Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Finali Mondiali, Mugello, 2013

Ferrari dismiss quit suggestions as ‘pure speculation’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari have strongly denied any suggestion that they may consider a switch from Formula 1 to the World Endurance Championship following Luca di Montezemolo’s latest criticisms of the current F1 regulations.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Ferrari denies it is threatening to quit F1 (ESPN)

“”Some elements of the media have suggested Ferrari would quit Formula One to concentrate on the Le Mans 24 Hours and Endurance racing,” a statement read. “This is a bit of a stretch based on President Luca di Montezemolo reiterating that Formula One needs to evolve and renew itself, while also admitting that there is a unique attraction to the 24 Hour race.””

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso flags start of 24 Hours of Le Mans 2014 (Examiner)

Alonso: “Well I’m the first time here for me, so it’s a completely new experience, and try to enjoy this weekend that I’m not in the car, and let these guys compete. It’s a race that’s very attractive for all of the drivers; it’s very prestigious, so yes, I think one day before later I’ll come here.”

Schumacher ‘moved to rehabilitation ward’ (Times – Subscription)

“Michael Schumacher is being moved from intensive care to a rehabilitation ward in the Grenoble hospital where the Formula One driver is being treated for severe brain injuries, a German magazine has reported.”

Eleven years since the last Austrian GP, Formula 1 has transformed (NBC)

“Of the 22 drivers currently racing in Formula 1, just three raced at the last Austrian Grand Prix: Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. Raikkonen finished the race in second place behind Michael Schumacher, with Button coming home in fourth place for BAR Honda. Alonso retired from the race for Renault.”

F1′s return to Austria bucks the trend of global expansion (NBC)

“Austria’s return has been brokered by the track owner: Red Bull. Dietrich Mateschitz has seen all of this success on track for his team, but is yet to see them race at a home grand prix. Much like the team, this is a project that he has the money to make happen. F1 is happy, he’s happy, the fans are happy.”


Comment of the day

With Luca di Montezemolo voicing more complaints about the state in F1 in 2014, @craig-O asks, just how bad is this season, really?

What is wrong with F1 2014?

We have this titanic battle for the world title.

We have this excellent battle shaping up in each race for third place (4 different constructors have taken at least one podium finish) and in turn we have a great battle for 2nd and for 4th in the Constructors’ table.

We also have Marussia being considerably closer to the rest of the pack than before, and at times Bianchi has been ahead of one or both Saubers.

We also have the resurgence of Lotus, as they take on Toro Rosso for 8th place.

But most of all, we still have unpredictability. I mean, how many people have had a ‘perfect score’ in the predictions championship so far? Not too many that I can recall.

I’m loving F1 2014, and probably will continue to until Abu Double.

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  • 70 comments on “Ferrari dismiss quit suggestions as ‘pure speculation’”

    1. Thank God that Michael is showing positive signs.

      1. Indeed. I read about it, but with so much speculation going on, I didn’t know whether to buy it or not. Since F1F has earned my trust, now I’m more than happy to accept this piece of information.

        1. F1F recycles information from other sites. Trust the telegraph, but it’s still a paper, it can still be mislead just like the rest of the media, in its desire to get headlines. Time is a better indicator.

      2. I read that the news is not in fact positive, but indicative that his recovery is unlikely to be total. But I failed to see clarification in that article (which I shall try to find) for the claim.

        1. To be honest @vettel1, I read is as confirmation what I have thought/feared? from about 2-3 days since the accident happened, and that is that Schumacher will never wake up from the coma. It led me to think about him and say thank you and goodbye in Januari.

          Now that there is no hope of a significant improvement of his state he is being moved to a place where they can take care of him and the family can be with him regularly.

      3. I have a very close friend in a similar condition. The fact they they are moving him means one thing: the medical science has nothing more to contribute, the only thing left is to keep him stable and hope that a miracle happens. With my friend we have been hoping for some three year now. Yes, sometimes a miracle does happen, sometimes even decades later, but they are very few and far between.

    2. I think I know that might be the problem with F1 (apart from DRS, double points and Pirelli): we have too much access, especially in race. I mean I don’t have a problem with that, I love to hear anything that goes on, but I consider myself a big fan.

