Montezemolo blames rules for poor start

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has blamed bad rules and complacency at his team for the Scuderia's disastrous start to the season

Montezemolo blames rules for poor start

Neither Felipe Massa nor Kimi Raikkonen scored points in the first three races of the season, and another non-score in Bahrain on Sunday would mark Ferrari's worst ever start to a Formula 1 season.

Speaking during a visit to the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, where he vowed to show support for Ferrari, di Montezemolo blamed the confusion caused by the diffuser regulations and a misplaced confidence from his team as chief contributors to its problems.

"I want to understand why we are there. Why we are in the middle of a black tunnel. And the main reasons are three," said di Montezemolo.

"Number one, we have seen very bad written rules. They are what I call grey rules, with different interpretations.

"And if teams that have won the last three world championships, like Renault, McLaren and Ferrari, an important team and car manufacturer like BMW and even Red Bull, have done one interpretation, it means that at least the rules are not clear. So very unclear rules means different interpretations, means different cars in the field.

"Second, is KERS. KERS represents a lot of money. It represents something that has been introduced to have a link between Formula 1 and advanced research for road cars in terms of energy, and in terms of green [technology] and in terms of innovation as I like.

"And we have done immediately the KERS, even if KERS means a lot of money, it means a problem with the safety, it means reliability and it means to project a completely different car - as McLaren has done and as a lot of other teams have done.

"But we have been surprised to see KERS was just a suggestion, not a real world. And today we are facing a very strange and in my opinion not positive situation. We have three different F1s on the grid - we have F1 competition cars with KERS, F1 competition between cars with no KERS and a different floor, and third competitors with no KERS and no floor.

"I think this is bad, and it is one of the reasons why unfortunately we are not competitive and we are forced to invest time, and extra money in such a difficult moment, to do a heavy modification to our car.

He added: "The other reason is that we have started to work in a hard way to the new car late. And this was a pity, particularly in a year in which the rules have been completely new. It is not, in other words, an evolution of last year's car, and this is a second reason why we have not been competitive.

"And the last reason is that I feel inside the team there has been a little bit too much of a presumptuous approach. Sometimes to put the head down in the ground is useful to looking ahead, but I must say that sometimes having your whole head, feet, everything in the ground, even more underground, is better. So I think these are the main reasons.

"We are working hard and I have a big confidence in my team. I am sure that we will go back very soon - not immediately, but very soon."

Di Montezemolo believes that Ferrari's season would have begun very differently if it had adopted a double-decker diffuser and abandoned efforts to develop KERS.

Speaking about the effect of Ferrari's complacency, di Montezemolo said: "Well, there is sometimes when you win too much you think you are the best. I want a different attitude, and some time to have this approach is useful, particularly when you have fantastic people like we have in Ferrari.

"Some time we think that maintaining the top is easy. But we have done 10 years, showing that we are able to maintain the top. Except for 2005 where we were not competitive, we won or lost the championship at the last race. This year the main reason was that if we approached the rules in a different way, without KERS, and with a different floor, then today we will talk about a different Ferrari."

Di Montezemolo did say that he remained confident the team could turn its situation around - and he had faith with the management structure he had in place.

"Of course I am totally unhappy, but stability of the team and confidence of the team for me since 1992 was my main goal and I will continue," he said. "This team is exactly the same team that was very close, crossed the line not 20 years ago but a few months ago winning the championship, so there is no problem.

"When I know the reason I am confident, and when I don't know the reason I am worried. I know the reason, my people know the reason - and they are fully committed, so I am very confident. But then I am very upset for other reasons that are nothing to do with the team."

shares
comments
Grapevine: Ecclestone drops down rich list ranking
Previous article

Grapevine: Ecclestone drops down rich list ranking

Next article

Q & A with Luca di Montezemolo

Q & A with Luca di Montezemolo
Load comments
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Plus

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021