Montezemolo slams Ecclestone and Schumacher at end of year bash

Luca di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo

Dec.3 (GMM) Luca di Montezemolo used Ferrari‘s end-of-season event at Valencia to criticise former team driver Michael Schumacher as well as Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, as he reflected on another season where the Maranello squad played second fiddle to Red Bull.

World Champion Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme with Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.Directing his attention to German Schumacher, who won five consecutive drivers’ titles at Ferrari, president Montezemolo admitted that he was unhappy that the now-retired Mercedes driver moved over so readily at Interlagos for countryman Sebastian Vettel.

In Brazil, Ferrari’s new ‘number 1′ Fernando Alonso was fighting for the drivers’ title with Red Bull’s champion.

“I was expecting a slightly different final race on the part of Michael Schumacher because he is a driver with links to Ferrari through some extraordinary moments and with whom we feel very close,” said Montezemolo.

The Ferrari president, however, saved his real vitriol for Bernie Ecclestone, who last week described Ferrari’s questioning of the outcome of the 2012 championship as a “joke”.

The affair surrounded an overtaking move by Vettel that, although ultimately declared legal by the FIA, was questioned by Ferrari in the days after the Brazilian finale.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 25: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates in his changing room with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone as he finishes in sixth position and clinches the drivers world championship during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 25, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian Vettel; Bernie EcclestoneInsisting that Ferrari remains highly critical of F1 regulations including the emphasis on aerodynamics and a lack of testing, Montezemolo said: “Since some people have used the expression ‘It’s a joke’ in recent days, I would like to say that this is the real ‘joke’.”

As for 82-year-old Ecclestone’s criticism of the yellow flag saga, Montezemolo – who is 65 – said: “My father always taught me that you have to have respect for your elders, above all when they reach the point that they can no longer control their words.

“So I will stop there. Certainly, old age is often incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities.”

Full transcript of Montezemolo’s interview at Valencia as supplied by Ferrari:

F1 dominated Luca di Montezemolo’s traditional meeting with representatives of the media. It couldn’t be any other way, above all in Spain: “I will begin straightaway with the ending, that way we can stop thinking about it,” said Montezemolo.

“I’ve already said it but I want to say it again: I am proud of what the team has done and I want to thank everyone for that. In particular I want to thank Fernando, who has had the best season of his career: I must congratulate him because he never gave up and he managed to give more than anyone could have thought possible. It also gave me great pleasure to see a great second half of the championship by Felipe, showing we did well to keep him hanging on before we confirmed he would be staying: he has been with us for many years and this end to the season will be very important to him for the start of next year, not just psychologically.”

“We have had extraordinary reliability and this is down to Domenicali and all his men, just as we have been very strong in our strategies and pit stops: it’s hard to find real errors in these areas. We haven’t had a car at the same high level as the top two and we have to improve this. To win races you have to start at the front and to win the championship you have to win races. I want to win the world championship and I expect a big step forward by the team in terms of organisation, methods and quality of work: if we can give a car that is capable of winning to our drivers then they will do the rest. This year perhaps we suffered a few too many pile-ups but that is a part of the sport and now we must look ahead. I am celebrating 21 years at Ferrari: for me the most important thing is to have always had a team that is united, compact, which works together and takes meticulous care.”

(L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7. Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.

As for the affair that dominated the days after the end of the championship, Montezemolo was very dry: “Some people cried scandal, or said a bit too much. The story is very simple: we saw some images, some of which were broadcast on all the internet sites, and we received thousands of requests from our fans so we did the simplest and most straightforward thing: we asked the FIA what they thought, telling them we would accept whatever decision they took. I think that is the best way to resolve questions when there are doubts. The FIA replied that in their view Vettel had been given a green flag before the passing move and then we said that for us the discussion was closed: you can’t be any more straightforward than that. I would like to take this chance to congratulate Vettel and Red Bull because they won and we like to congratulate whoever wins, hoping and wishing that next year it can be others who are congratulating us. If anyone says a bit too much then I’m sorry but that’s too bad for them.”

