Ferrari has dismissed any notion that it will leave Formula One to compete in the World Endurance Championship in the near future, following comments by President Luca di Montezemolo linking the Scuderia to a move that would see it once again race at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours.
Montezemolo, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, criticised the current route that Formula One is taking, before concluding that Ferrari would not be able to balance a full-blown sportscar programme as well as its current F1 activities.
“Of course,” Montezemolo said. “We cannot do sports-car racing and Formula One. It’s not possible.”
“Formula One isn’t working. It’s declining because the FIA have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement. Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on.
“And we cannot touch the engine,” he added. “People watch racing to be entertained.
“No one wants to watch a driver save gas or tires. They want to see them push from here to there. It’s sport, yes, but also a show.”
The Ferrari President’s comments were picked up by certain parts of the media and spun to suggest that the Scuderia was looking to quit F1.
However, the Ferrari team issued a statement on Saturday that rubbished those false reports, insisting that while a return to Le Mans – an event Ferrari has won nine times – remains attractive, there is no credibility to reports that the Scuderia is looking to leave Formula 1.
“Some elements of the media have suggested Ferrari would quit Formula 1 to concentrate on the Le Mans 24 Hours and Endurance racing,” reads the statement.
“This is a bit of a stretch based on President Luca di Montezemolo reiterating that Formula 1 needs to evolve and renew itself, while also admitting that there is a unique attraction to the 24 Hour race.
“To say that after 2020, Ferrari could quit Formula 1 to concentrate on Le Mans and the Endurance championship takes his words to extremes.
“Plus of course, there’s nothing to stop Ferrari upping the ante and competing in both disciplines. So it’s just pure speculation.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic