Luca di Montezemolo: “Enough of this hypocrisy…”

Ferrari boss Luca di Montezeimolo has made it clear that he has no problem with what the team did in Hockenheim, and says that Felipe Massa has to understand that the interests of the team come first.

“I am very happy for all our fans who finally, yesterday, saw two Ferraris lead from start to finish as they dominated the race,” said di Montezemolo on Ferrari’s website. “The result is down to the efforts of all our people, who never give up. Now we have to continue working like this, to improve the car so that is competitive at all the circuits we will encounter.

“Alonso and Massa also did very well, giving their all throughout the weekend. The polemics are of no interest to me. I simply reaffirm what I have always maintained, which is that our drivers are very well aware, and it is something they have to stick to, that if one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual.

“In any case, these things have happened since the days of Nuvolari and I experienced it myself when I was Sporting Director, in the days of Niki Lauda and not just then… Therefore enough of this hypocrisy, even if I can well believe that some people might well have liked to see our two drivers eliminate one another, but that is definitely not the case for me or indeed for our fans.”

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Luca di Montezemolo: “Enough of this hypocrisy…”

  1. shinronin

    except that there’s a sporting reg forbidding it, luca! *sigh*

    ps — enjoy your flexi front wing while it’s “legal”.

  2. Would this be an issue, were it not for the gambling that goes on about the finishing order of Grand Prix races? It is all about the betting money!

    • I hadn’t made a bet for a year but I was so convinced that everything would fall Felipe’s way I put £10 on him at 12-1, so I lost £120. Bummer. But my personal feelings relate to two things, the impact on Massa himself of what this means, and the bigger picture of the world at large, and especially casual TV viewers, thinking that F1 is a joke…

      • grahamhillfan

        Were you equally worrying about the impact on poor Massa and the bigger picture when, following the team order, Heiki let Lewis win the 2008 German GP? If anyone forgot, those extra 3 points made him the F1 champion that year, 1 point ahead of Massa.

        Oh no, I forgot! You already said you weren’t upset by that – in one of your responses below (discussion of the piece on Jean Todt’s big test).

    • RaulZ

      People’s problems about betting are their problems. It could be an illness. Be carefull.
      What about betting who kicks a penalty kick on football, and the coach decides who he wants? Isn’t he modifying the bet game?
      What about the rest of drivers on Germany being ordered from the pitwall to keep their positions? isn’t it to prevent drivers to race?

  3. Rafael

    Sure the drivers are aware that its the interest of the team that has priority: I agree with Luca. But last time I checked, the team got the same amount of points, as if Massa won and Alonso came second. The only benefit was the minimal difference to Alonso’s Championship: which is only half of the Ferrari team.

    I would understand if they warned the TWO drivers about being competitive with eachother (to avoid a repeat of the Red Bulls from Turkey), but telling a driver to back off is just the opposite of telling them to race. I find it interesting, how Felipe slowed down for a series of laps (leading to the eventual change in race leader), but managed to keep a decently close distance from Alonso for the rest of the race.

    Last time there was a scandal of race-fixing, Renault got a suspended ban. Obviously, there was a dangerous event, and hence needed tougher ruling; but nonetheless, yesterday was race-fixing.

    I think that the only solution (or punishment) would be to limit Ferrari (or any team who organize results) to only be allowed one driver in the following season. Not only would this mean that half of all the resources would be redundant (costing the team a lot more than the silly US$100’000), but surely strip any chance of the constructors championship. Its ridiculous how in other sports, fixture fixing is officially illegal leading to procecution and in a sport with so much prestige brings itself down so poorly.

    In a season where Formula 1 is so well balanced and competetive, it is sad to see that instead of relying on engineering and racing, Ferrari resort to (even if minimal), race-fixing.

    As a Brazilian, and a (shamed) Ferrari fan I hope the championship twists and Massa bounces back. How contriversial would it be, if nearing the end of the season (say, just before Brazil) Alonso has mathematically no more chance for the championship, but Massa is still scraping into the mix. How do you think Mr. Montezemolo would react in retrospect to these “team-effort” 7 Points difference?

    • DiegoP

      Nice comment Rafael!

      Regarding your last paragraph scenario, I only want to remaind you how supportive and professional Ferrari was with Irvine in ’99. It’s okay to have hopes, but some things, simply can’t happen.

