Ferrari's president, Luca di Montezemolo, contributed to this morning's press conference held at the Autodrome of Mugello to present the new 248 F1. "It is right to change", began the President in reference to the new location, "to give priority...
Ferrari's president, Luca di Montezemolo, contributed to this morning's press conference held at the Autodrome of Mugello to present the new 248 F1. "It is right to change", began the President in reference to the new location, "to give priority to the track and to work without losing precious time."
"Today is an important day as we are presenting a car that is the fruit of a precise project that takes into consideration the regulations and experience of the past years. It is also three years to the day since Gianni Agnelli passed away; a man I personally miss very much, as does everybody at Ferrari and Fiat."
President Montezemolo wanted to recall the fact that Ferrari, over recent years, has always been at the top in Formula 1. The aim for 2006 was to get back to a championship challenging position. "After having lost two titles at the last round, in 1997 and 1998, and six consecutive world crowns, I don't want the 2005 results to seem like the end of an era. We have lived through some incredible years. Last year we suffered a little from the successive rule changes but now we are looking ahead. We want to get back to winning ways."
"The 2006 norms are an improvement, we think," continued Montezemolo commenting on the modifications made by the Federation. "The qualifying format will be more exciting and the tyre changes are back. We also agree with the changes planned for 2008."
"Formula 1 has to guarantee overtaking, it has to be an arena for experimenting with extreme technologies and, at the same time, optimise costs with cuts made to superfluous spending. The FIA is going in the right directions and we adhere to this philosophy as it fits with our ideas of Formula 1. It is a sport in which we have always been involved and in which we will continue to be."
The President then reflected on the Scuderia's drivers: "We have on the team a man like Michael Schumacher, who I consider to be the best driver who has ever driven for Ferrari, not only in terms of speed but also of consistency. Michael bonds with the team even when things are not going well and is able to pull out extraordinary performances that we all remember. He has perhaps built something unrepeatable at Ferrari."
"Now we have Massa, a young driver of enormous potential who has been with us for years. Working with Michael will help him very much and it was right to keep up with the generational changes Formula 1 is witnessing."
Montezemolo then spoke about the technical changes: "We are living in times of significant change from a technological point of view. We had been fans of the V12 for many years and then, in the mid-1990s, were forced to switch to V10 engines with which we had great success. Now we are back to the V8s that we last used in 1964 when we won with Surtees. It is a big challenge in terms of power and reliability. It drives us all on to do our best along with our partners and technical suppliers."
The President continued: "We are working with the Centro Ricerche Fiat, our technical partners who work on the 8 cylinder roadgoing engine, and all our partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell, to develop the engine and get the most from the car. It is pleasing to have just renewed a contract with an extremely important partner like Acer, who supply cutting edge resources. Martini Racing is another major partner and a name that is historic in racing and a symbol of made in Italy."