Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has called for a meeting between the eleven Formula 1 teams and the powers governing the sport in order to discuss its future and correct what, in his eyes, has been a “wrong turn”.
Montezemolo has been highly critical of Formula 1’s new direction, which has focused on efficiency and cost cutting. Earlier this year in Bahrain, he deemed the sport to have become “taxi cab racing”, only for the drivers to put on a show under the lights of Sakhir.
Now, he has written an open letter to the teams, Bernie Ecclestone, and CVC (the sport’s owner), proposing a summit to discuss the future of the sport.
The statement in full reads:
“Ferrari has had Formula 1 coursing through its veins for over half a century and that’s why it has decided to make a move to turn the sport away from the wrong turn it appears to have taken.
“The Maranello marque has decided to do this through the means of a formal act, which is a concrete proposal, in the form of a letter from its President Luca di Montezemolo to the Formula 1 rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone and to Donald McKenzie, the president of the company that owns Formula 1. It is not an ultimatum, nor a threat, but a proposal to call together all the key players in the sport to sit down around a table and come up with new ideas that will see Formula 1 continue to set the benchmark in motorsport, on level terms with global events such as the Olympics and the football World Cup.
“The President wants to see a collective brainstorming from the group to act for the good of Formula 1. Contributions from all areas are of value; teams, sponsors, promoters and media, so that the key values of Formula 1 can be reestablished. President Montezemolo would also like to see other high-end players invited, those who are currently not involved or only partially so; new media, social networks and colossi such as Google and Apple.
“Formula 1 has to be based on technical innovation, research and development, but this must all be done with sustainable costs and above all, must be moved forward as part of a product that can put on a show. Because it is the show that draws in the commercial partners, the sponsors and, above all, the fans, who are the real end users of the Formula 1 product.
“Finding the right mix of these ingredients will be vital for the sustainability and the future success of our much-loved sport.”
Formula 1 is certainly seeing a number of changes in recent years. Not only have we had the seismic change in the technical regulations, but the political landscape – with formation of the F1 Strategy Group and demise of FOTA – has also transformed.
The last time the teams tried to come together and talk about the future of the sport, it did not go well, though. At the beginning of May, they met at Biggin Hill in England, where the F1 Strategy Group members essentially refused to bow to pressure from those further down the grid.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.