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di Montezemolo critical of Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
09/05/2005

Following Michael Schumacher's retirement from the Spanish GP, the result of double tyre failure, Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo has criticised the Japanese manufacturer's performance and failure to provide a tyre able to compete with the Michelins. He also blasts the current Formula One rules regarding tyres, which he believes are damaging the sport.

"I'm worried," he told La Republica, because I see, after five races, that we have a very competitive car. However, we have a big problem with the tyres.

"Bridgestone have worked very well in previous years," he continued, "but with these new regulations, tyres have an excessive, and certainly decisive, role. It's now more of a world championship for tyres than for cars.

"I know Bridgestone have always worked well, and I know they are working hard," he added. However, this is the number one problem today and it's the one that worries me the most. Having said that, we have a great strength. I knew that sooner or later the time would come when we couldn't win anymore - what happens in sport happens in life too. But we'll get even more satisfaction when we get back to winning because we have the will to do it and we'll demonstrate it."

In addition to how di Montezemolo's comments will be received by Bridgestone, it will be interesting to see how rival teams react.

For several years the Italian outfit has enjoyed an almost exclusive relationship with the Japanese manufacturer, many of its rival teams switching to Michelin because they believed that the Maranello team was getting preferential treatment. Others would claim that in recent years the world championship has become exactly how di Montezemolo has described it, a championship for tyres rather than cars, with Ferrari and Bridgestone reaping the rewards.

As part of the drive to reduce costs, the nine 'rebel' teams urged that a control - one-make - tyre be introduced, however Ferrari was totally against the idea, at least at this time.

Therefore, many F1 insiders will be left singularly unimpressed by di Montezemolo's comments, and will instead draw comfort from the fact that the biter appears to have been bit.

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