Montezemolo: Definitely a year to forget, a disappointing season

F1 life according to Luca di Montezemolo

F1 life according to Luca di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo gave an overview of the Formula 1 season that has just ended. In a long ranging interview the Ferrari President gave to RAI Uno’s reporter Marco Franzelli, the subjects covered were wide ranging…

On the 2013 Formula 1 season:

“Definitely a year to forget, a disappointing season. There were three main reasons and they’re clearly marked in my mind. The first was an inability to develop the car in the second half of the season: I want explanations as to why, because if we don’t understand the reasons, then that’s not good. The second is the tyres, although I’m not looking to make excuses.

Fernando Alonso retires from the Malaysian GP

Fernando Alonso retires from the Malaysian GP

“We built a car to work with certain tyres, with which we proved to be very competitive. Then the tyres were changed, definitely proving to be a disadvantage for us and an advantage for others. Furthermore, there was an interpretation of the rules from one team, which one has to say was a bit strange and which incurred a punishment that, to say the least, had a touch of the Pontius Pilate about it.

“As for the first reason, we will discuss that among ourselves, regarding the second, we will talk about it in the most suitable places.

“Finally, we missed Massa’s points for the Constructors’ championship. Now we must find out exactly what happened this year and work better towards the next one.”

Enzo Ferrari with Nikki Lauda and Luca di Montezemolo in the seventies

Enzo Ferrari with Nikki Lauda and Luca di Montezemolo in the seventies

On the political clout carried by Ferrari in Formula 1:

“This story has been doing the rounds since I worked with Enzo Ferrari in the Seventies. We have reached an agreement with Ecclestone and the FIA and we are the only team with the right of veto: more political weight than that is impossible! We are aware of our strength in Formula 1, which without us, would be completely different. Having said that, it’s true that weight also comes from having a winning car and that was lacking. The rest is all gossip.”

Felipe Massa versus Lewis Hamilton during the Brazilian GP

Felipe Massa versus Lewis Hamilton during the Brazilian GP

On Massa’s penalty in Interlagos:

“I think it was disproportionate and unjust, as was Hamilton’s. If Felipe had stayed in fourth place, we would have been second in the Constructors’ championship. Every so often, the gentlemen who come to the races to act as Stewards make decisions that are a bit ridiculous and anachronistic. One needs to be careful that we maintain credibility, for the work of the teams that invest money and for the drivers who risk their lives.”

Luca di Montezemolo with Fernando Alonso

Luca di Montezemolo with Fernando Alonso

On Alonso:

“He is right to be proud of second place: he had a great season. We must give him a quicker car and he will get the most out of it. Eight out of ten, instead of ten? My eight is worth a ten because it’s a score I give as an incentive: I hope to give it him next year and to give an eight, at least, to the team. For next year I would like to present him with a car that’s even better than Red Bull. Let’s not forget we know how to do that: one only has to think of the five year period from 2000 to 2004 and the wins in 2007 and 2008. I thank him for all his efforts and the determination he showed this year and for the fact he would have been prepared to let Massa get onto the podium last Sunday back in Brazil, as it testifies to the nice atmosphere in our team. Newey isn’t his opponent: there are the drivers, starting with Vettel, then Hamilton and Rosberg, who has improved a lot, and there’s Raikkonen who will be trying to win, which will give us a boost and should bring the points we were missing this year.”

Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will be teammates in 2014

Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will be teammates in 2014

On the forthcoming Alonso-Raikkonen pairing:

“Whoever has the honour and responsibility of driving for Ferrari must think of the team first and foremost and not of himself. None of our drivers could ever hurt the other one. Alonso is maybe the strongest race driver I’ve ever met, even if it is always difficult to make comparisons with the past. We have taken Raikkonen back for his experience, for what he has done over the past two years and because he is much loved inside and outside the team. I was very pleased to see the enthusiasm that greeted the news of his return, again both internally and externally. I am sure they will help one another.”

On quadruple World Champion Vettel:

“Better than Senna? Ecclestone says what suits him but there is no doubt he is a great driver. He is a serious young man who has won a lot and therefore he deserves respect. I congratulate him and Red Bull. Vettel at Ferrari? Who knows what the future holds? But for now, drivers are definitely not a problem for us.”

Sebastian Vettel won the last race of the season at Interlagos

Sebastian Vettel won the last race of the season at Interlagos

On the 2014 season:

“Our aim is to build a car capable of winning. We have carried out a very extensive reorganisation and highly regarded engineers such as Allison have joined us or returned to us. There will be the new regulations which will give more importance to some areas, such as the engine, where we are very competent. We have good cause to be optimistic and all the ingredients to win are in place. We have come within a whisker of success too often and now we must win, I just hope there are no unclear aspects that could have an influence on things. Avoiding mistakes? That will apply to everyone.”

On Todt and Ecclestone:

“Todt will be reconfirmed and I expect strong changes, because for too many years the Federation has always been the same and, as in everything, a change is required. Having said that, a strong sporting authority is always a priority for Ferrari. Ecclestone sees Horner as his successor? As the years go by, he more and more enjoys making jokes and I’m happy he still has the desire to do so…” (Ferrari)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Hawk

    he ranks Kimi 4th after Rosberg

  • Spartacus

    A bit harsh on Massa. He was never given equal chances of winning over Alonso. Never allowed in to the pits just in case Alonso needed access. Given orders to let Alonso pass.

    If anything Massa has been a brilliant team player. Ferrari should respect him more for that.

  • McLarenfan

    He is another multi faced dictator. Not long ago he said he didn’t believe in No:1 & No:2 drivers yet what role has he made Massa take No:2 along side Alonso. I hope Massa has a quality period at Williams I would even go as far as saying I would find it IRONIC if Massa helped Williams out score Ferrari in 2014 just to prove Massa is a better person in a team than Alonso.

  • Rick

    Mannaia dio!

  • mr18000rpm

    Inabilility to develop the car? Is there a problem with the way Fernando interacts with the technical staff, it seems to me that he has been unable to move any of his cars forward at the same pace or faster than his competitors. Could this be Fernando’s achilles heel? As a means of comparison of relative strengths, how well does Vettel work with RBR’s technical staff and how good is he at exploiting new developments and turning them into quicker lap times or extended tire runs when needed?