Ferrari boss: New teams are ‘a joke’ and F1 races too long

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Luca di Montezemolo apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.*

In an interview at British Autocar, he calls the new F1 teams a “joke,” complains that F1 races last too long and are put on at a stupid time and suggests that maybe a separate endurance race other than Le Mans would be right for the Italian team.

Which one do you want to start with?

Let’s target the new teams. Luca sure does:

Speaking to Autocar at a private dinner in London di Montezemolo launched a thinly veiled attack at the new entrants to the sport.

“There is a need to have competitive teams,” he said. “F1 is like soccer. It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalise everything. We need to avoid having too many small teams because it means too many compromises.”

Di Montezemolo revealed that he favoured running a third car, or giving an identical Ferrari to another team to run.

“Giving this car to a good young driver or Valentino Rossi would be better than a team being four seconds behind,” he said.

That’s pretty strong words for a guy in charge of a team that isn’t exactly at the sharp end of the grid right now. I suppose McLaren and Red Bull might be upset at the compromises they are having to make to accommodate Ferrari.

Next? The show:

“Do we need to race at two in the afternoon when everyone is at the sea?” he said. “Could we have two races per meeting? Do races need to last so long? F1 is not an endurance race. We need races to be short and tough.”

He also called for a return to testing during the season: “F1 is the only sport in the world where there is no training.”

Well, I’m sure we’d all support a return of testing, but the races are two slow? There should be two of them? What, like GP2?

It’s kind of funny, just the other week I was complaining to Todd that the races are too short. They all are about 300 kilometers. Why not longer? Why not 400 or even the “magical” 500 km?

And then there’s Luca’s last comments, which I really am having trouble unpacking:

“I’m very impressed with Le Mans but we can’t do both [F1] because of money and know-how and it’s only one race,” he said.

“Instead if we can put together an endurance series, either 12 or 24 hours, with other car makers and race around the world, that would be good,” he said.

How is what he’s describing less hard than Le Mans? And… correct me if I’m wrong, but what he is suggesting is a series that is “compromised” so the F1 teams can run in it. How is that different from his complaint about the new F1 teams this year compromising F1?

Oh, right, it isn’t.

This was not Luca at his best.

* Judging by the framing of the story as having happened at a “private dinner,” maybe Luca enjoyed a little too much Chianti?


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