Michael Schumacher with Luca di MontezemoloAsked for an opinion on some of what was seen in the final moments of the season, in particular the ease with which Vettel managed to carry out certain passing moves on the day in Brazil, the Ferrari president said this: “I was expecting a slighty different final race on the part of Michael Schumacher because he is a driver with links to Ferrari through some extraordinary moments and with whom we feel very close. As for the rest, I don’t want to make any comment other than to underline that in the past we have been strongly criticised for playing a sensible, necessary, right and open team game. I have always told my drivers that they are not racing for themselves but for Ferrari. Ours is one team, you can see that in the pit stops and you can see it on the track and one of the things I most appreciate about Felipe is the fact that he has always been a team player and I know that Fernando has been one too. We have had criticism for how we apply these team games but it’s up to the public and the spectators to judge these things. I don’t like to create controversy for its own sake: we look ahead and everyone makes their own judgement. The behaviour of Ferrari has always prized the team game and the sport.”

Luca di Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone at MonzaMontezemolo also looked to the future of F1: “There are things that aren’t going well in this sport and the moment has arrived to clarify these once and for all in the appropriate places. We can no longer have a situation in which the transfer of technology from the track to the street is reduced to the bare minimum, engines and gearboxes are always the same and the aerodynamics no longer has anything to do with research for road cars. Moreover, it cannot be that in this sport you can’t test. We’ve been saying this for a while and we will repeat it in the appropriate places so for the moment I don’t want to add anything else. But our patience has run out so someone needs to think about whether they want F1 still to have companies that invest and consider it the most advanced research bench for its own cars – as Ferrari has always done since 1950. We are constructors, not sponsors: I’m no longer happy that we can’t do testing on tarmac and that you can’t give any chance for young drivers to emerge – since some people have used the expression ‘It’s a joke’ in recent days, I would like to say that this is the real ‘joke’. Yes, I’m referring to one of Ecclestone’s phrases: my father always taught me that you have to have respect your elders, above all when they reach the point that they can no longer control their words. So I will stop there. Certainly, old age is often incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • John

    I can’t believe how bad sports Ferrari are! Very sore losers.

  • Hammad

    They want Michael to come and rescue them

  • Alex

    Luca is desperate because he now knows that Alonso will not repeat the performances of Michael.

  • Venezia

    That shows Monty missing Michael that’s why he bickers. A politician a crowd pleaser! And most of all a user. Ferrari had links to Michael for he produced results, not the other way around. They owe Michael a whole lot. Michael and Sebastian explained fairly what happened. They did a gearbox change so it’s just fair for everybody.
    He’s just covering up his displeasure for Alonso not bringing home the title. Next thing they’ll work on is bringing Sebastian if he wants too. But red bull at the moment has the wings.

  • hillside

    Luca is gettin loco! it comes with the age maybe

  • Aileen

    Montezemolo you did not need two Roosters in the same hen house, so one Rooster jumped over to the other side.

  • quattro

    I seldom agree with Montezemolo, but on this one I say “Well said, Sir!”.
    Ecclestone is all about money, as we so often have seen in the past. Remember when he made the circus go to Bahrain, even though people were being killed by “government” forces on the streets only beause they were seeking their freedom. Remember when he was standing laughing prior to race start with those same “governmnet” people…

  • Butterfly

    Luca did the right thing and proved he’s got big b@lls. I wonder why Bernie felt the need to attack like that. Was it fear that Vettel might lose the title? Good question…

  • Forza Ferrari

    Well said Luca, well said. It was a shame to see Michael letting Vettel pass him so easily, but I understand why he did it and so I forgive him. After all, Michael has done so many great things for Ferrari and I will never forget that.
    And as for that crazy Ecclestone, well the old age really is affecting him and his thought processes. And besides everyone knows that he’s deeply in love with finger boy, that’s the only reason he got so upset when Ferrari dared to ask for clarification from FIA on a very dubious pass from Vettel. Bernie himself is a big joke!

  • backmarker

    yeah right.Massa triyng to block the whole field of cars in behind Alonso was a great fair-play move…get over it Ferrari.

  • Forza Ferrari

    @backmarker
    Vettel has at least 3 cars on the grid to block everyone else, so stfu! Get over yourself!

