Montezemolo: FIA reform or breakaway
|By Jonathan Noble and Stuart Codling||Saturday, June 13th 2009, 13:16 GMT|
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes there are now only two possibilities to end the current row over Formula 1 - either the FIA reforms itself or the manufacturers lead their own breakaway series.
With tensions high between the governing body and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) following the publication of the 2010 entry list on Friday, di Montezemolo has made it clear that the teams are not in the mood to back down over how they want to see the sport run.
Speaking during a high profile visit to the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday, di Montezemolo said he had no doubts that the controversy would be sorted out soon - although could not predict which way things would go.
"In a couple of years the problem with Formula 1 will be solved - as I really hope, with a responsible FIA, as we want, or, as happens in other sports, organising our own championship. Because when you have engines, gearboxes, brands, technology, organisation, capability to invest, it is not difficult. So the problem will be solved, I hope very soon."
Di Montezemolo admitted that he has been saddened by the state that he thinks F1 is in - but has hopes that some factions in the FIA can act to prevent the sport getting 'destroyed.'
"We cannot repeat every day that we will not enter the next Formula 1 championship with these rules and without taking care of the Ferrari rights. Having said that, today I don't like very much to talk about F1 because here the atmosphere is a happy one.
"I hope that we will solve our problems because for me, I started to work as Ferrari team manager in 1973. We are the only car manufacturer to have been in Formula 1 since the beginning, without any interruptions, and Formula 1 for Ferrari is part of the life, the blood, the DNA.
"I am not happy. We are not happy. We are very unhappy with the situation as it is, mainly for the public, for the spectators. We don't want Formula 1 to become Formula 3.
"We want not only to maintain but also to improve the F1 DNA, technology, innovation, and competition. We want to cap in a very important way the cost, because everybody has been too far, and I think FOTA has done a strong demonstration to be able to cut costs in 2009 for 50 per cent more of the general cost for engine and gearbox."
He added: "We will continue in this direction. We are together and we want to find a solution, and I am sure that inside the FIA there will be people responsible enough to understand that now it is absolutely necessary not to create trouble, to destroy Formula 1, but to solve the problem."
FOTA issued a statement on Friday afternoon saying it was being forced in the next few days to reveal its plans for the future of F1 so it could prove why the FIA's own regulations are 'bad' for the sport's future.
Di Montezemolo emphasised that he believed FOTA's intentions were only for the good of F1.
"Everybody sees what is happening in Formula 1. I do not understand the reason," he said. "Anyway I think our conditions are constructive, are very clear: governance, stable rules - the people don't understand any more rules that change every six months, one day it's KERS, another day it's standard engines – and looking ahead to have a balance between cost and revenues, to let new commerce enter.
"I'm very pleased to have new teams, and when I say teams I mean Formula 1 not Formula 3."
When asked if a Le Mans project was a possible replacement for racing in F1, di Montezemolo said: "I don't think it is possible to compete at the maximum level, I mean to try to win in too many series. I think there is Formula 1, there is racing like Le Mans, and racing in the United States which is extremely challenging – as I mentioned before, Indy or something like this.
"Our intention is to continue to participate in Formula 1 if there are the conditions. If not, as I say to our tifosi all around the world who have been in touch with us on our internet in an unbelievable way, the DNA of Ferrari is competition. If we stop in F1 we will do something else, and for sure Le Mans will be one of our first priorities."