Luca di Montezemolo has made it clear that he’s still unhappy with the outcome of the Mercedes ‘tiregate’ saga – and has taken digs at both the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.
Montezemolo was speaking in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera, later republished on Ferrari’s own website. While enthusing about the change in the balance between aero and powertrains in 2014 he also welcomed the return of testing.
“We will finally have testing again and not a farce like what we saw this year with one team doing illegal testing, without even paying the right penalty for it,” he said. “In this case, I would have expected more clarity and courage from the FIA.
“On the other hand, the benefits gained by the team that carried out the secret banned testing are watched by everyone. Before then, it had not won a single Grand Prix, then after the test it won three out of five races. These are the sort of serious incidents that affect F1’s credibility and alter the championship.”
Montezemolo made further reference to the Mercedes affair when asked about the future of Bernie Ecclestone.
“Sooner or later a generational change always occurs. It’s not too long until we reach the post-Ecclestone era for reasons of statistics. As for the rest, I don’t want to talk about it. We will have to prepare for a new cycle, capable of tackling the urgent matters and the need for a new F1.
“I believe the management of this sport, which let’s not forget is not just a show, should be entrusted to a group of men open to new ideas, who know about racing but also about marketing and communications and are sensitive to the demands of the fans, those who come to the circuits and therefore pay for the tickets and those who watch on TV, while being able to involve the sponsors and not alienate them.
“But be careful, I don’t want to have discussions with Ecclestone, I have had some in the recent past, because he was too talkative on the subject of Ferrari, but surprisingly silent on the subject of the illegal tests carried out by Mercedes. I know Bernie’s strengths and weaknesses, but let’s be very clear on one point, no one else will ever do for Formula 1 what Ecclestone has done.”
As for the recent changes by Pirelli, he added: “No polemics, but I have only pointed out that I don’t feel it’s right to change the type of tire at the midpoint of the season, for cars designed and developed with different tires, which is another element that contributes to organizing the hierarchy. And who knows if for next season, for which studies and preparation are already underway, there could not be further changes. We need clarity.”