• Ferrari

Ferrari boss fears Formula One alienating the public

ESPN Staff
December 27, 2013 « Rule changes worry Sebastian Vettel | 'Amazing' Vettel deserves success - Massa »
Luca di Montezemolo - 'I am tired [of going] to races in nowhere where there is no public' © Sutton Images

Speculation as to how Formula One will run when Bernie Ecclestone finally retires - or is removed - has been going on for more than a decade, and now Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has spoken, saying that the Formula One owners need to prepare for a totally new way of running the sport. But he has also levelled criticism at Ecclestone and the way the sport is distancing itself from the public.

"I am tired [of going] to races in nowhere where there is no public," he said. "What kind of relation do we have with the public? For some years we have talked about new technology, and what we can do to improve the show, but there is no question the young boys love cars and F1 less.

"One of the reasons, but not the only one, is that the races are becoming too complicated to follow. We have to work with the media, television, radio, written press and the Internet to find out what is the right way.

"While Bernie is here, Bernie knows. He is intelligent, but sometimes he is too conservative. But he is Bernie, and I will never accept that instead of Bernie we find one man, Luca di Montezemolo, or someone else."

Di Montezemolo thinks F1 should be run by a group of experts rather than trying to find one man to step into Ecclestone's shoes. "I think after Bernie, who is unique, it is necessary to approach a different governance for the sport. Bernie is Bernie, with a lot of pluses and even some minuses as all of us."

He said that while he hoped Ecclestone would stay for a long time "we have to discuss this [because at the end of the day this is our business. It is not a question of after Bernie you put a Rob, a Jon, or a Mario - it is a question how to approach it. You have to approach commercial problems, TV rights, and where to race?

"We have to create a group of governance where you have a CEO and then one in charge of motor racing, but motor racing does not mean rules, it means a lot of different voices."