – though seemingly not under any specific instruction from the pit wall.
“We will speak with Mosley,” Ferrari President di Montezemolo urged in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
. “We must remove this hypocrisy.
“The important thing is that you do not harm the others, but for the interests of the team, in a team sport, I think it is a beautiful thing. Just think of cycling, when team-mates get their sprinter to the line.”
The Italian did, however, back the sport's stewards over the equally contentious number of penalties meted out in 2008, with those handed out during the Belgian and Japanese Grands Prix at Fuji – and to McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sébastien Bourdais in particular – generating fierce debate.
“Maybe some of them have been a bit picky,” di Montezemolo acknowledged, “but I agree, otherwise the grands prix would become like the jungle.
“The real problem is with the new circuits that are there just for show. I think Monaco is enough.”
The 61-year-old was equally forthright in his views over the future of F1 across the Pond – or lack of future in 2009, should the Canadian Grand Prix fail to be re-instated onto the calendar.
“It is a problem that must be dealt with seriously by [Bernie] Ecclestone,” he insisted. “Formula 1 is a global sport and we must be in North America.”