      But what do the more casual viewers hear? Look out for tyres here, save a bit of fuel there, and they start to think the drivers just limping in, when in fact they push as much as they can with a bit of attention so they can do it as long as possible. But when did the drivers not have to do that? Prost didn’t have to save fuel? Clark’s car went all the way without him looking out for it? Of course not, but we didn’t hear this much about it, and I think FOM should really cut back sharing the team radio on the world feed, and save it for red button (or something like that) so the people who are interested in those messages can still listen them.

      1. *I think I know what…

      2. That’s actually a very good idea; if only somebody had thought of that a couple of years ago

      3. I totally agree with what you are saying, I feel like we know everyone’s strategy before the race so we just watch the race to see if it pans out for them. I guess it’s like missing the qualifying and watching it back when you know the results, it takes the element of surprise away. If they got rid of team radio we would at least claw back some of that surprise and leave the commentators guessing.

    3. I seriously question sometimes whether Ferrari’s involvemnt in F1 is as great a benefit as it is widely regarded to be, or a hindrance.

      They are an engine manufacturer, which surely has to be one of their major contributions, but have they – by means of their veto power – discouraged involvement from other potential engine manufacturers? Has their recent lack of success reduced the allure of the marque? Has their over-politicising, torid management and outdated principle tarnished their image? In a time of economic hardship, is their historic financial inscentive just and above all merited? Has their previous reluctance to relinquish an underperforming Massa reduced their public appeal? And – perhaps most importantly – is F1 still primarily asscosited with Ferrari?

      The last is perhaps the most interesting point. If someone were to mention F1 to me in 2004, my primary reaction would be a visualisation of the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. It was very evocative.

      Now however, they are rather distant on the line on which my train of thought chugs along. To me personally, F1 is Vettel and Red Bull. To many others, F1 is Mercedes and the Hamilton/Rosberg rivalry. To others still, F1 is Frenando Alonso. But I am skeptical that is the case with Ferrari – at least directly.

      So would F1 miss Ferrari? Of course, but I believe the show would continue with only a small bump on the seismic trace.

      A mass walkout due to financial unsustaiability? Now that would be a San Francisco, 1906.

      1. When last did they use their Veto power? Why dont you remind us?

        1. @joshua-mesh, since these things are kept secret you would have to ask Bernie or Luca .

          1. They used it to block the initial proposed 4-cylender engines which Renault & VW Group initially wanted & that led to the current v6 Turbo setup we have this year.

            If that was the last thing they vetoed, Nobody knows expect those involved.

        2. That’s almost irrelevant @joshua-mesh – the fact they posses it in the first place is slightly ridiculous and must act as a deterent to other enterprises. It is indicative of corruption.

      2. Octopotent (@)
        15th June 2014, 1:09

        Well yes a small bump, see it is just a team, I don’t think there is any doubt that F1 would continue without Ferrari, the most noticeable thing about their absence could just be the lack of red cars. The Drivers they have wont leave the sport, and the needed of the technical side will stay, but I can’t see Ferrari leaving anyway. Sure they are on tough times but F1 I am sure must be so much more beneficial than WEC for a team like this. Ferrari is a brand with history and appeal to such a wide audience so I can’t see how the WEC could be more useful than F1, they are heavily based on the image compared to substance of other companies with the cost of their road cars.

      3. @vettel1, all very good questions, the Tifosi with their flags and sea of red in the grandstands are still probably the largest visible group of fans, but as they say in business, no-one (or entity) is irreplaceable.

      4. F1 without Ferrari will be as popular as GP2, unlike any other F1 team, Ferrari lives to race in F1 that’s a fact, teams/manufacturers used to enter and quit the sport, they don’t have any obligation towards the sport or the fans, they can enter and quit sport whenever they want. Ferrari has been involved since the start of F1, you can like the team or not but their commitment is out of the question.
        As for their recent lack of success, which is the subject of many debates within the F1 community can just counter your claim, have you ever heard someone complaining or talking about Williams lack of success since 1997, or Mclaren not being able to win WCC since 1998, or RBR flop this year compared to how they used to dominate in the last 4 years…
        BTW as for RBR, with Adrian Newey set to retire after 2015 and Vettel probably will leave by 2016, the F1 team will probably be sold because the company have already reached its Marketing goals. Mercedes has already sold 40% of the team (30% Toto Wolf,10% Niki Lauda)

        1. “F1 without Ferrari will be as popular as GP2”

          That sounds like a nonsense statement to me based on who you support.

