Luca di Montezemolo: "The team worked with great determination and unity I haven't seen for a long time" "The presentation was very emotional, because I was excited. For me, Ferrari, together with my family, is the most important thing in my ...
Luca di Montezemolo: "The team worked with great determination and unity I haven't seen for a long time"
"The presentation was very emotional, because I was excited. For me, Ferrari, together with my family, is the most important thing in my life." With these words Chairman Luca di Montezemolo opened the press conference held in Fiorano at the presentation of the F10 this morning.
"This is a very emotional moment I'm confronting with anticipation, but I won't know where we stand before the Saturday of the qualifying in Bahrain. The team worked with determination and unity I haven't seen for a long time."
The numerous journalists present at the press conference asked him about his point of view regarding Schumacher's comeback and the Chairman replied: "I like Schumacher and I'm this misdeed's author. It was me who woke his desire to come back to racing and honestly I never thought I'd see him in a car that wasn't a Ferrari. He's a competitor, an opponent, like many others. I'm not worried about the possibility that he might have taken material from our development."
Regarding the situation of the Scuderia Ferrari drivers the Chairman confirmed: "When Ferrari decided in 2005 to take Raikkonen the alternative was Alonso, who now finds himself in a fundamental moment of his life. He's matured, young and strong; he has won two World Championships, one in 2005 and one in 2006, beating us 100%. We don't have any problem as far as our drivers are concerned. We have Massa, who is back with further enthusiasm, we have Alonso I just told you about and then we have Fisichella as the third driver and two very experienced test drivers: Marc Gene and Luca Badoer."
The journalists asked many questions regarding renewals and stability for Formula 1: "Formula 1 needs a season of great renewal with three main objectives: technology, because it has to become the avant-garde to anticipate extreme and innovative technology for road cars; it has to regain credibility and it needs justice to guarantee stability. Furthermore the cost is an important factor - I don't want a Formula 1 with lower performance -- and also stable rules.
As far as the rules are concerned the Ferrari Chairman said he was "very much in favour of qualifying without full tanks like in the past and the choice of tyres. This is a start, with the collaboration from all of us. I think that teams and Federation can look ahead and do many things."
One journalist asked about Valentino Rossi's possible arrival at Ferrari: "I want to be a little more general: I spoke about the possibility of a third car, but I didn't say that Ferrari needs to have three cars. I'm well aware of the objections coming from the small teams. I was talking from the point of view of the interest of Formula 1 and of potential new entries in Formula 1. The third car could also be helpful for young drivers, to let them grow. It's not right that a boy, who has never driven in Formula 1 starts into a race without training and tests. Here's the idea: I would happily give a Ferrari to an American, German or Australian team and let the car be managed by them. They would definitely spend less than if they had to build a car on their own from scratch. They could hand it over to a talented and strong driver or try it with a young driver with a certain potential. I told Domenicali to work on the possibility that some teams, like ours, could hand over cars to other teams."
Talking about Valentino the Chairman said: "He's a friend and an undisputed champion, from Emilia-Romagna, a great fan of Formula 1 and engines, and also a potential Formula 1 Champion. If there was the possibility in 2011 and he wanted to do it and had the possibility for testing and adapting to F1, then why not?"
At the convention centre at the Fiorano race track, after the appearance of the Chairman, the drivers and the technicians, talking about the F10 single-seater on the day of its presentation, Ferrari presented a new and very important initiative for young drivers: the Ferrari Drivers Academy -- a programme Ferrari uses to invest in the future.
"For the first time Ferrari is concentrated on the precise goal of looking for new talents," Luca Baldisserri said in front of numerous journalists, interested in this new project. "The programme, which will start this year, includes several activities -- from scouting to training to a driving school, to find new talents and let them grow to be part of Formula 1 with Ferrari one day. At the moment we have 12 young drivers and a further selection will follow." Where is Ferrari looking for the future drivers? "We're starting with karts and then other formulas such as Abarth, Formula 3, GP3, but also Formula 2, GP2 and the World Series."
Very important for the scouting is the close collaboration with CSAI. "CISAI organised a first meeting with the 12 drivers this week in Forlì, where the drivers will take a first medical and psychological check up, which is the base of our selection process."
"We are also relying on many prestigious consultations," Baldisserri continued, "such as Minardi, Andrea Bertolini in the area of karts and other professionals in Italy and abroad. Ferrari is the last team taking part in projects dedicated to young drivers and I really believe in this project, because the drivers' motivation is fundamental as of the start of the career. It's worth a lot that the drivers not only learn how to drive but also how to talk to the sponsors, to the press and that they know several languages. The programme for professional drivers also includes 5 training periods during the year in Fiorano, Mugello and Vallelunga as well as a final event of the season and an evaluation at the end of the year."
The programme will last for 5 or 6 years, but it's not said that a driver, who starts with the Ferrari Drivers Academy will stay in the course over the whole period; the contract is renewed every year.
Is there a name of a driver taking parting in the current programme Baldisserri could mention? "There's Jules Bianchi, who will race in GP2 next year, but there are several drivers we're looking at and not only in Italy."
New F10's presentation live on the internet breaks record of previous editions
More than three million users were connected to watch the presentation, which let the website freeze for a couple of seconds in several moments.
-source: ferrari f1