Luca di Montezemolo has sung a ‘mea culpa’. The former head of Ferrari as president of the firm has admitted that at the time “the impact of the hybrid era was underestimated.”
The hybrid engine was not introduced until 2014, the final year of Fernando Alonso and Luca Montezemolo at Ferrari. The Italian manager was dismissed from his post in September 2014, but before that Sergio Marchionne had imposed his own roadmap on the Scuderia.
Montezemolo does not shirk his responsibility “because I was president of Ferrari when the decision to switch to the hybrid was made”, he admits in an interview in the Italian newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, “and at that time he could have exercised the right to veto”.
In any case, the Ferrari crisis comes from further afield, although it was not so obvious in other years and the cause is the same. In the Schumacher era from Maranello continual concessions were made: sole supplier of tires, progressive limitations of the tests, longevity of engines and gears, etc. All of them have made an impact in Maranello.
“I accepted hybrid technology because the ecological tipping point in the industry needed to be reflected in racing as well, but I underestimated the Italian deficit, even ours, even Ferrari’s, in terms of this technology, which was not part of our cultural background, “he said in statements to the newspaper Il Resto del Carlino Montezemolo, who added that he should” congratulate those who have known how to work better than us. ”
On this occasion, however, Montezemolo has not made reference to what he said recently, that I would have vetoed this technology if I had known that Mercedes had been working on it for two years.
In fact, this is something quite similar to what has happened with aerodynamics. For years they lamented the lack of air culture and that aerodynamics were more important to achieve performance than having a good engine … but when they opted for a state-of-the-art power unit, it was seen that there were also shortcomings at that point.
Although John Elkann, the top manager of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari, has said that in 2022 the Reds will be in a position to win again, Montezemolo is cautious. “I don’t like giving deadlines, setting dates. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not fair to give that to the fans, who have the right to expect an immediate reaction. Ferrari must make immediate decisions.”
Words that will undoubtedly underline all the prancing horse’s tifosi, but which are perhaps unrealistic considering the few changes that may be made to the cars next year.
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