          1. So now supporting Ferrari is enough to render an opinion irrelevant?

            1. That was barely an opinion, more a hypothesis which is clearly driven only by personal preference and ignores the vast majority of fans. In that case it is irrelevant, yes.

        2. Nigelstash (@)
          15th June 2014, 14:58

          So if both red cars crash out, do you switch off?
          To me, following F1 from the late 80s, Williams are the team the evoke that ‘feeling’ and I’m glad to see them back near the front, but if they packed up and left there would still be F1. Yes it would be a shame if there was no Ferrari, but they are just a team like any other. They should shut up moaning and try harder to win. Not like they’re short of cash.

          1. “They should shut up moaning and try harder to win.” If only they knew it was that easy

          2. @nigelstash Personally I don’t think Williams is on the same level as Ferrari. Pretty much everyone knows Ferrari, and associates them with Formula 1. Outside the people who follow/have followed F1, nobody knows Williams, even though they’ve been around for ages.

      5. Largely agree. I think I F1 would miss Ferrari – as it would miss McLaren or Williams if either of those great and historic teams were to leave the sport. That said, I don’t think that F1 needs Ferrari – and that is the difference between Montezemolo’s bravado/melodrama and the reality of the sport.

        If Ferrari wants to focus on endurance racing, more power to them. After all, F1 already currently has two big-money big-politics works teams to keep things tiresome.

    4. On Ferrari sports cars, I honestly question whether their F1 team has any effect on sales. I certainly think of the two as separate entities, and have a very different opinion of both departments.

      1. @vettel1 – Ferrari’s F1 involvement does not hurt their sports car sales. I think it enhances them based on the marketing aspects of racing, tradition, perception of eliteness to a point that goes beyond what nearly any other car manufacturer can offer. To lose the Formula 1 aspect could tarnish their image a bit.

        However, most of their customers and potential customers likely buy into the whole mystique and do not really pay attention to what the Ferrari F1 team is doing at the moment. The legend is already built in.

        Would I like to drive a Ferrari? Oh yeah. Test drive or temporary use of one, for sure. Would I like to own a Ferrari? No. Too expensive in so many ways even if I could afford it. The eliteness of the Ferrari or any other high end sports car is not really my cup of tea. I’m not their target customer.

        Overall, I think the Ferrari mystique and legend flows through the whole company. The results on the racing side tend to be cyclical and that is true with any long time racing team.

      2. Ferrari gets more money from f1 related merchandising than from selling cars. I’ll never get to buy an FXX, but sure as hell i gonna get a t-shirt any time i see one :D

      3. @vettel1
        The Ferrari brand is as strong as ever, Ferrari is actually the world most powerful brand in the world according to Brand Finance. In this period of economic crisis, Ferrari has been breaking its sales record year after year since 2010 without increasing the production number (7000 car per year).
        An example of how strong the Ferrari brand is, in Germany where there is manufacturers like BMW,Mercedes,Porsche…. and apart from the national pride…. All the Ferrari’s has been sold for next couple of years, if you want to buy a Ferrari in Germany you have at least to wait 2 years and i think it’s very normal, i can’t think of any car that can match the 458 Italia or the F12, let alone the LaFerrari which was made for the top 499 Ferrari customers. BTW Jay has got one with his favored color Green.

      4. I don’t think any car manufacturer really believes that people equate the race cars to the road cars when buying a car. It’s more about building brand identity. When you buy a Ferrari, you’re not just buying a car, you’re buying into an elite club, and take your place in the history and prestige of the company. More than pretty much any other marque, it’s this lineage, this legacy, which is central to the Ferrari brand, and a massive part of that is its participation in motorsport. Nobody really believes that the F1 car shares any technology with your new road car, but both can trace a direct and unbroken lineage back to common ancestors which once dominated Le Mans, Grand Prix Racing, the Targa Floria, and many others. A car is simply an object, but it’s the allure of the brand which delivers this sort of emotional response.

