Di Montezemolo on Ferrari and the future
Talking Schumacher, Rossi, Alonso and Massa
Speaking at the launch of the new F10 championship challenger Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo spoke of the season ahead, his former star Michael Schumacher’s move to Mercedes , Valentino Rossi’s F1 test and ongoing rumours, and of course the potential of the new Fernando Alonso - Felipe Massa driver line-up.
"The presentation was very emotional, because I was excited," di Montezemolo began. "This is a very emotional moment I’m confronting with anticipation, but I won’t know where we stand before the Saturday of the qualifying in Bahrain. The team worked with determination and unity I haven’t seen for a long time.”
The numerous journalists present at the press conference asked him about his point of view regarding Schumacher’s comeback. “I like Schumacher - It was me who woke his desire to come back to racing and honestly I never thought I’d see him in a car that wasn’t a Ferrari. He’s a competitor, an opponent, like many others. I’m not worried about the possibility that he might have taken material from our development.”
Regarding the situation of the Scuderia Ferrari drivers the Chairman confirmed: “When Ferrari decided in 2005 to take Raikkonen the alternative was Alonso, who now finds himself in a fundamental moment of his life. He’s matured, young and strong; he has won two championships, one in 2005 and one in 2006, beating us 100%.
"We don’t have any problem as far as our drivers are concerned. We have Massa, who is back with further enthusiasm, we have Alonso I just told you about and then we have Fisichella as the third driver and two very experienced test drivers: Marc Gene and Luca Badoer."
The journalists asked many questions regarding renewals and stability for F1: “Formula One needs a season of great renewal with three main objectives: technology, because it has to become the avant-garde to anticipate extreme and innovative technology for road cars; it has to regain credibility and it needs justice to guarantee stability. Furthermore the cost is an important factor - I don’t want a Formula One with lower performance – and also stable rules."
As far as the rules are concerned he was “very much in favour of qualifying without full tanks like in the past and the choice of tyres. This is a start, with the collaboration from all of us. I think that teams and Federation can look ahead and do many things.”
One journalist asked about Valentino Rossi’s possible arrival at Ferrari: “I want to be a little more general: I spoke about the possibility of a third car, but I didn’t say that Ferrari needs to have three cars. I’m well aware of the objections coming from the small teams. I was talking from the point of view of the interest of Formula One and of potential new entries in Formula One.
"The third car could also be helpful for young drivers, to let them grow. It’s not right that a boy, who has never driven in Formula One starts into a race without training and tests. Here’s the idea: I would happily give a Ferrari to an American, German or Australian team and let the car be managed by them. They would definitely spend less than if they had to build a car on their own from scratch. They could hand it over to a talented and strong driver or try it with a young driver with a certain potential. I told Domenicali to work on the possibility that some teams, like ours, could hand over cars to other teams.”
Talking about Rossi the chairman said: “He’s a friend and an undisputed champion, from Emilia-Romagna, a great fan of Formula One and engines, and also a potential Formula One Champion. If there was the possibility in 2011 and he wanted to do it and had the possibility for testing and adapting to F1, then why not?”