Montezemolo: This is the Ferrari I like to see

Luca di Montezemolo (ITA) Ferrari President, announces a five year partnership for Santander with the Ferrari team. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday 10 September 2009.

Luca di Montezemolo happy with the progress his team have shown in the face of adversity

Jul.3 (Ferrari) On the day after the Hungarian Grand Prix and following a long and in-depth debriefing this morning, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo gathered together all the staff of the team’s Gestione Sportiva to look at the current situation as the final third of the season approaches.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10. Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 30 July 2010.

Fernando Alonso remains a championship contender

Along with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali and the senior Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro engineers, Fernando Alonso was also present, having flown back from Budapest to Maranello last night with the team, as he is spending a few days working alongside his engineers, before the final sprint in the World Championship.

Everyone at Gestione Sportiva  is very pleased with the way the result of the last couple of races has reopened the situation in the two classifications: there was spontaneous applause for Fernando and also, in absentia for Felipe, who has already flown back to Brazil to spend the summer break with his family.

However, it is clearly understood that the work load has to be stepped up even further, and it needs to be of the highest standard in order to close the technical gap to the fastest cars, which is significant, as was demonstrated yesterday in Budapest.

Luca di Montezemolo with his drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa

Luca di Montezemolo with his drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa

“It was a very busy July, which ended in a very nice way for us,” said Montezemolo. “Especially when you look at where we are today, compared to one month ago. For this, I wish to thank our entire workforce, because they put in so much effort to achieve these results. In Hockenheim, we finished first and second and yesterday we came away with second and fourth places, which was the most we could have achieved.”

He attributed this to a team effort, “The engineers put their heads down and worked on improving the car and the drivers did a great job: Fernando got an amazing start and very nearly managed to take the lead at the first corner, while Felipe brought home a significant points haul, in what was a special race for him, one year on from his accident. It’s true that earlier in the season we have wasted great opportunities and there is still regret for some perplexing decisions, but we must look ahead and believe in the fact that today, we are in the fight for the Championship.”

Niki Lauda and Luca Di Montezemolo German Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 3 August 1975

Luca Di Montezemolo, Ferrari team principal at the time, speaks with Niki Lauda back in 1975

He concluded, “This is the Ferrari I like to see and the one our fans want to see: a team that can fight and deliver the results. We must continue like this and then see where we are at the end. We know we must work even harder and with determination on the development of the car, but our people don’t need me to tell them that.”

The next few days will be very busy at Maranello. Up until Saturday, everyone will be working at a frenetic pace to prepare the cars for the Belgian Grand Prix. The cars which raced in Hungary yesterday are already back at the Gestione Sportiva and are undergoing the usual rebuild. Sunday sees the start of the compulsory two week break from all work, with activity resuming on Monday 23 August, everyone having fully recharged their batteries to tackle the final rush of a World Championship which looks like being a very open fight.