    • RaulZ

      I’m sure Alonso would let Massa pass in the situation you are presenting. And I’m sure Alonso would do it better than Massa did it on sunday. And Alonso wouldn’t have Massa’s expression of having been stolen, and I’m really sure that Alonso would have stop English journalist at Germany saying: I let Massa pass because I wanted to do it.

      Massa deserves to be fired by Ferrari, as he was not even brave enough to refuse to do the orders. He did it but hurting his own team.

      Kovalainen did it better in 2008 with Hamilton. Please, think about Kovalainen before talking about Ferrari, think about Webber’s front wing.

    • Rand

      I agree with your comment on race fixing. I think the Ferrari constructor points should be struck, since the team leaders fixed the race. If they want to cheat to gain advantage, then F1 should not look the other way when it is Ferrari. Drivers are just the employees. But Alonso did ridicule Massa on the radio. Baby!

  4. Rob

    Well Luca, I for one won’t be buying a Ferrari any time soon cause of this.

    Ahem. Lack of money notwithstanding! 😉

  5. Nice one Rafael, I like it! Make Ferrari run only one car… interesting…

  6. Alberto Dietz

    You are wrong LdM, and you know it, and regarding hypocrisy look at your own words on record after Brasil ’08 and Hungary ’09. Yesterday Felipe was robbed. Period. And regarding Ferrari fans, where were you on Feb 13th, 1949? I was at the Rosario GP and saw Farina give Ferrari their first win abroad.

  7. elephino

    It’s against the rules, Ferrari should stop trying to justify it. It doesn’t matter that it was ok 20 years ago or 40 years ago. If that was all the criteria needed, then let’s bring back turbos even though they’re against the rules because they’ve been used before.

  8. Ed

    Apparently the Brazilian press is now hammering Massa, accusing him of being a coward – which makes the whole situation even more unfair.

    I think he will have a great deal of support in Hungary from the wider F1 community. Also, considering its the location of one of his career highpoints (2008) and the lowpoint (2009), hopefully he can find some inspiration and confidence and win the race.

  9. alwaysozmatt

    Can I just say, I don’t see the big deal. I’m not a Ferrari fan, and I’m def not a LdM fan, but the guy’s right.

    It’s a team sport and the guy who is doing better should be given the preference. If it pans out badly for them cause something like Michael’s broken leg in ’99 then that’s the price for putting your eggs in one basket.

    At least Ferrari are transparent in what they do vs the crap going on at Red Bull where Vettel is obviously favoured by the Austrian element.

    As a sports fan though, I do think that Ferrari screwed up. Having Felipe win on the anniversary of his freak accident last year would have done a huge amount for the brand as well vs damaging it which has been done now.

    I was disappointed by the British journalists attack of Alonso though. I’m not a fan, but to put it all on him in the post race press conference was a bit rough.

  10. [kame]

    As a Ferrari fan, I’m not happy with the way the situation was handled… They could have put up a nice fight and make the pass less obvious.

    As for the “team” interests; you just have to see who sponsors Ferrari and who the “team” supports.

    Wouldn’t be nice if the driver who brought all that money finished in the second position.

    • RaulZ

      Santander doesn’t have anything to do. Santander sponsored McLaren in 2007 and they couldn’t avoid that the team was with Alonso.

      • [kame]

        Perhaps you’re right (don’t want to start controversy here); however IMHO in the McLaren days, the bank wasn’t the main sponsor for the team.

        In this case (Ferrari) you can see that from all the possible angles a logo of the bank is visible, and in the interest of the team who needs to deliver results to the shareholders (and the bank being the most important one) a win of Fernando Alonso was very important.

        However, the point is that if you’re going to do it (as everybody else does) do it in an elegant way and not like in Austria 2002.

        I wasn’t right then, and it’s not right now.

      • RaulZ

        Kame, I agree it was very ugly and sad. That was a team mistake that Massa and fernando are paying in a very expensive way. Even Santander does.

        Santander doesn’t have much to sell in Spain, but now is spreading in Brasil so I can imagine that Emilio Botin is not happy at all. Apart of the fact that Alonso is spanish and Santander is happy to see him win, their interests are wider than this.

        at least in this case.

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