Ferrari president rails against new teams – again

Posted on June 9, 2010


Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has continued his tirade against Formula One’s new teams.

He also proposed sweeping changes to Grand Prix weekends to make them more exciting in an interview with Autocar magazine.

Di Montezemolo said: “There is a need to have competitive teams. F1 is like soccer. It needs heroes and it needs big teams. You cannot equalize everything. We need to avoid having too many small teams as it means too many compromises.

“Do we need to race at two in the afternoon when everyone is at the sea? 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.”

This is far from the first time Di Montezemolo has attacked Lotus, Virgin and Hispania this season. Some of his claims have merit – Virgin and Hispania have looked hopeless at times this year – but it does not help anyone to keep undermining them.

Lotus, under Mike Gascoyne, have shown the teams can run professionally. In the right circumstances I fully expect the Malaysian-based outfit to race for points at some stage of this season.

Moreover, having the new teams does not undermine Ferrari or the other big names. What Di Montezemolo really does not seem to like is the budget restrictions needed to get the new teams interested.

But it was never going to be sustainable to keep spending endless amounts of money. Ferrari need to be spending more time developing the car as effectively as McLaren.

The more helpful intervention looks at race weekends. Formula One is more of an endurance race than ever under the 2010 regulations and it’s not great for the sport. There are too many tracks where tyre management is so much more important it stops the drivers racing.

Shorter races could help resolve this but as ever, what strikes me as more important is ensuring the cars can run close together.

As we saw in Turkey, the top cars can run together until late into a long race. But among the four cars there were just two exciting moments, despite the ferocious pace. Imagine if the top four cars had swapped places half a dozen times?

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