Ferrari Chief Di Montezemolo Slams FIA for Lack of Courage in Mercedes Case

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2013

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 11:  Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is seen in the pitlane during qualifying for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 11, 2013 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has accused the FIA of showing a lack of courage in the recent punishment meted out by the governing body to Mercedes, reports ESPN via Corriere della Sera.

Di Montezemolo was an interested observer as the FIA investigated Mercedes' involvement in a three-day tyre test for Pirelli during which the team ran its 2013-spec car.

The tyre supplier was attempting to resolve some early-season problems and enlisted Mercedes' help. The German marque believed that it was clear to test for Pirelli as the other F1 teams had also been extended a general invitation to help analyse the rubber—but these teams were not informed of the eventual scheduled test and reacted angrily afterwards.

The FIA took action, banning Mercedes from the Young Driver Test at Silverstone to prevent it from running the revised tyres that debuted in Hungary.

For Di Montezemolo, that punishment wasn’t enough to balance any advantage gained:

In this case, I would have expected more clarity and courage from the FIA. On the other hand, the benefits gained by the team that carried out the secret banned testing are watched by everyone: before then, it had not won a single grand prix, then after the test it won three out of five races.  These are the sort of serious incidents that affect F1's credibility and alter the championship.

The Ferrari chief’s comments come in the aftermath of Lewis Hamilton’s triumph at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix.

Mercedes also claimed victory in Monaco and at Silverstone, with Nico Rosberg first to cross the line on both occasions.

Hamilton recently declared he is feeling so confident in the Mercedes car that he believes he can win the remaining nine races, and Di Montezemolo is clearly angered by how the season has developed.

Formula 1 has to be a clean sport without any of the monkey business we have had to put up with in recent years. From next season, we will have a completely different F1, finally less dependent on aerodynamics. I build cars, not planes. 

We will finally have testing again and not a farce like what we saw this year with one team doing illegal testing without even paying the right penalty for it. 

The FIA’s International Tribunal based its punishment on the judgement that three separate parties were to blame for Mercedes’ illegal test.

It found that Mercedes, Pirelli and the FIA itself were all at fault—therefore the Silver Arrows' punishment was downgraded.

Third-placed Ferrari currently trails Mercedes by 14 points in the World Constructors’ Championship, with Red Bull the runaway leader. The season resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 25.