Ferrari chief: F1 must improve for us to stay

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1, The timing of this is announcement is very suspicious and just plain wrong. Here we are, going into a new season with a new FIA president, new rules and new teams and all he can talk about is leaving the sport and what is wrong with F1. This is the time to be positive.

Having said that….Is it all roses…of course not. We know that the ridiculous situation with Herman Tilke must be resolved. This man cannot keep designing tracks that are plain boring, embarrassingly expensive icons of excess. Likewise Bernie needs to remember where the roots of the sport are and stop his never ending hunt for the almighty Dollar. Fans need to have more access to the cars and drivers. And most importantly, the cars need to be able to pass each other. How friggin' hard can any of that be?

But these are matters to be discussed behind closed doors in an atmosphere of cooperation not conflict. Yes Ferrari are synonymous with F1 but that does not mean that F1 cannot continue without them. It will be different but still alive. The more relevant question is, can Ferrari thrive without F1? Sounds like he is positioning himself to gain influence in decision making by threatening to take the ball away….again. While I supported this stance with FOTA while Max was in charge, I feel it is very self serving in this instance.

As for the pretty girls in pit lane comment. There are more than enough of those hangers on already. I for one would rather see real race fans walking the grid than the bimbos and self aggrandizing money men and celebrities. Time for all of these team owners to shut up and get on with the job at hand. Lately between Montezemolo, Branson, Fernandes and a few others all we are getting is PR seeking noise. Gentlemen PLEASE shut your mouths and start your engines! Ray Masters, Hawaii

12/28/09 The Italian manufacturer is committed to F1 until the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2012, but di Montezemolo maintains that should the current unhappiness regarding cost-cutting measures and rules changes persist, the Maranello-based outfit will look to exit the prestigious motorsport.

"I want F1 to improve between now and 2012, when we sign a new Concorde Agreement, and if not we will have motivation somewhere else," di Montezemolo is quoted by Autosport as saying at a Christmas function.

"I have been to Le Mans and I was impressed. We cannot accept huge gaps between drivers and the press and public. In the past the pits was full of good looking girls, now it's like a concentration camp. And we need to overtake!"

"There are a lot of answers needed. We need good people at the FIA. [FIA president Jean] Todt is a good person and knows F1, and I'm sure his priority is to recreate a different dialogue and atmosphere. Bernie [Ecclestone] is coming to the end of his career, but I am sure he will look ahead. And FOTA has been very useful. There needs to be a strong triangle between the three parties," the 62-year-old added.

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