• Jun 21, 2010
Luca di Montezemolo has never been one to mince words. The outspoken president of Ferrari – who until recently also chaired the Fiat group as well as the Formula One Teams Association – consistently makes headlines for speaking his mind, and has of late focused his criticism on the backmarker teams (principally comprised of newcomers), which most recently cost his star driver Fernando Alonso position – and arguably the lead – in last week's Canadian Grand Prix.

During the closing laps of the Montreal round, Alonso lost the lead to race leader Lewis Hamilton when Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus got in the way, and dropped further to third behind Jenson Button when Karun Chandhok's HRT blocked his way past.

In speaking with Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, Montezemolo said that the newcomers are running closer to the pace of the lower-rung GP2 series and ought to leave the bigger teams to race in F1. To fill their slots on the grid, Montezemolo has long advocated allowing teams like his to run a third car. His former right-hand man Jean Todt, now president of the FIA, is reportedly in favor of instituting a qualifying threshold that would force the backmarker teams to either shape up or ship out.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about you let the new teams get some extra practice in as opposed to bitching about them being road blocks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I meant to say extra testing time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Luca has always complained about anything that doesn't go his or Ferrari's way. In 2007 it was the points system, now it's this, the 3rd car, blah bah blah. It's always something with him.
      • 4 Years Ago
      spdracenut is right. Part of that exciting racing is passing the backmarkers or traffic, knowing how to deal with it etc. Pardon the comparison but you don't see NASCAR complaining...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let the new teams do more testing. it's stupid to expect them to be up to speed without the benefit of testing or of Ferrari's massive budget. Maybe we should send the complainers to gp2 so they can learn how racing really is. Luca, you're a joke.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love F1 but they should be throwing new teams a bone. Implement the 107% rule again but give them unlimited test time for the first year and then throttle it down to subsequent years. Right now they're pretty much forced to put in as many laps as possible to make improvements.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 107% rule was never used to compare the backmarkers with the front runners, it was so no one driver or team to sand bag the competition during Quali.

      How can the backmarkers "shape up or ship out" if they can't test to develop the cars? I realize that there needs to be budget caps to help the smaller teams from going bankrupt, but not allowing them test keeps them from getting better.

      The Ferrari is currently a better car than the Jordan, Alonso should have been able to pass them without even thinking about it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds like he's just sour about losing. Alonso needs to deal with it, as everyone else in F1 has had to. It's racing, and it has been seen this year that having these "slightly" slower cars on the field, and having higher traffic overall has led to consistently more entertaining races and exciting finishes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As mean as it sounds, I do agree with him to an extent. Bring back the 107% rule.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How can anyone expect the new teams to be up to pace when they can't test?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I personally think it just adds another element to the racing. In racing series with either very large fields (NASCRAP), or mixed fields with various classes running (ALMS, Grand Am, etc), getting through traffic is a key element of the racing. The guy that can work his way through better gets the advantage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ferrari or someone else, you cannot have cars that differ so dramatically in terms of speed.

      Brawn GP was successful last year and everybody seemed to jump up with expectations of success - if they can do it, a new team, we can do it too.

      What escaped their attention was that the car Brawn had last year took Honda's gazillions of dollars and about a year to develop. Brawn then strapped the best engine on the grid at the back. Name was new but nothing much else.

      What he have now? Three outfits with aerodynamically disabled cars developed on an industrial estate somewhere in the UK with asthmatic engines.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I always get the impression that Ferrari thinks that F1 stands for Ferrari Unicamente - Ferrari Only.

      It seems like Ferrari's preference would be for F1 to be a competition between 3 Ferrari drivers with no other teams. Because lets face it, things would have been sooo much better had that "backmarker" team Brawn been forbidden from racing last year. Sometimes other cars are slower than you. Sometimes, the slow cars are Ferraris. How would Ferrari feel if they were sent to GP2 for the 2nd half of last year because their car was so slow in the first half?

      By the same rules, the Ferraris would not be allowed into any of the Le Mans series as their cars were horrible in the GT classifications for years.

      Seriously, I support anyone but Ferrari. Anyone.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ferrari is still the best team in F1. Ever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah sour grapes indeed. How about your drivers do better by qualifying higher and aggressively overtaking those backmarkers.
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