Ferrari has denied president Luca di Montezemolo suggested his team could quit Formula 1 if the Maranello squad is unhappy with the future rules of the sport.
“Formula 1 is still our life, but without Ferrari there is no Formula 1, just as without Formula 1 Ferrari would be different,” said di Montezemolo during the Ferrari World Finals event at Mugello.
“If Formula 1 still wants Ferrari it must change and go back to being at the cutting edge of research, while always keeping an eye on costs. We are not in Formula 1 as sponsors, we are constructors.”
But speaking through its ‘Horse Whisperer’ column on Monday, the team said di Montezemolo’s comments were not to be interpreted as a threat, but rather as constructive talk to help make Formula 1 better.
“Montezemolo’s observations were seen by some as a sort of ultimatum or even a threat to leave Formula 1, but the Whisperer can assure you that it was nothing of the kind,” the ‘Horse Whisperer’ said on Ferrari’s website.
“For starters, the words ‘leave’ or ‘ultimatum’ did not even feature in his pronouncement, but what really needs to be stressed is that Montezemolo spoke in a totally constructive fashion, which is usually the case with the President of a company that has always been in Formula 1 and who has the future well being of the greatest form of motorsport so close to his heart.
“Saying that ‘Formula 1 is still our life, but without Ferrari there is no Formula 1, just as without Formula 1 Ferrari would be different’ means that Maranello is working on the front line when it comes to drawing up plans for the immediate future of the sport.
“The criticisms and comments put forward yesterday are nothing new – Montezemolo has aired them before. But they must be seen as a stimulus: it’s logical that a car constructor sees its involvement in Formula 1 as a test bench for technological research aimed at its products, while keeping in mind that keeping costs under control is a must and Maranello has always been at the forefront of this initiative.
“That’s why the number of testing days needs to be revised: not only because we are the only sporting discipline where athletes are strictly forbidden from training on their ‘pitch’ but also because the current restrictions make it impossible for youngsters to progress and experience driving for real rather than just in the virtual world of the simulator.
“And to those who think that cutting back on aerodynamics was done purely for Ferrari’s benefit, remember that taking into account Ferrari’s historic role, clearly it is right to want to think of Formula 1′s success as a sport: we don’t want to see missiles or rockets on the track; what we want is competition between cars.”