Luca di Montezemolo is pissed. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Dan Neil in Maranello, Ferrari's head honcho didn't mince words. "Formula One isn't working," he says. And that could mean ditching F1 for endurance racing, which lines up nicely with tomorrow's announcement at Le Mans.
"[F1 is] declining because FIA have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement," di Montezemolo told Neil. "Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on."
Specifically, he's complaining about the new rules that the FIA set out in 2014 to make the race "greener", with hybrid powertrains, limitations on tires and tech, and a set number of engines for the season.
Just as frustrating for di Montezemolo is the inability for the team to work on the engine during the season – it's locked down and can't be further developed, which is one of the reasons Scuderia Ferrari is barely holding onto third place in the constructor's championship.
And naturally, he couldn't help making a comment about the sound.
"People watch racing to be entertained," di Montezemolo said. "No one wants to watch a driver save gas or tires. They want to see them push from here to there. It's sport, yes, but also a show."
Ferrari hasn't competed at the top level of endurance racing since 1972, when Old Man Enzo left to focus on F1. And this isn't the first time the automaker has threatened to pull out of F1 to compete at Le Mans. di Montezemolo waved the flag in France in 2009, just as the FIA and Ferrari were embattled in a dispute that almost caused Ferrari to takes its red cars and go home.
This year, Fernando Alonso will drop the flag to kick off the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And that ceremonial repeat is a subtle indication that Ferrari is looking for another venue to fly its colors.
"We cannot do sports-car racing and Formula One," says di Montezemolo. "It's not possible."
UPDATE: Ferrari's announcement at Le Mans has apparently been postponed from Saturday, according to SportsCar365.