Hot on the heels of Ferrari’s latest quit threat, Luca di Montezemolo has called for a meeting to discuss the future of formula one.
“Of course,” Montezemolo said, “we cannot do sports car racing and formula one. It’s not possible.” Ferrari quickly backtracked, posting a statement on its official website that said suggesting the team is going to quit F1 for Le Mans “takes his (Montezemolo’s) words to extremes”.
Without doubt, however, Ferrari is giving the impression of being successfully wooed by Le Mans, where manufacturers Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan already race.
The weekend’s 24 hour race was flagged off by Fernando Alonso, who said: “I often speak with president Montezemolo and, while the priority remains winning again in formula one, an interesting format like Le Mans is worth keeping an eye on too.” At the very same time, reports began to emerge that Montezemolo is inviting F1’s major stakeholders to a meeting at Maranello before the Italian grand prix in September.
Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper said the invitation was sent in writing to Bernie Ecclestone and CVC’s Donald Mackenzie, outlining his “worries” about the current face of F1. Interestingly, with F1 appearing to resist the modern era of the internet, Montezemolo said Google and Apple should also be invited, as well as representatives of “new media” and “social networks”.
Confirming the letter, Ferrari said on its official website that it is “not an ultimatum nor a threat”, but rather a way to come up with “new ideas” so that F1 remains “the benchmark in motor sport”.