Ferrari: Reform or Breakaway

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Luca di Montezemolo waved the starting flag at the 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and also managed to wave the battle flag of FOTA while attending the event. Commenting on the current situation between the FIA and FOTA, Luca took a moment to offer his thoughts on what is happening and what could happen:

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

Could Ferrari entertain a Le Mans entry? “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.”

Luca said that FOTA will be pressed to reveal their plans which, if reading him correctly, will show how the FIA’s moves and regulations are the wrong thing for F1. One wonders if this may expose some seedy side of the FIA position and just why they are adamant of the 2010 regulations beyond Max claiming he is saving the sport?

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