F1 must change for Ferrari to stay - Boss

Sunday 06th November 2011, 18:13 by Ryan Wood 

Formula 1 must change if Ferrari is to remain a part of the sport, according to the outfit's president, Luca di Montezemolo.

The 64-year-old warns that Ferrari won't back down over the changes they have requested, which include third cars, less dependence on aerodynamics and more in-season testing.

"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, speaking in Mugello.

"We can be very patient but there are precise conditions for us to continue with our work. We race not just for the publicity it brings us but above all to carry out advanced research aimed at all aspects of our road cars: engine, chassis, mechanical components, electronics, materials and aerodynamics, to such an extent that the technology transfer from track to road has grown exponentially over the past twenty years.

"What is not so good is that 90 per cent of performance is now based exclusively on aerodynamics and another negative is that ours is the only sport where no testing is allowed," he added.

The Italian says the sport must relax the rules on testing, not to the same level as seen previously, in which testing was unlimited, but to a level which allows younger drivers to experience F1.

"We are building cars, not helicopters, rockets or planes. Sure, we must not go back to the excesses of a few years ago, but neither should we be in a position where we can't provide opportunities for the youngsters we are bringing on in the Ferrari Driver Academy.

"Finally, there's the issue of the third car, which mark my words, we support not so much for our own interests but more for those of the sport in general. We believe the interest of the fans, media and sponsors could increase if there is a bigger number of competitive cars on track rather than cars that are two or three seconds off the pace, being lapped after just a few laps.

"As an example, remember in 1961 Giancarlo Baghetti won the French Grand Prix at Reims with a privately entered Ferrari. There you are, it would be nice one day in the future to see one of our cars running in American colours, or Chinese, or maybe those of Abu Dhabi."

Finally, Montezemolo warned that the sport shouldn't take Ferrari's presence for granted, and must make changes if they are to remain on the grid.

"We will support our views as we see fit, in the best way possible, but let's be clear, for those who agree, that is fine, but otherwise they will just have to accept it is our position.

"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," he concluded.

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