Former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemelo has strongly criticised the team’s apparent satisfaction with securing third place at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Despite its history of dominance, Ferrari’s performance has faltered in the 2023 season, achieving only three podium finishes in the initial 12 races and slipping to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
Experiencing a year-long drought without a Formula 1 victory, the Italian racing powerhouse currently trails Red Bull by a substantial margin of 312 points, further highlighting its struggles.
Di Montezemelo, who was an integral part of Ferrari’s legacy, lamented the team’s recent decline and asserted that such an attitude would not have been tolerated by the company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari.
“What troubles me is the shift in perspective. Applauding a third-place finish, as seen at Spa, goes against the essence of Ferrari. Enzo, the founding father, would have vehemently opposed such a reaction,” remarked di Montezemelo during an interview with Italian outlet Quotidiano Sportivo.
He nostalgically reflected on the values imparted by Enzo, emphasising his relentless pursuit of excellence.
“Ferrari taught me invaluable lessons—chief among them, the rejection of complacency. Enzo’s mind was always on the next race, always pushing for more,” di Montezemelo shared.
“Simultaneously, it required unwavering dedication.
“August vacations were anathema to him. He believed in continuous improvement.”
Di Montezemelo’s connection with Ferrari spanned several years, and he sought to honor Enzo Ferrari’s legacy during his tenure as the company’s president from 1991 to 2014.
He stressed, “Ferrari encapsulates not just emotion, but also human and societal value within its industry.
“It stands as a beacon of research and innovation.
“My presidency aimed to uphold these ideals.”
Addressing the ongoing speculation about Charles Leclerc’s future with Ferrari, di Montezemelo extended his endorsement to the talented Monegasque driver.
Leclerc, who expressed a preference for remaining with Ferrari beyond 2024, has been exploring other options.
“Charles is someone I’d undoubtedly retain. His prowess is unmatched, and presently, there are no stronger contenders available,” di Montezemelo affirmed.
He downplayed the significance of the driver’s role in the team’s current predicament.
Drawing upon his past experiences, di Montezemelo reminisced about assembling a powerhouse team during his tenure, comprising figures like Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn, and Rory Byrne.
He shared his vision for Ferrari’s future competitiveness, stating, “As a passionate supporter, my desire isn’t for a perpetually victorious Ferrari, but one that consistently contends for the championship until the final race, mirroring the spirit of 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2010, and 2012.”