        Whether Ferrari as a car manufacturer would flop without F1 involvement, who knows. There’s an argument for saying that winning at Le Mans is far far more powerful for the brand than being beaten by Force Indias and the like in F1. But undoubtedly without F1, Ferrari wouldn’t be the same Ferrari we have today.

        But a Ferrari which competes in F1 and Le Mans (in the prototype category) is a very powerful brand indeed. And with the best in the world all going sportscar racing, it would be hard for Ferrari to ignore the temptation of going head to head with the likes of Porsche on the greatest motorsports stage in the world.

    5. Great COTD @craig-O. I chalk the negativity up to human nature’s need to complain about things, whether times are good or bad. That, and Ferrari’s near constant negative media campaign against the current rules and regulations.

      1. Not just Ferrari, There’s also Bernie & others within F1 & the media who haven’t helped matters.

        Instead of the focus been on how the new engines are just as quick, If not a faster than the previous V8’s while using a lot less fuel & on the fact that the racing has actually been very good all of the focus has been on how the new engines are somehow bad for the sport.

        Sadly because you only ever hear about the negatives, That opinion then becomes the consensus regardless of the actual facts.

        It was the same in 2010, All you heard about was how overtaking was impossible & how there was no overtaking & that led to the DRS/High-Deg tyres from 2011.
        However that view that there was no overtaking wasn’t even actually true as every race in 2010 actually featured a big increase in on-track overtaking & overtaking figures actually saw a massive increase that year, Yet nobody ever talks about that because that wasn’t the talking point of the time which you heard every weekend.

        1. Quite right! The only positive in my opinion was speculation about Ferrari exiting F1. Now I’m dissapointed.

        2. Exactly, how can such important and influential members of F1 be allowed to publicly talk the sport down, it is unbelievable.

    6. Interesting the talk of Ferrari complaining so much and even the rumor of their F1 exit. All the while they are building the newest Ferrari La Ferrari due to come out by the first of the year. It is touted by Ferrari to be equipped with a F1 like turbo V-6 hybrid. Ironic, isn’t it.

      1. I would call it a marketing mess almost as big as FOM @bullmello

        1. @bascb – Ha, good point! In comparison Formula E is doing a fine job promoting their new series. With a smaller budget and no large profits no less.

      2. I believe there’s some truth in this saying. Mercedes threatened with retirement if the rules don’t change… and they barely “landed” in F1 as a full team in 2010. I think a team who raced non-stop for 64 years in F1 is more entitled to make some “requests”. Plus, you can bet Ferrari weren’t happy with the tech changes because they don’t represent Ferrari at all. A Ferrari with a 4-cylinder engine ?!?!? Even 6 cylinders seems a sacrilege. Remember they did not want to put their badge on the Dino from the 60s. Then again, they’re more affected by certain rules because Ferrari always built on their own most part of their cars, unlike McLaren, Lotus etc, who just bought the engines from another company, be it for street cars or race cars. McLaren just built their 1st engine for the MP4-12C.

        1. Thing is, @corrado-dub, this WAS Ferrari’s demanded.
          Just look at what they asked for last years:
          1. Less downforce – we got that
          2. engines making an actual difference – defenitely playing a role this year
          3. more mechanical grip is also made more importantly by having less downforce. And undoubtedly the chassis part is making a huge difference this year.

          So Ferrari really got most they asked for, they and Mercedes should have been way ahead (with Red Bull behind them as Renault semi-works outfit). Instead Ferrari seem to have the weakest drivetrain package, and a mediocre aero package to go with it as well as still not really making progress.
          As for engines, I am sure that a young Enzo would stick whatever into his car, if it made it go fast and go to the finish before everyone else (before Marketing got on top of racing, several decades ago). Its about winning within the frameworks, that is what sports really are. Or they can setup their own Ferrari made championship and claim a 100% win rate.

