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Di Montezemolo on FOTA, budgets and Rome

NEWS STORY
14/01/2011

On the final day of his team's media event in the Italian Alps, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has shared his thoughts on FOTA, allegations of overspending at Red Bull and the possibility of a Grand Prix in Rome.

"If the teams know how to remain united and work in a constructive fashion, as part of the triangle alongside the FIA and the commercial rights holder, then this organisation has a future.," he said, when asked about the teams' alliance. "When I was president, it was a different more difficult time, whereas now the atmosphere is calmer.

"The fact remains that Formula 1 has to be the highest level of this sport," he continued, "therefore there cannot be too big a gap between the big and small teams in terms of how competitive they are."

Referring to claims that Red Bull has broken the FOTA agreement and overspent its budget this year, he said: "I have heard these stories, but I don't know if they are true.

"If they turn out to be correct, then it shows that our long held view that we are against an artificial cap is the right one: it is impossible to run checks when for example, there are companies involved which can manufacture in various countries.

Finally, asked for his thoughts on F1 on the streets of Rome, which appears to have been killed off, di Montezemolo said: "I said it at the Christmas dinner with the Italian media: the teams' view is not to exceed a certain number of races per year: already the season goes on forever.

"The preference is to have Grands Prix in new countries in important markets, first off in the United States, rather than have two races in Germany, Spain, or Italy.

"Therefore, Ecclestone's letter is not a failure for Rome, but the awareness that there is a desire to have just one Grand Prix in Italy. Alternating it with Monza? We would need to see if that suits Ecclestone, if the conditions are right, if the two cities can agree, while not forgetting that Monza is a permanent circuit that is part of the history of Formula 1."

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