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Montezemolo counts Ferrari out: “You can lose, but not as an extra”

Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo can’t understand how the team can be happy about a third place: Enzo Ferrari would never have accepted it

With Charles Leclerc’s third place at Spa-Francorchamps, Ferrari has said goodbye to the summer break with a small success, but the fact that the Scuderia is happy with this result does not suit former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo at all. And the Italian knows that even the great Enzo Ferrari would not approve.

The 75-year-old told the Italian newspaper ‘Quotidiano Sportivo’: “Do you know what I regret? That people celebrate themselves for a third place, like at Spa.”

For Montezemolo, this attitude is not at all Ferrari-like, and he is sure: “The old man would not have accepted it. Never.”

This refers to Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, who founded his own racing team in 1929 and also brought it into Formula 1 in 1950. There the Italian ruled with a hard hand and was content with nothing less than victory until he died in 1988 at the age of 90.

Montezemolo, who came to power at Ferrari in 1991 and built up a “dream team” with Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Michael Schumacher that managed to win five world championship titles in a row in the early 2000s, was also quite ambitious in this respect and cannot do anything with the current mindset.

“As a fan, I dream of a Ferrari that doesn’t always win, but fights for the title until the last race,” he says. “Like in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2010 and 2012. You can lose, but as a protagonist, not as an extra. “

2023, however, Ferrari is only an extra in the world championship, watching from fourth place as Red Bull go from win to win and title to title. The Scuderia itself is already more than 300 points behind the Bulls and has only managed to finish on the podium three times this season. The Reds have been waiting in vain for a world championship title for 15 years.

Lately, there had also been discussions about whether the drivers are suited to lead a title fight. Charles Leclerc is seen as the future of Ferrari and was given a long-term contract until 2024 back in 2020, yet some doubts were cast on him when he led the 2022 World Championship with aplomb but threw away the lead partly due to his own mistakes.

Nevertheless, Montezemolo would “definitely” keep the Monegasque: “I don’t think there are stronger drivers than him,” he says. “But at the moment, who drives the car is the least of our problems anyway … “



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