  • backmarker

    @Forza Ferrari amigo…1.Alonso had a 36 point lead-he messed it up 2. he had to win at interlagos-he messed it up(even with Hulk and Hami taking eachother out) 3.they cheated in Austin changing the grid positions-how do you think all the drivers behind Alonso felt after quali to be thrown on the dirty side of the track just because Ferrari wanted so?and 4.dont feel sorry for Alonso.he won his 2 titles because of Kimi’s Mclaren big reliability troubles and in 2006 he had the best car.so stop complaining about the fact that he was the best driver this year and all that stuff.F1 it’s a team sport.

  • Forza Ferrari

    @backmarker
    Yes, exactly F1 is a TEAM (singular) sport, not 2 team sport like RB and Toro Rosso are playing it (now that’s cheating).
    And as for Austin, Ferrari certainly didn’t “cheat” anything. “Cheating” would be if someone breaks the rules and tries to get away with it. No rules were broken in Austin, everything was completely honest and legit. Lance Armstrong cheated, but what Ferrari did definitely wasn’t “cheating”. Stop making up ridiculous stories boy!

  • quattro

    @backmarker

    Mate, you are way out of your league… A blue flag is being WAVED…so being backmarker, do what Webber, STR cars (and Shoemaker) does when fingerBoy is behind – lift and get OFF the racing line!

  • quattro

    @Butterfly

    “Luca did the right thing and proved he’s got big b@lls. I wonder why Bernie felt the need to attack like that. Was it fear that Vettel might lose the title? Good question…”

    I do not think BE cares as much for VET, as he does for what the owner of RedBull thinks and feels (and wants to communicate). That is were the big cash is at the moment. Were the cash is, you will find BE.

  • Phil

    Alonso is a bad looser and appears to expect his team to cheat or pull unsporting acts to help him win e.g. Crashgate, Massa’s gearbox seal and from the comments made by Martin W of Mclaren who indicated that Alonso wasn’t happy at Mclaren because they weren’t prepared to cheat for him to win.
    And as for Montezemolo’s comment about Bernie I think Montezemolo should “Ask God to help him keep his big mouth shut until he has somthing legitimate to say”

  • JohnyF1

    3 Persons need to go at Ferrari 1. De Montezemelo 2. Domenicalli 3. Alonso. From a Ferrari supporter, sad but true!

  • Butterfly

    @JohnyF1:

    Is that a type-o at number 3, or are you mentally retarded?

  • quattro

    @Phil

    “Martin W of Mclaren who indicated that Alonso wasn’t happy at Mclaren because they weren’t prepared to cheat for him to win.”

    Newcommer to F1 mate? You may want to investigate a bit more before you start opening your mouth…”Cheating” (your word!) is nothing new to Mclaren…google for spy-gate…or Mclaren 100 miljon fine…or espionage. While you are at it, you could send a tweet to Coulthard and Kovalainen and ask them how many times they got a team order, while at Mclaren, telling them to lift foot off throttle to let team mate by… PS. youtube.com will give you video evidence of the same…if you choose to open your eyes..and see.

    Mclaren are not winning championships these days, but they are time after time proving they are best at one thing: Loosing world class drivers and feel afterwards the need to say this kind of things, only to make themselfs not look stupid infront of their own stakeholders. I can imagine a stakeholder or two went to Ron D and M W folllowing the miracles delivered by ALO in 2010 and 2012 and asking them “Can you please explain to us why and how you could let this guy go?? How is that in the interrest of this company…And explain now please!!” Soon enough MW will start saying the same about HAM…wait and c.

  • The Fuzz

    And I regret to inform you Marko we cannot give you this fine trophy for ‘Knob of the Week’ because Mad Monty has done it again.
    He really should shut his mouth before somebody does it for him.

  • alonso_is_slow

    “3 Persons need to go at Ferrari 1. De Montezemelo 2. Domenicalli 3. Alonso. From a Ferrari supporter, sad but true!”

    1. Alonso 2. Domenicali 3. Di Montezemolo. In this order. Cheaters first.

  • Lol.

    @Backmarker

    Would you care to explain to me how Ferrari cheated as Austin? No penalty was given because there was no rule against it. Ferrari exploited the rules, just like every other team. If you want cheating, look for spygate, crashgate, liegate, the 1989 season finalé etc. You know, those incidents where people actually broke rules?

    The whole point of F1 is to tactically bend every rule available in the quest for a title, years ago people would have said “wow that was a great idea”, now people just label it cheating. A lazy excuse for their favourite driver not winning all the time.

