Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo went on record saying that while his team must still work hard to straighten up this year's F1 championship, la very much looks forward to a reduction of aerodynamic importance in 2014.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della sera, Montezemolo reiterated that every at the team must keep their heads down and try to resolve the current situation. He also said to understand Fernando Alono's frustration, given that the Ferrari F138 was perhaps the best car at the beginning of the season, but that the lack of improvement put the team in a difficult situation.
Red Bull Racing on the other hand did make considerable steps forward, and the Italian knows pretty well why that is.
“I’ve been around in F1 for quite a while, since the Seventies, so I don’t envy anyone anything. With the current regulations favouring aerodynamics, Red Bull was clever in getting a great designer, Adrian Newey, to get the most out of all aspects of the regulations. I will digress: this aspect of the rules is, in my opinion, a mistake and therefore needs changing."
With the 2014 rules focused on an entirely new drivetrain, Ferrari hopes the point of focus will shift away from aerodynamics and more into the strong points of the Italian team.
"Luckily, the hoped for changes are coming. We don’t make drinks and I say that with all possible respect for those who make drinks, we are not a sponsor, but we design and build cars of the very highest order. We will stay in F1 as long as it can be considered a test bed for advanced research, the highest technology and worthwhile for a great company like Ferrari, which is known and appreciated around the world. Formula 1 also has to be a clean sport without any of the monkey business we have had to put up with in recent years. From next season, we will have a completely different F1, finally less dependent on aerodynamics. I build cars not planes. We will finally have testing again and not a farce like what we saw this year with one team doing illegal testing without even paying the right penalty for it. In this case, I would have expected more clarity and courage from the FIA. On the other hand, the benefits gained by the team that carried out the secret banned testing are watched by everyone: before then, it had not won a single grand prix, then after the test it won three out of five races. These are the sort of serious incidents that affect F1’s credibility and alter the championship.”
Sporting wise, Montezemolo believes that Ecclestone can only be properly replaced by a group of people, instead of a single man.
“Sooner or later a generational change always occurs. It’s not too long until we reach the post-Ecclestone era for reasons of statistics. As for the rest, I don’t want to talk about it. We will have to prepare for a new cycle, capable of tackling the urgent matters and the need for a new F1. I believe the management of this sport, which let’s not forget is not just a show, should be entrusted to a group of men open to new ideas, who know about racing but also about marketing and communications and are sensitive to the demands of the fans, those who come to the circuits and therefore pay for the tickets and those who watch on TV, while being able to involve the sponsors and not alienate them. But be careful, I don’t want to have discussions with Ecclestone, I have had some in the recent past, because he was too talkative on the subject of Ferrari, but surprisingly silent on the subject of the illegal tests carried out by Mercedes. I know Bernie’s strengths and weaknesses, but let’s be very clear on one point, no one else will ever do for Formula 1 what Ecclestone has done.”
Inevitably, the subject of tyre cropped up and their ever more important role.
“It’s true, we are a bit too dependent on the tyres, however at the same time, one must recognise that Pirelli has shown great courage and ability and, as Italians we must feel proud of the efforts of one of our great companies in F1. No polemics, but I have only pointed out that I don’t feel it’s right to change the type of tyre at the midpoint of the season, for cars designed and developed with different tyres, which is another element that contributes to organising the hierarchy. And who knows if for next season, for which studies and preparation are already underway, there could not be further changes. We need clarity.”