Interview: Montezemolo Blasts Qualifying

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo blasted Formula One's 'ridiculous' qualifying system on Sunday while expressing confidence that his misfiring Champions were back on the winning track

Interview: Montezemolo Blasts Qualifying

"Sometimes I laugh because you remember (how people said) 'Oh, we have to change the rules because Ferrari's competitivity can destroy Formula One'," he told Reuters at the San Marino Grand Prix.

"The rules are worse than before, the interest is less than before and this has nothing to do with Ferrari domination.

"I read the newspaper on Sunday morning without knowing who is on pole position. This is ridiculous," he said.

"We have to look ahead, trying to avoid too many divisions and go back with qualifying with all the cars together without hoping that maybe one car is under the rain while another is without rain.

"I don't like to play football in the rain with tennis shoes."

Ferrari's seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher, third fastest in Saturday's first session, qualified 13th on Sunday after locking up and skidding wide on a damp track.

The starting grid is decided on times aggregated from the two sessions with the new Sunday morning qualifying increasingly disliked by broadcasters and teams.

Schumacher has made his worst start to a season after scoring just two points in three races while Ferrari, winners of 15 of the 18 races last year, arrived at a circuit named after founder Enzo and son Dino with 10 points to Championship leaders Renault's 36.

Renault won in Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain.

Ferrari Recovering

Montezemolo said he believed Ferrari, constructors' Champions for the past six years, had put their early season problems behind them and would again be a force to be reckoned with.

"Ferrari is back, is competitive and is strong so we will look ahead with optimism," he said.

"You know it's normal, even human, that after six years you can have a moment, if it is a moment, of less competitivity.

"I have to make my compliments to Renault because they've done three good races but I will never forget that Ferrari has done six long seasons one after the other.

"Ferrari is again very, very competitive and I think in the next races in the season Ferrari will play a crucial role again," added Montezemolo.

Imola is normally a temple to Ferrari, with rows of red-shirted fans waving flags. Schumacher has won there five times in the last six years but there have been plenty of empty seats this time.

Montezemolo criticised the state of Formula One at last year's Italian Grand Prix at Monza and he said he had not changed his position.

"I criticised the rules, the qualifying, the price of the tickets and I think that today is the same situation," he said.

"My son can fly with a girlfriend to the Caribbean for half the price of a weekend with one car racing on Saturday. I said in Monza this is ridiculous and it still is."

At Monza, Montezemolo also called for teams to get a far greater slice of Formula One's revenues.

Since then Ferrari have joined commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the governing FIA in extending unilaterally the sport's existing commercial agreement from the end of 2007 to 2012.

They have been shunned by other manufacturers planning their own series from 2008 and rival teams who want an agreement to restrict testing during the season.

"What I said in Monza is exactly the same today, I said that we needed a bigger cake for the teams and we have found an agreement with Bernie regarding the money," said Montezemolo.

"I hope that everybody else can do the same."

shares
comments
Grapevine: Zanardi Back in a Williams Car
Previous article

Grapevine: Zanardi Back in a Williams Car

Next article

More Frustration for Fisichella

More Frustration for Fisichella
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022