    Red Bull flexy front wing? Cheating.
    Ferrari grid swap in Austin? Cheating.
    blablablah.

    Not cheats, great exploits.

  • shinzo

    What is a complete “joke” is the number of Renault powered cars plus Toro Rosso that go out of their way to help RB/Vettel. Remember Petrov in Abu Dhabi 2010. Also at the first corner in Brazil, Raikonnen goes way off track (compromising his own race) in order not to hit Vettel. But in Japan, when all he had to do was lift to avoid hitting him, he made sure he got a tapped him and took him out of the race. This is why Renault as so keen to supply more teams with engines going forward. Ferrari should take their engine off TR as they only act as RB’s 2nd team and supply more of the other teams and play them at their own game.

  • Frik du Toit

    I read the comments from the majority of Ferrari supporters and can only smile – you seem to be as emotional and fickle as your team are, with reason having departed long ago.

  • quattro

    @shinzo

    ” Also at the first corner in Brazil, Raikonnen goes way off track (compromising his own race) in order not to hit Vettel. But in Japan, when all he had to do was lift to avoid hitting him, he made sure he got a tapped him and took him out of the race.”

    Spot on mate! I have also thought about that and surely, had not RAI behaved in that way towards ALO in Japan, most certainly VET would not have won title this year.
    Or had RAI behaved the same towards his good friend VET in Brazil, as he did in Japan towards ALO, again VET in the dominant package would have lost… who said you do not have friends in F1…

  • fools

    John you are the loser

  • fools

    wtf @ all the haters…

    this article is about Montezemolo and Bernie yet Alonso is mentioned? Must be love and crack pipe smokers. This hate needs to stop man. Speak for the article not Alonso.

  • fools

    @Frik du Toit joining the hater club huh? smh slap yourself son

  • fools

    Everyone knows Alonso lost the WDC in Suzuka and Spa. It was evident. Only blind people or people who do not know F1 and the politics and $$$ involved. Alonso was robbed. Simple as that.

  • Iori

    I only wish that Monty had the balls to carry out his threats and take ferrari out of F1.
    It would be a much better and more legitamate championship without them.
    And dont give me bull about how F1 would die without ferrari, far from it the championship would flourish since more manufacturers would come in knowing they were coming into a championship where all the teams are on a level footing and not where one team is given a financial advantage over it’s competitors.

  • Evel

    @Alonso_is_slow
    Yes little man, we all get it, you’ve made your point ……. about 100 times already!
    What kind of a loser are you when you can’t even watch a sport without attempting to discredit and pull apart the opposition?
    I am not a Vettel fan but I can acknowledge that he’s a great driver and that he did a fantastic job at winning the title this year. I would have loved for Kimi or Alonso to have won but they didn’t and I’m not bitter about it.
    That’s what sport is about. Where would the challenge be if there was no opposition?
    How do you expect people to respect you when you clearly have no respect for the achievements and accomplishments of others?
    You need to stop fighting against the world ‘Alonso_is_slow’ and take a deep look at yourself and start working towards easing your insecurities. Perhaps you should seek out professional help.
    Your childish rants are very clearly emotionally driven and out of touch with reality.
    I can’t understand how you would believe that Alonso is slow after only missing out on the championship by 3 points in a car which was widely acknowledged to have not been the best in the field. I think Alonso drove fantastically this season and can be proud to have come so close in a car that clearly was not the best. Vettel supporters should be pleased that he has tough opponents like this as it only adds value when he wins himself.
    Even though I am not a Vettel supporter, I am adult enough to acknowledge that he too had a fantastic season and had some amazing drives. I was greatly impressed by his speed, consistency and tenacity.
    Likewise I think Hamilton showed a lot of talent and speed but didn’t have the consistency or perhaps the same level of focus this year as Vettel had, that was needed to win, some of it through fault of his own and more so that of his team and some of it down to just bad luck. In any case it was an opportunity missed as I believe McLaren had the best car for the majority of the season.
    Well done to Vettel, even though I don’t support him, I don’t need to act like an insecure child by hurling abuse and making baseless, unsupported statements just to get a reaction from people I don’t even know.
    The best thing you can do now, ‘Alonso_is_slow’ is to look deep inside yourself, stop fighting and take some time to contemplate your life and why others around you see you as they do.
    Then come back and apologize and start working towards getting some form of credibility and respect back on this site and others that you visit and undoubtedly behave in the same way.

