Finally, di Montezemolo speaks. Does F1 have a credibility problem?

After Ferrari already had given us its two drivers, its chief track engineer and Enzo Ferrari’s own son, Piero, finally Ferrari president Luca di Montezmolo has spoken about the European Grand Prix.

We’ll see if it comes anywhere near being the final word.

Here he is, with a little added Ferrari context:

Maranello, 28 June – At the usual post-race briefing this morning in Maranello, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali examined what happened in yesterday’s race at Valencia in the cold light of day.

At the end of the meeting, the Ferrari president released the following statement: “The result of yesterday’s race was misrepresentative. Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules. Meanwhile those who didn’t follow the rules were penalised by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them. That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula One. We are sure that the FIA will fully analyse what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.”

Once again, the team is throwing the “credibility” issue about. All the Fernando Alonso vs. Lewis Hamilton stuff aside, I wonder if that’s a legitimate complaint. Thoughts?

My two cents are that Hamilton should have played it safe and not gone around the safety car; he had to know he was erring on the side of maybe breaking the rules. That said, the mind set in the car is to “go,” so I completely understand his decision and he was the one who managed to plow far enough ahead that a drive-through penalty didn’t, in the end, penalize him. Was he helped by the delayed penalty? Probably. But he pushed and kept it together.

In that sense, I don’t see the credibility issue. The five-second penalties for driving too fast behind the safety car seems reasonable to me and it was dolled out to about a quarter of the grid and did hurt some drivers. And if Hamilton hadn’t managed to push so far ahead, he might have come out fourth or fifth after his penalty, and then I don’t see where there could be a cry of questionable credibility.

It’s feeling like sour grapes from Ferrari, to me. And I totally understand why they would feel that way.

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