di Montezemolo stokes up the FOTA fire


Luca di Montezemolo, President of Ferrari and the newly formed Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), has launched a scathing attack on the Singapore Grand Prix, claiming that the circuit and the use of the safety car was "humiliating" for the sport.

Listen to the press releases and much of the media and you'll believe that Singapore is the best thing to have happened to F1 in living memory, as many who should know better fall over themselves to lavish praise on the track and the whole concept of a night race. On the other hand, however, there are many who see the whole concept as a gimmick, the sole aim of which is to further line the pockets of the sport's powers-that-be.

Speaking in the wake of an event which saw neither of his team's drivers score a point, but instead fall by the wayside as farce gave way to total failure, di Montezemolo makes it clear that he is not on the side of those gushing over the latest addition to the F1 calendar.

"When we race on tracks which should be used for the circus, anything can happen including the spectacle of the Safety Car," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "All this is humiliating for F1 and it is an aspect I want to talk about with the other teams in the next few weeks."

While some may see di Montezemolo's comments as sour grapes following such a spectacular failure, others will surely agree with the Italian, however, it remains to be seen whether rival team bosses concur, if only in private.

FOTA is currently looking at drafting new rules for the future of F1, and it will be interesting to see if di Montezemolo is able to persuade his fellow team bosses to drop the forelock tugging when it comes to the whims of Bernie Ecclestone and say how they really feel.

As the sport looks to the future surely such things as circuits and night races are as important as the basic rules of the sport.

That said, the teams have some urgent negotiations in the weeks and months ahead as they attempt to come up with their own blueprint for the future of the sport. We hear that at last week's meeting a number of issues which could result in a seismic change to the sport were discussed, including standard transmissions, standard wheels, standard brakes and standard rear wings?

We hear there may even have been a vote on whether F1 should have a weight handicap system!

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Published: 30/09/2008
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