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Posts Tagged ‘Luca di Montezemolo’

Ferrari boss hits out at slow cars

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Report by Autosport

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has renewed his attack on Formula 1’s slowest cars – claiming that if outfits are not quick enough they should not even be allowed to take part in grands prix.

After seeing Fernando Alonso’s chances of victory in the Canadian Grand Prix wrecked when, on two separate occasions, he lost time and momentum behind backmarkers, di Montezemolo has again hit out at the backmarkers.

“Cars who perform at GP2-level should not be allowed to participate in F1 races because they are supposed to race on Sunday mornings,” di Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Our car’s race pace was good enough for victory. Let’s hope that, in the future, there won’t be mistakes in pushing a button nor in lapping cars that put us at a disadvantage, because we’ve already gone though that.”

Di Montezemolo has said on several occasions that F1 would be better off allowing the big teams to run three cars, rather than bringing in new competitors to boost the grid.

In response to what Di Montezemolo has crapped out of his mouth this time…

And that is all that I have to say.

(Does this man EVER stop sputtering such nonsense? I can’t believe I used to support this man and his team.)

Oh Ferrari, you certainly do amuse me!

May 7, 2010 Leave a comment

About a week or two ago, international doctors started making a stink about the barcode on the side of the Ferraris.

They wanted clarification on what the image represented, and an investigation to determine whether or not the barcode was a form of subliminal advertising for Marlboro cigarettes was also suggested. Ferrari was not pleased with this, and here is what they had to say.

Today and in recent weeks, articles have been published relating to the partnership contract between Scuderia Ferrari and Philip Morris International, questioning its legality.

These reports are based on two suppositions: that part of the graphics featured on the Formula 1 cars are reminiscent of the Marlboro logo and even that the red colour which is a traditional feature of our cars is a form of tobacco publicity.

Neither of these arguments have any scientific basis, as they rely on some alleged studies which have never been published in academic journals. But more importantly, they do not correspond to the truth.

The so-called barcode is an integral part of the livery of the car and of all images coordinated by the Scuderia, as can be seen from the fact it is modified every year and, occasionally even during the season. Furthermore, if it was a case of advertising branding, Philip Morris would have to own a legal copyright on it.

The partnership between Ferrari and Philip Morris is now only exploited in certain initiatives, such as factory visits, meetings with the drivers, merchandising products, all carried out fully within the laws of the various countries where these activities take place. There has been no logo or branding on the race cars since 2007, even in countries where local laws would still have permitted it.

The premise that simply looking at a red Ferrari can be a more effective means of publicity than a cigarette advertisement seems incredible: how should one assess the choice made by other Formula 1 teams to race a car with a predominantly red livery or to link the image of a driver to a sports car of the same colour? Maybe these companies also want to advertise smoking!

It should be pointed out that red has been the recognised colour for Italian racing cars since the very beginning of motor sport, at the start of the twentieth century: if there is an immediate association to be made, it is with our company rather than with our partner.

To those unfamiliar with this situation, Ferrari may have a good argument. However…

“The so-called barcode is an integral part of the livery of the car and of all images coordinated by the Scuderia, as can be seen from the fact it is modified every year and, occasionally even during the season. Furthermore, if it was a case of advertising branding, Philip Morris would have to own a legal copyright on it.”

Ferrari is saying that the barcode is a Ferrari design, then. That it is their own creation, a Ferrari invention. Alright, then would they care to explain what I am looking at on the Moto GP Ducati bike?

Now why would a design by Ferrari appear on a Ducati bike? In the same location where Ducati used to have Marlboro logos displayed? Hmm, very interesting!

According to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, this entire situation is “verging on ridiculous” and he heavily insists that red is a Ferrari colour. Yes Luca, it is. However, people are not questioning the colour of the Ferrari, or the red that surrounds and fills this peculiar barcode design. It is that very design itself that people are curious about, as it appears on all Marlboro sponsored bikes and cars that are not permitted to display cigarette brand icons, logos, and names.

You would have to be dense as a brick to not realize that the barcode is a Philip Morris invention and is used to exclusively represent Marlboro. While it’s kind of hard to look at the barcode and see cigarette advertising, it’s impossible to ignore what the barcode really is once you know that it is the mark of a cigarette company.

Despite Ferrari’s stance, they decided to remove the barcode yesterday.

Together with Philip Morris International we have decided to modify the livery of our cars starting with the Barcelona Grand Prix.

This decision was taken in order to remove all speculation concerning the so-called ‘barcode’ which was never intended to be a reference to a tobacco brand.

By this we want to put an end to this ridiculous story and concentrate on more important things than on such groundless allegations.

So now they actually admit that the barcode is Philip Morris’ doing, but they say that it has nothing to do with advertising cigarettes? Make up your minds, Ferrari.

So, what did they replace the barcode with? It’s funny, actually.

The image speaks for itself, doesn’t it? I don’t think I need to say anything! Just wow, Ferrari. Wow. All one has to do is look at a Ferrari livery from approximately ten years ago to realize that this is a massive step back.

I have a feeling that this isn’t over yet . Not by a long shot.

Ferrari’s war with the FIA not over, apparently.

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is an amuzing article that was posting on Ferrari’s official website yesterday.

