Di Montezemolo sees new F1 power balance
|By Jonathan Noble and Michele Lostia||Wednesday, December 17th 2008, 11:45 GMT|
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes the era of Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone's domination of Formula One is over - and thinks the current costs crisis may accelerate change at the senior levels of the sport.
With di Montezemolo having played a key role in the recent discussions between the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), major progress has been made in framing new regulations that will bring much needed budget cuts for teams.
However, di Montezemolo thinks one of the consequences of the new harmony between teams is a greater comprehension of where they have lost out in the past in their battles with Ecclestone and Mosley.
And that is why he believes that the 'divide and conquer' tactics that Mosley and Ecclestone have sometimes used in the past will no longer work from now on.
"Time goes by, and in a few years' time I will retire too," di Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about the future direction of F1.
"The crisis perhaps accelerates this renovation process, which had to be faced anyway. I've known Ecclestone since 1973, and I think he's done a great job. But a few years ago we argued: I called him greedy because of the revenues which were distributed 70 percent for him and 30 percent for all the teams. Now we are 50-50. We'll have to do something more, we'll see.
"What's certain is that the time to divide and conquer to rule in F1 is over."
With the move to longer life engines, and promises to supply cheap deals to independent teams, the threat of a standard power unit being imposed on teams has been lifted for now.
And di Montezemolo has reiterated his belief that perhaps all the manufacturers would have walked away from the sport if they had been forced to run a standard engine.
"It was the right occasion to leave F1: if the standard engine for all teams was approved, at least four, maybe five car manufacturers would have left," he said. "And I mean four or five on top of Ferrari, that is all of them.
"Since the first meeting of every team here at Maranello in July, we've made great steps forward: in 2009 we'll already save 50 percent on the engines, and from 2012 we'll save 50 percent on the entire budget."