Montezemolo blasts Ferrari


Former Ferrari boss, Luca di Montezemolo is shocked by the fact that his former team now celebrates finishing third, claiming team founder Enzo would be aghast.

Montezemolo's association with Ferrari goes back to 1973, when he was placed there by his bosses at FIAT as Enzo Ferrari's assistant. A year later he was put in charge of the racing team.

During his first stint at Maranello he oversaw Niki Lauda's titles before returning to FIAT where he became a senior manager, his responsibilities including the management of a number of the industrial giant’s interests including Cinzano. Along the way he even found time to take on the management of the organizing committee for 1990 World Cup.

In 1991 he was appointed president of Ferrari, and in this role he not only oversaw the resurrection of its road car business but guided the F1 team towards the golden era of the late 90s and early 2000s.

The term DNA is often used in Formula One, particularly by Ferrari as it happens, but in Montezemolo's case it would appear the Scuderia flows in his veins.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise to learn that he is shocked by the current state of the team, claiming that Enzo Ferrari would not have tolerated the situation.

"Do you know what I find unfortunate?" he tells Quotidiano Sportivo. "That they are now cheering for third place, like at Spa.

"That's not the way Ferrari is," he adds, "and the Old Man would never have accepted that, never.

"Ferrari taught me a lot," he continues. "As an example, he taught me never to settle. After a win, he was always thinking about the next race. At the same time, it was hard work. Enzo hated holidays. In August, he kept me in the office, he was not a supporter of those who went on holiday in August.

"He made me understand that Ferrari is an emotion that holds human and social value in its industry, it is a symbol of research and innovation. As president, between 1991 and 2014, I tried to be faithful to his lesson."

At a time there is much speculation over the team's line-up, Montezemolo, though insisting that this is the least of the team's issues, believes that Charles Leclerc should remain on board.

"Charles I would definitely want to keep," he says, "he is good and, in my opinion, there are no stronger drivers than him available at the moment.

"But currently, whoever is driving the red car is the least of the team's problems," he adds.

"When I was the president, I created a dream team with Schumacher to Todt, from Brawn to Byrne. Look, as a fan, I don't dream of a Ferrari that always wins, but that always fights for the title right up to the last race of the season, like in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

"You can lose, but as a protagonist, not as a secondary player."

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Published: 16/08/2023
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