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Bitter Montezemolo feels his contribution to Ferrari has not been recognised

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Bitter Montezemolo feels his contribution to Ferrari has not been recognised
Jan 19, 2016, 3:49 PM

Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has spoken of his disappointment that his contribution to the success of the Ferrari brand over almost...

Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has spoken of his disappointment that his contribution to the success of the Ferrari brand over almost a quarter of a century has not been adequately recognised, by the company which was recently floated on the Stock Market.

The flotation, which valued Ferrari at almost $10 billion, was pushed through by new chairman Sergio Marchionne, who has since gone on to heap the pressure on the F1 race team by saying that he expects them to go to the opening race of 2016 in Melbourne in shape to challenge for the win.

Montezemolo ran Ferrari from 1991 until he left the company under a cloud at the end of 2014 after a desperate season of results for the F1 team. This followed the 14 world drivers and constructors' championship titles that had been won on his watch. The high water mark was the Schumacher years 2000-2004, when they won five consecutive titles. The race team may have been struggling but the car business was flourishing with a strong product line and record sales.

Luca Montezemolo, Michael Schumacher

While the 2014 results and the direction of the team were partly behind the agenda for change, he and Marchionne had disagreed about the next steps for Ferrari as a business with Montezemolo keen to keep production at just over 7,000 cars a year to preserve brand value and residual value in the cars; Marchionne wanted to float Ferrari to get €4bn cash into the newly formed FIAT Chrysler (FCA) business and keen to expand production towards 9,000 cars a year.

“When Ferrari went public (last October), of the results they presented, 23 of 24 years were down to me and my people,” said Montezemolo in the Financial Times. “So the least I expected from the owners was an official thank you. I didn’t expect a present because the value [of the company at $9.8bn in the initial public offering] was unbelievable, but at least a thanks.”

Since then, according to the FT, "Montezemolo has sold his white FF four-wheel drive Ferrari. He currently owns a Vespa, a Panda, a Range Rover and one remaining Ferrari, a silver metallic, custom-made Barchetta 360, given to him by Fiat’s former head, Giovanni Agnelli, who was best man at his wedding."

Montezemolo now heads Italian airline Alitalia, which is co-owned by Etihad, the Abu Dhabi carrier and is chairing the committee that its attempting to win the 2024 Olympic Games for Rome.

Montezemolo, Ecclestone
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