Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo did not wait to see Ferrari’s drivers collect the dregs of points on offer at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Maranello’s finest were totally outclassed under the glare of 5,000 light bulbs.
Montezemolo having earlier admitted to pushing for rule changes to spice up the dull spectacle of Formula 1’s ‘new’ era, left the floodlit desert circuit during what many described as one of the best grands prix for a decade.
“I don’t think there is much more to see,” the Italian was quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport before leaving the track mid-race.
“Seeing a Ferrari so slow on the straight gives me great pain,” he admitted. “I was not expecting much from this race, but something more [than this].
“It is necessary to put in extra effort and this week we have several things to try,” added Montezemolo, referring to the post-race test in the island Kingdom.
For many, the undoubted spectacle of the Bahrain Grand Prix, featuring Mercedes’ in-house duel but also battles throughout the field, put the lie to Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone’s weekend of moaning about the new era.
Mercedes’ Niki Lauda made the most stinging rebuke after the chequered flag, when he said “Anybody who complains that this is boring is an idiot”.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, he added: “All this nonsense about sound and fuel…it was one of the best races I’ve seen in my life.
“I hope that tomorrow Bernie and Luca take the time to watch it on TV.”
Mercedes team boss Paddy Lowe, obviously referring to words made by Ecclestone earlier in Bahrain, added: “This was exactly the right response to those who think Formula 1 is unacceptable for the fans.”
His colleague Toto Wolff agreed: “This was the best advertising for Formula 1 when it was urgently needed.” (GMM)
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