Ferrari to launch new car in late January – Montezemolo

(GMM) Ferrari's 2011 car will be launched officially in the week preceding the first group winter test at the end of January.

That was one of the revelations made by Luca di Montezemolo on Tuesday as he met with the Italian press at Fiorano for a traditional pre-Christmas media event.

The Ferrari president said the F10's successor will be launched on January 25-31 — before the first test of the pre-season at Valencia.

Asked to sum up the season, he told reporters: "We were disappointed, there's no point denying it.

"But, realistically, it was more bitter in 2008, when Felipe Massa crossed the finish line as world champion.

"From 1997 onwards, except 2005 and 2009, we have either won or lost at the last race. The opponents – Williams, McLaren, Renault, Red Bull – always change, only Ferrari is there," said Montezemolo.

Asked to give a report card for the 2010 drivers Massa and Fernando Alonso, he answered: "9 and a half to Alonso. He did not win, but (the score is) from the point of view of results, character and relationship with the team.

"Less than a 7 for Felipe Massa. For some reason with have a problem with the brothers of our drivers arriving during the season," he smiled.

"It happened with Schumacher, Raikkonen and now Massa. I think Felipe got a bit tired mid-season and went home, sending his brother to drive," joked the Italian.

"He gets a minus-7 but he has promised to come back next year."

As for Ferrari: "8. You do not get full marks when you don't win, but it was an exceptional year for commitment and determination," he said.

On formula one, Montezemolo vowed to "fight for common sense, for races on circuits (not streets) and to have not more than 19 races, preferably 18", he revealed.

"And to have three cars. Better to have a third car with a competitive team than a team that cannot even do GP2," the 63-year-old charged.

"I think it's common sense and Bernie Ecclestone agrees. Who (would run the third Ferrari)? A small but competitive team."

Montezemolo hailed 2010 as Mark Webber's "best season with a competitive car".

But he played down the possibility of shock personnel changes for 2011, hinting only that "some adjustments" to the team will be announced before the new season.

As for the possibility of his near future being in politics, Montezemolo insisted: "The confidence vote (of the Italian parliament)? No comment.

"Let me do my job," he added when pressed. "I'm so glad we have many, many things to do here at Ferrari."

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