  • alonso_is_slow

    I am happy that you have piece in yourself but honestly you are not the caliber that would influence me. I have a strong opinion based on facts and I am sticking to it, sorry.

  • alonso_is_slow

    @fools “Everyone knows Alonso lost the WDC in Suzuka and Spa…”
    Yes the only fact you forgot is that he did Suzuka himself, so he lost the title himself. Even he acknowledget this… time for all fans to catch up.

    not couinting alternator faillures and Karthekeyan kamikaze actions on Vettel, which he was able to make up for.

  • Hammad

    @fools

    Alonso robbed of title?

    Some on is robbed when his boss orders his team mate to crash his car his barriers so the other one can win. Hope you remember Piquet Jr? In 2008 title was of Massa’s

  • quattro

    @Hammad

    You do realize the people responsible for that 2008 incident where punished don’t you? Newsflash?

    Of course ALO was robbed the title 2012. If you know simple math, then you will get it yourself (grab a calc otherwise). He lost a more or less certain 36 points when he was taken out TWICE from behind by the two (Renault powered) Lotuses – one of them happened to be one of VETs best friends RAI – who punctuated ALOs tyre and took him out in Japan FROM BEHIND. In BRA he showed he could take avoiding action, as he did it with his best friend VET right on the first lap, hence it was deliberate what he did to ALO in Japan.

    Now since VET only was 3 points ahead after BRA – in reality one point since his countryman Shoemaker gave him 2 for free! – ALO would have beaten VET by 36 -3 = 33 points!
    Now if you sitt on a comfortable chair, grab a coffee and think a little about the apparent speed disadvantage the package ALO have had at least 90% of the season, and that he still managed this amount of points…it is Beautiful as it is extremely rare!

  • Get_Some

    @quattro

    Alonso drove into Kimi. There isn’t anyone or anything to blame for the Suzuka incident except Alonso and a rare lack of awareness on that start.

  • alonso_is_slow

    Exactly.

    Which means that it is not Ferrari who lost him the title, it is who he lost the title for Ferrari. He needs to go.

  • fools

    @Get_Some

    Actually you are wrong. Watch the race again.
    Alonso was ahead 1 car length from Kimi. Kimi had no reason to go off track and to come back. He knew Alonso was there and should of lifted. Alonso had every right to use that part of the track to draft off the front runners and keep Kimi behind him at the same time. You haters still smoking crack and need to review film before commenting here. alonso is slow is yet again agreeing with other wrong view points. He needs his eyes and brain checked. real talk.

    Ask yourself. Alonso wouldnt jeopardize the WDC to hit Kimi. First off Kimi’s wing hit Alonso left rear tire. How do you come up with the knowledge that Alonso hit Kimi if Alonso was ahead of Kimi from the grid start? Are you ignorant?

  • fools

    @Hammad are you a hater? Alonso hater? Let me explain how you are one.

    1st off….every single time you haters discuss Alonso, you never argue why he isn’t a great racer or a worthy 2 time WDC racer (Should be 4 time).

    2nd…Alonso did not and there is no PROOF that Piquet Crashed on purpose or was ordered too. And if there is…you blame Flavio Briatore. Not ALONSO! You ignorant bastard!
    Alonso doesn’t make the call or mastermind any ruthless crashes in order for him to prosper. If so he would of been banned long ago!

    3rd Alonso received no gain nor won the WDC that year so your false and most irrational argument regarding Alonso is plain stupidity and plain hating by you and your camp who come along this site to bash Alonso for no reason…Why dont you comment on Vettel’s articles if you dont support Ferrari nor Alonso since he won the WDC.
    Save your words and move on. :)

  • alonso_is_slow

    Doh! Ok Ok I admit it I was wrong…….again! Alonso is blazingly fast! I just couldn’t see it because I have gay love for Vettel

  • aaa

    you all seem to forget that Kimi was still a title contender in Suzuka. also about Interlagos, would you crash into a car, which is driven by your best friend on the grid, when he is fighting for the championship and you aren’t?