Ferrari insists it is committed to F1
Ferrari insists it is entirely committed to Formula One and that Luca di Montezemolo's recent comments about the future of the sport were not a threat that the team might leave.
Speaking over the weekend the Ferrari president listed his gripes with the sport, from a lack of testing to the dependency on aerodynamics for performance. Towards the end of his quotes - published on the Ferrari website - he added: "We will support our views as we see fit, in the best way possible, but let's be clear, for those who agree, that is fine, but otherwise they will just have to accept it is our position. If Formula One still wants Ferrari it must change and go back to being at the cutting edge of research, while always keeping an eye on costs."
This was widely interpreted as a warning that Ferrari would consider leaving F1 if its vision for the future of the sport is not taken into account by the sport's rule makers. But on Monday, Ferrari, speaking through its Horse Whisperer column on its website, clarified the meaning of Montezemolo's comments.
"Montezemolo's observations were seen by some as a sort of ultimatum or even a threat to leave Formula One, but the Whisperer can assure you that it was nothing of the kind," the anonymous column read. "For starters, the words 'leave' or 'ultimatum' did not even feature in his pronouncement, but what really needs to be stressed is that Montezemolo spoke in a totally constructive fashion, which is usually the case with the president of a company that has always been in Formula One and who has the future well being of the greatest form of motorsport so close to his heart.
"Saying that 'Formula One is still our life, but without Ferrari there is no Formula One, just as without Formula One Ferrari would be different' means that Maranello is working on the front line when it comes to drawing up plans for the immediate future of the sport. The criticisms and comments put forward yesterday are nothing new - Montezemolo has aired them before. On the contrary, they must be seen as a stimulus: it's logical that a sports car manufacturer sees its involvement in Formula One above all as a test bench for advanced technological research, while always bearing in mind that keeping costs under control is a must and Maranello has always been at the forefront of this initiative.
"That's why the number of testing days needs to be revised: not only because we are the only sporting discipline where athletes are strictly forbidden from training on their 'pitch' but also because the current restrictions make it impossible for youngsters to progress and experience driving for real rather than just in the virtual world of the simulator. And to those who think that cutting back on aerodynamics was done purely for Ferrari's benefit, remember that taking into account Ferrari's historic role, clearly it is right to want to think of Formula One's success as a sport: we don't want to see missiles or rockets on the track; what we want is competition between cars."