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Ferrari Boss: Our F1 Team Is Bad And We Should Feel Bad

Illustration for article titled Ferrari Boss: Our F1 Team Is Bad And We Should Feel Bad

Following yet another lackluster Ferrari performance at Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo issued a scathing public rebuke to both his team and his driver. What, you expected a Ferrari executive to sugar coat things?

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After Sunday's race ended with Fernando Alonso finishing fifth and Felipe Massa finishing eighth, Montezemolo ordered everyone involved with the team to immediately get their shit together and stop sucking from now on. From a news release:

The Ferrari I saw in yesterday’s race doesn’t sit well with me.” President Montezemolo was very clear when, early in the morning, he opened the meeting with Stefano Domenicali and the Scuderia engineers, the day after a disappointing Hungarian Grand Prix, especially on the performance front. The President asked for an immediate upping of the tempo, right from Spa, to start being a contender for victory again, as had been the case up to the Canadian Grand Prix.

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Emphasis mine. He also gave each engineer present a "gift" in the form of a knife, telling them "to put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the second half of the season." Dayuuuuummmm.

Clearly, Montezemolo — who managed the brand's F1 team in the 1970s and led it to a historic turnaround — is not pleased with the less-than-stellar results they've been posting this season.

It's not that Alonso and Massa are bad, per se, it's just that Ferrari hasn't really been a contender in 2013. Alonso has won just two of the races so far this season, and Massa has had just one podium finish. Alonso stands in third place, a whopping 39 points behind reigning champ Sebastian Vettel.

Speaking of Alonso, Montezemolo recently had to tell him to get in line after he told the Italian press he would like a faster car for his birthday. That did not go over well with the old man, apparently. From ESPN:

In an article on its website, Ferrari said Montezemolo felt that "there is a need to close ranks, without giving in to rash outbursts that, while understandable in the immediate aftermath of a bad result, are no use to anyone."

It added: "That was a reference to the latest comments from Fernando Alonso, which did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team. So, when Montezemolo called the Spaniard this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he also tweaked his ear."

The article went on to directly quote part of what Montezemolo said to Alonso.

"All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own," the Ferrari president told his driver. "This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one's own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it."

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As that story notes, rumors have surfaced over the weekend that Alonso could be lured away from Maranello to take Mark Webber's spot on the Red Bull team next year. For his part, Alonso has blamed the car, saying that recent upgrades have failed to make it faster.

With a whole month before the next race in Belgium, we have a long wait to see if Montezemolo's words take effect.

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Photo credit Ferrari/AP

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DISCUSSION

gasclay
Gaseous Clay

A Ferrari that builds GTOs that are homologations of nothing, so that fat dentists can impress their fat dentist friends, doesn't sit well with me. Neither does a Ferrari which abandons standard transmissions for "performance" in cars which are never raced, nor a Ferrari that works hard to give a big gt car a tiny front diff so it can have awd, rather than just sorting out the car's dynamics the right way. A Ferrari that will put its badge on ANYTHING to make a bit of cash doesn't sit well with me. How about your sort that out first, eh Montezemolo? Maybe if you didn't waste so much time and effort making everything you sell worse, or building ridiculous theme parks, you'd have a bit more room to improve your useless F1 team

Catering to the wants and needs of the ignorant masses is ok if you're a mass-market appliance manufacturer, but a niche market automaker shouldn't surrender its own quality in the name of wrangling in a few more dentists, least of all one with as much cache and history as Ferrari. You think Pagani got so successful by looking at what the market says and just building a cookie-cutter sports car with no redeeming qualities? No, he built the car he wanted, and it was excellent. He's managed that success even when his one solitary product began as quite expensive and only cost more as time went on. It's the same story up in Sweden, and those guys don't have the advantage of being under the huge umbrella of Italy's ruling family

Ferrari should build cars that are difficult to live with, dangerous to pilot, and whose true potential is out of reach for most everybody, and fuck what the market thinks That approach worked pretty well over the last five decades, and it's already proven that idiots will buy fucking anything with a Ferrari badge on it. Therefore, you could make a car that just stabs someone when they try to put it in 3rd, and explodes when they try to go back to 2nd, and it'll still sell