          1. OK, sorry, didn’t know about those demandings, but still… I was talking about the engine mostly. That part is very important for Ferrari, the “heart”, an in-house product, so they really care about it. Have no ideea what they meant by an “engine making an actual difference”, but probably could have meant going upwards, to a more nobil config like V10 or V12, and not necessarily downwards. Just my impressions, but I think Ferrari is a little bit afraid of going closer to the tech used by street cars, greener tech, hybrid… stuff like that. That’s simply because they barely have experience with stuff like that. Then, it’s too different compared to what they’re creating, so that’s meaning extra money too. Then again, I think their car this year is not that bad, except Mercedes, it’s just that is bad when it comes to be raced with all kind of restrictions, like limited fuel etc etc.

        2. “Even 6 cylinders seems a sacrilege.”

          They didn’t have objections when they used for winning championships with V6s in the ’50s and ’60s.

          1. Awful English there.

            They didn’t have any objections when they used V6s to win championships in the ’50s and ’60s in some of their most iconic cars.

            1. Yeah, I know. Actually, I was reffering mostly at the 4-cylinder engine, as they’ve used 6-cylinder engines already in the past already. A 4-cylinder engine will definately favour Ferrari the least, very probably an engine of such config requiring new staff to be hired. Renault, VW, Toyota, Ford and even Mercedes have built 4-cylinder engines for a long time now, but not Ferrari. Almost for sure that would have meant some years where Ferrari would have been behind the competition in the engine department. Plus, the racing is linked with the street products, so a 4-cylinder engine very probably is not something Ferrari wants to be imaged with. There’s almost nothing “wealthy, powerful, rich, strong, luxurious” etc about a 4-cylinder engine. That’s like a poors man engine. It makes sense for Toyota, Renault, Ford, VW, becuase they build mass cars, but not for a company like Ferrari for sure.

            2. You can add to that the V6 turbo engine that they constructed in the 1980’s – they also actively considered introducing a four cylinder engine in 1983, inspired by BMW’s success with the M12 derived engine, but abandoned the idea after chassis integration issues (because the M12 block lacked the torsional rigidity, it couldn’t be used as a fully stressed member).

            3. Ferrari actually used a 4 cylinder when the ‘Formula 1’ world championship raced to F2 regulations in the ’50s, and this was used in the “Monza” series of lovely sports cars.

    7. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      15th June 2014, 11:23

      Why is Toto Wolff allowed to own a stake in two F1 teams?

      1. define “allowed” @collettdumbletonhall.

        The rules do not really even go into ownership of the teams. Mercedes apparently does not make an issue of it, and Williams does not seem to be worried about it, so really where’s the issue. After all Mateschits/Red Bull owns stakes in 2 teams for years now, why wouldn’t someone else be?

        1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
          15th June 2014, 13:57

          He has shares in Williams and he runs the Mercedes team and no-one bats an eye-lid. In Football you can’t own two teams and he is allowed to in F1.
          It just seems to contradict fair play.

          1. There is 2 reasons not to allow it (@collettdumbletonhall):

            1. competition reasons – one owner of multiple outfits hurts the level of competition between teams. This surely is not a worry with Wolf being in charge at Mercedes and owning minority stock at Williams. If you do worry about this aspect, get on the barriers against RBR having 2 teams for years now before even thinking about Wolff. In the past Briatore also ran the Benetton team and bought Ligier (to get the Renault enigne). I get the point, but seemingly no one in F1 cares, certainly not the FIA nor FOM.

            2. Keeping things secret (i.e. knowledge transfer from Mercedes to Williams) – I see this as mainly a thing for Mercedes management to worry about. They don’t seem to mind, so there you have it.

            1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
              15th June 2014, 14:49

              I think Red Bull owning both is a bad thing too. Maybe you don’t think it is an issue now but if Williams produce a decent car and Wolff threatens to remove funding in order for Williams to not challenge to Mercedes cars then it will become a problem.

            2. I think that part of the reason why nobody objects to it is because Wolff has come to an agreement with Williams where he is a passive investor.

              In other words, whilst he still retains a stake in the team (16%), he does not have an active role in the management of the team – his duties with Williams were assumed by Claire Williams and he himself has, I believe, not been active in any shareholder votes. Because he has taken pains for his involvement with Williams to be at arms length, I think that for the moment it is tolerated.

