Montezemolo on technical constraints, testing and third cars…

Luca di Montezemolo was in good form in today’s meeting with the media in Italy, and as well as discussing his team’s season the Ferrari boss aired his views on the bigger picture.

As in the past he stressed the need for F1 to be a platform for developing road car technology. He also made it clear that he had little time for smaller teams with budget problems – and suggested once again that it would be a better option to for bigger teams to sell them cars.

His views confirm that there is still much uncertainty behind the scenes about the future direction of the sport.

“During the year, there were some things I did not like,” he said. “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.

“Above all, I 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 Mosley, when there was an urgent necessity to reduce costs. With 2014 however, we need to start a new phase – we will see which means of governance Formula 1 will adopt, but we will put forward our ideas very forcefully.

“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 Formula 1 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.”

Montezemolo has long made his opposition to testing restrictions clear, a stance that is no surprise given that Ferrari has access to both Fiorano and Mugello, but can’t utilise them.

“As for testing, it’s getting close to ridiculous,” he said. “The FIA is not opposed to it, we are not, and so what is the reason for 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 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?”

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Montezemolo on technical constraints, testing and third cars…

  1. Mr. Luca di Montezemolo makes very strong points. It will interesting to see which road Formula One takes, as the sport evolves, in the future.

  2. LdM talks a lot of sense. Quote: “if they don’t have the resources or the structure then they should compete in a lower series” – that’s a key phrase.
    I disagree on the third car topic, however, but the testing ban is really fun – you do some two, three days testing and hope for the best.
    My compliments to the progress CFD tools have been making in the recent years, but this is still not a solution that can replace the rubber and the track.

  3. Melonfarmer

    I’m always bemused by Montezemolo and his position with 3rd cars; can’t Ferrari afford to run 4 cars like Red Bull/Toro Rosso?

    Are we all sure that Bernie’s distaste for 11 teams was directed at Marussia and not the political interference that TR can exert?

  4. Jack Slayter

    For once Monty was again the oracle which everyone wants to listen to. No threats to anyone this time. I agree with him when he says says that they went from too much testing to no testing and this is overkill! It means that if your car is a donkey you probably can’t fix during the year. He’s also right when he says it’s shame to race in the middle of nowhere in front of empty grand stands! And I agree with him when he says Bernie should retire!

  5. We rarely wonder who will retire due to drivetrain failure, now we just wonder which team has taken full advantage of the coanda effect by creative rule interpretation. There is no advantage to be found by pushing development to its limits, too much cost for the weak teams. Now, only poring over the aero rules for something to give your car a 0.03s quicker lap time.

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