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SBD Global/June 16, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Ferrari Chair Luca Di Montezemolo Says Italian Team Could Leave Formula One

Ferrari Chair Luca di Montezemolo "vented his discontents with the organizers of F1," and suggested the company may enter sports-car competition instead, according to Dan Neil of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. He said, "Formula One isn't working. It's declining because [the Federation International d'Automobile, the sport's governing body] have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement. Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on" (WSJ, 6/14). In London, Daniel Johnson reported Di Montezemolo "made his second intervention in as many days into the state of Formula One," writing to F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and the F1’s owners "to call a meeting to discuss the sport’s future." Interestingly, after Ecclestone stated "he felt there was no need to involve social media companies, Di Montezemolo wrote that business such as Google and Apple should be invited." He suggested that the meeting "could be held in Maranello before the Italian Grand Prix in September" (TELEGRAPH, 6/15). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported Di Montezemolo's "ongoing criticisms of current F1, and a potential future interest in sportscars, prompted speculation in recent days that Ferrari could even turn its back on grand prix racing." However, the Italian team "is wholly committed to F1" -- and doing all it can "to ensure it had a bright future." When asked about the reports that Ferrari was thinking of leaving F1, Ferrari spokesperson Renato Bisignani explained, "Quite the contrary" (AUTOSPORT, 6/15).
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