Di Montezemolo fears for future

Fiat and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo launched a scathing attack on Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at Monza on Saturday - and feared the sport was heading for crisis unless the teams were given more revenue immediately

Di Montezemolo fears for future

Di Montezemolo used the backdrop of his team's home race to warn that even super rich outfits like Ferrari would face question marks about continuing in the sport because the rising costs of competing could no longer be justified - especially as Ecclestone takes so much money out of the sport's coffers.

At the moment the teams receive just 47 percent of the television income while Ecclestone takes the rest, plus money from trackside advertising and hospitality. Di Montezemolo is also furious that shares in the sport have been sold to banks by Ecclestone.

"I think that a certain era of F1 is finished," said di Montezemolo. "We have to look at something new and it is totally impossible, and unacceptable, that the business has been sold three times [by Ecclestone] in three years and without any advantage for the players.

"The teams get only 47 percent of the television rights, which is less than 50 percent, and zero from advertising, ticket revenues and hospitality. This is not possible any more and it means unfortunately that someone has gone too far.

"I am worried that some teams cannot survive for money reasons. Ferrari is a small company and we have to think very carefully for the future. We have to try and give the maximum support to change the situation with the other car manufacturers."

Di Montezemolo warned as long ago as three years that the sport could not continue with its rising costs unless there was more revenue for the teams, but discussions with Ecclestone about a redistribution of income have so far failed to improve the situation.

And Di Montezemolo even made it clear that his own outfit would not be able to stay in F1 unless the situation changed. He also believes that action needs to be taken before the end of the current Concorde Agreement, which lays out the sport's finances. It is due to run out at the end of 2007.

"It is not possible to survive even for teams like Ferrari with this unacceptable low level of revenues," he said.

Referring to Ecclestone's own wealth which has been generated through the sport he said: "I think that in life if somebody doesn't think of the future, and only to put money in their pockets today, we take a big risk for the future because I don't think F1 can survive in these conditions.

"Thank God at the end of 2007 we have something, but we still have three years in front of us and everything must change. We will see. Now is the time to try and find a solution and, if not, then everybody starting with Ferrari will think what we will do. The level of the revenue for the teams is unacceptable and ridiculous."

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