The Horse Whisperer – For whom the bell tolls

Maranello, 22nd February – Only less than three weeks to go until the ultimate form of motor sport, the Formula 1 World Championship, gets underway, while celebrating its sixtieth birthday this year. For many of the teams, this coming week is a crucial one, as the bell rings to signal the final lap, with the last test session getting underway in Barcelona. It is one last chance to run the cars on track, to push reliability to the limit and to try and find some performance. That’s the situation for many teams but not for all of them. Of the thirteen teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year’s Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call, turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but at a much reduced pace. As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal. However, the beneficiaries of this generosity might find the knight in question expects them to fulfil the role of loyal vassal. All this means, it is hard to imagine the Dallara designed car showing its face at the Catalunya Circuit, with Sakhir a more likely venue to witness the return of the Senna name to a Formula 1 session.

The thirteenth team, USF1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again. Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.

Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.

This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it. In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?

Again, this came from Ferrari. Their official website. It is believed that Luca Cordero di Montezemolo wrote this, uh, eye opening article. However, whomever is responsible for this article deserves to be scolded by Ferrari’s PR department.

Why is this article a bad thing? Fans all over the internet are condeming it and rightfully so, because this article has many suspect phrases. “Serbian vultures” is probably the phrase that sticks out the most, and it has an air of xenophobia about it. The author (again, thought to be Montezemolo) should have known better! They have blasted entities in Formula One in the past over doing stupid things, but this article just reeks of wrong doing and hypocrisy. Shame on you, Ferrari.

While I respect Ferrari for bringing up Campos and USF1, I am not impressed by how they appear to slag Lotus and Virgin, two of the new teams who have very competent looking cars. They may not get very far off the back of the grid at first, but Lotus and Virgin are going to be on the grid and competing, and that is not something you should disrespect. Campos looks very likely to make the grid now as mentioned, but I still feel that Ferrari is being too hard on them.

As for USF1, I agree that they are certainly done for, and the way in which that team has mismanaged itself is apalling. This is the only point that I will agree with Ferrari on. I fully expect to write about the demise of USF1 in a few days when it is revealed that the team is no more.

The other side of the article is Ferrari’s obvious swipe at the FIA. It is a well known fact that towards the end of his term, Mosley was not well liked by Ferrari, and Luca di Montezemolo proved that. Now that Ferrari’s former team principal Jean Todt is the FIA President, you would think that Ferrari would be a little more lenient with their FIA bashing, but it appears not. I don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish, but I certainly hope that they don’t start a “crusade” against the FIA just over new teams.

Anyway, just wanted to talk about that ridiculous article. Ferrari, you upset quite a few fans today. For the sake of your reputation as a world class brand, don’t do that again!

Ferrari Presents The F10, Autosport leaks the new Williams FW32

January 28, 2010 1 comment

Ferrari presented their 2010 challenger, the Ferrari F10, this morning in Maranello. This launch differs from Mercedes’ launch earlier this week which was only a livery launch. Ferrari is showing us the whole deal, the 2010 chassis and livery.

So what can be said about the launch? Well, all the faces you’d expect to see were obviously present. Stefano Domenicali, Luca di Montezemolo, and Luca Marmorini were the faces I recognized from the team personnel while I watched the live feed. All four drivers were also present (Alonso and Massa obviously included), giving di Montezemolo many ample opportunities for man hug fun that Italians seem to love so much.

The entirety of the launch that I followed was in Italian, so I didn’t understand anything that was being said. Instead, all I could do was check out the car. You know, this one..

When I first saw the car, which I believe was last week when Fernando Alonso ran a few promotional laps, I was slightly turned off by the over abundance of white on the chassis. I am aware that Ferrari has run cars with white wings in the past (quite recently, too), but I don’t believe that they ever made it look so unintentionally ugly as what I see on the F10. The white wings seem completely unnecessary as well, since Ferrari have chosen to print Santander’s name in red on top of the white wings. Santander’s corporate logo is white text over a red background, which is also how Ferrari typically presents sponsors on their car. Aesthetically, the car would have been more pleasing to the eye if it had red wings. The car doesn’t look bad though, and it’s nice to see a Ferrari that isn’t composed entirely of one colour, so in a way the white does help the image of the car to a small degree.

Regarding the shape, I’m not one for analyzing the shape of the car and saying what it can and can’t do. I’ll leave that to the people in the sport, and the armchair “I like to think I’m an engineer, but I’m really not” enthusiasts on internet forums. All I’m aware of is that the front nose and wing supposedly borrow heavily from the 2009 Red Bull chassis. I disagree, and don’t really see any similarities except for the nose being narrow. As proof, here is Red Bull’s car from last year.

Not as similar as it’s being claimed to be, and narrowing the nose cone hardly classifies as ripping off another team’s design.

I will admit, though, that this year’s Ferrari looks like a rocket. It looks sleek, sexy, and fast thanks in part to the former two qualities. However, we know that judging a car’s performance based on looks is not always a good idea. Proof of that would be, well, Ferrari’s 2009 car!

Let’s hope that Ferrari haven’t botched up something with their design again and will be fighting for wins with the other big boys this year.

Autosport also stumbled upon a nice find today. Williams held a private shakedown today at Silverstone, and Autosport managed to snag a shot. Click here to head over to Autosport and check out the new Williams in action!

McLaren launches tomorrow, and I will be posting about that as well.