            3. “Wolff threatens to remove funding”

              My understanding of owning a share is limited, but Wolff doesn’t really fund the team does he? What could he actually do with his share?

      2. Why is Red Bull allowed to own 2 teams outright? That seems more objectionable.

        1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
          15th June 2014, 14:49

          It is objectionable.

      3. @collettdumbletonhall Probably for the same reason that Dietrich Mateshitz is allowed to.

    8. I don’t get why everybody is complaining that Ferrari are threatening to quit, when clearly they are denying that.

      1. It’s because most people make the mistake of LdM = Ferrari.

    9. Contrary to the reasons given buy countless people that F1 is boring due to the new regs and so on, I think one of the main reasons F1 isn’t as interesting to some is due to the fact there is only one team with drivers that can win the championship this year. Mercedes have done a brilliant job with the car this year so take nothing away from them but In my view F1 has always been the most interesting when there is two or three teams that look like they can win it across the year. I dont think we have had a two team battle until the last race since when? 2010 with Red Bull and Ferrari? Even in 2012 and 2013 when the championship started off so well ended with a pretty boring succession of Red Bull wins for them to take the championship. Some of the best years in F1 come down to two equal teams in the race to win: 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2000, 1994, 1991 are just a few examples I can remember.

      1. The championship went to the final round in 2012, with RBR’s 4 wins immediately following 3 wins from Mclaren. RBR then didn’t win any of the final 3 races. Otherwise, good point.

      2. @giggsy11 Sorry to burst your bubble here but F1 has usually been one team clearly out front. On many occasions has the driver who has won the title also had the team win the title in that year too. You only need two cars to have a race, and that’s how many cars you have in a Formula One team. Some of the greatest seasons has also seen two team mates fight for the title, see 1996, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1984 and 1979 as a few examples.

        1. @craig-o fair point but it still does not persuade me otherwise. To me nothing beats two different teams with completely different car philosophies battle it down to every one hundredth of a second. That beats one dominate car with two good drivers. Then again nothing is worse than a dominate car with no inter-team battle.

    10. As long as Formula 1 exists, Ferrari will race in it. Unless Formula 1 does something daft like make the championship a single-spec series or something, then Ferrari will always be involved. However, I don’t think it’s out of the question that Ferrari could do both F1 and Le Mans. If the FIA successfully cuts the costs involved in F1, in whatever capacity, then Ferrari (F1’s biggest spender) surely stands as the team who will save the most money. It’s more than possible they could use the remaining funds to set up a prototype team.

    11. Regarding the NBC article, well there are 4 drivers who have previously raced in Austria. The fourth one being Felipe Massa

      1. They’re only referring to the last race there in 2003. You are right though, there are four drivers who raced there, as Massa did in 2002 (the infamous staged finish).

    12. When LdM complains that racing shouldn´t be based on efficiency and then just Le Mans should become Ferraris new playground where efficiency is the keyword, this is entirely funny. So forget about Montezemolos remarks. The aim of such strategy is Vintage Ecclestone startegy to stir up as much as controversy and bafflement as possible, unless the championship declines, to gain new regulations in the end. He tried it already in 1982 to ban the turbo engines at that time with JMB as his ally, now he works with LdM and Red Bull (did they get their Austrian Grand Prix in return?). BUT: What we shouldn´t forget is that 1) we don´t know yet if Bernie will be able to attend the “future meeting” as his trial is over before September and 2) that a threat to resign from sports may be a fine weapon-but only one or two times, and not 43 times, as LdM has done so far. Formula 1 may benefit from the Ferrari trademark, but the real profit is the other way round.

    13. Here’s a nice little pre-race stat: Prior to Austria 2003, Raikkonen, Button, Alonso and Massa had just one race win between them. Prior to Austria 2014, they have 78 between them.

    14. I think, the F1 will become to a weak sport.

    15. Just hearing Schumacher is out of coma, I know its a long uncertain road, but this is really positive. Fingers crossed.

      1. Yes, just heard news item on BBC radio, that he’s being moved from the Grenoble hospital.
        What does “clinically awake” mean?

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