Luca di Montezemolo, the former president of Ferrari, has voiced his dissatisfaction with the current state of the Maranello-based team. As the 2023 season gets underway, Ferrari’s podium finishes remain meagre, with just three so far. Di Montezemolo finds this performance far from satisfactory and believes it falls short of the team’s storied heritage.
He is lobbying for Charles Leclerc’s contract to be extended, recognising his potential to take the team forward.
Voice of authority
The reign of Luca di Montezemolo as the former head of Ferrari made a lasting impression on the world of Formula One and the iconic Italian racing team. His leadership, passion and unwavering commitment to excellence transformed Ferrari from a struggling team into a powerhouse that dominated the sport. Ferrari became synonymous with success.
One of Montezemolo’s earliest successes was the recruitment of the legendary Michael Schumacher in 1996. This partnership would prove to be pivotal in Ferrari’s transformation. Montezemolo’s ability to attract top-tier talent and create a conducive environment for success was evident in Schumacher’s unprecedented run of five consecutive World Championships from 2000 to 2004.
Under Montezemolo’s leadership, Ferrari achieved an unprecedented level of dominance. The team secured numerous Constructors’ Championships, cementing its reputation as a powerhouse in Formula One. The Schumacher era, marked by relentless determination and meticulous preparation, became the gold standard for team success.
Beyond the achievements on the track, Montezemolo’s ability to forge strong relationships with drivers and team personnel was integral to Ferrari’s success. He fostered a sense of unity and family within the team, creating an environment where everyone felt valued and motivated to contribute to the team’s goals.
Montezemolo’s departure from Ferrari in 2014 marked the end of an era. His departure was not without controversy, as the team faced the challenges of adapting to changing regulations and the departure of key personnel.
Podiums are not good enough
At the recent Belgian Grand Prix, Leclerc secured third place, a result that brought a sense of relief to the Ferrari camp. However, the Hungarian Grand Prix was a different story, with both SF23 cars struggling to make an impact. While the podium at Spa was a glimmer of positivity, di Montezemolo takes it with a touch of regret.
“What worries me is to celebrate a third place, as we did in Spa. This is not in line with the Ferrari ethos and Enzo Ferrari himself would never have sanctioned it,” said di Montezemolo in an interview with Quotidiano Nazionale.
He firmly believes that Ferrari should only be satisfied when they are in contention for the world championship.
“Losing is acceptable, but only if you are competing as protagonists and not as spectators,”
Di Montezemolo turns his attention to Charles Leclerc, recognising the 24-year-old’s potential. He suggests that Ferrari should prioritise Leclerc’s development and extend his contract until 2024.
“I would definitely keep him. He’s got exceptional talent and it’s hard to find drivers stronger than him. However, the current challenge for Ferrari is not the driver, but the lack of pace in the car,” said di Montezemolo.
With his experience and deep connection to the team’s history, di Montezemolo’s perspective sheds light on Ferrari’s aspirations and the standards it aims to uphold.
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