Confirmed: Ferrari President to Step down

After 23 years Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has confirmed that he is stepping down from his position.

His future has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, prompting an impromptu press conference at Monza, where the 67-year-old spoke of his “commitment” for another three years.

Di Montezemolo made the announcement in the form of a press release, published on Wednesday morning.

“This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as Chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari’s side in the 1970s,” said di Montezemolo

“My thanks, first and foremost, to the exceptional Ferrari women and men from the factory, the offices, the race tracks and the markets across the world. They were the real architects of the company’s spectacular growth, its many unforgettable victories and its transformation into one of the world’s strongest brands.

“A warm farewell and my thanks also to all of our technical and commercial partners, our dealers across the globe and, most particularly, the clients and collectors whose passion I so wholeheartedly share.

“But my thoughts go also to our fans who have always supported us with great enthusiasm especially through the Scuderia’s most difficult moments. Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world. It has been a great privilege and honour to have been its leader. I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life.

“I wish the shareholders, particularly Piero Ferrari who has always been by my side, and everyone in the Company the many more years of success that Ferrari deserves.”

Second to Mr Enzo Ferrari himself, Luca di Montezemolo will leave a legacy behind that will forever be remembered.

Thanks to

Changing our name?

As names go, has been a sturdy domain in which to grow. Like all websites, you have to start somewhere and back in 2005 we thought we’d pick a name that said exactly what we were…a blog about Formula 1.

If you’ve listened to our podcast recently, you may have heard me mention the notion of changing our name as the powers that be at Formula 1 Management had retained a law firm to contact us about the use of the domain name I’m not a law-talkin’ guy so you can imagine the fun these documents are. 😉

It’s unfortunate as we like to think we’ve done as much as possible to promote their sport in a fun, expository manner that has always defended their honor and placed their sport above all other forms of motorsport. Not to mention the very concept of plainly and obviously telling everyone that we were not part of the official Formula 1 group.

We decided back in 2005 to sally forth and create a site that wasn’t a blog pretending to be a news website—actual journalists already do a terrific job of covering the sport.

Back in the early days you couldn’t shake a stick without hitting a website that cut-n-pasted news from AUTOSPORT, BBC, ITV or other professional news outlets and re-posted the content in an effort to be a F1 news website. We weren’t interested in that, we wanted to engage the fans of the sport. We wanted to build a community of like-minded fans with the feel of two friends at a pub discussing F1 over a pint (as we said back in 2007 in our first podcasts).

We wanted to make a fan community that discussed the news. News, as created by wonderful journalists, was simply the prime mover for our discussions and sharing of opinion. We always linked the sources and paid homage to those who call F1 journalism a profession and we still do.

Thanks to all of you for making F1B what it has become…a community that holds to one simple rule—decorum & civility. We have created a fan site that unpacks the sport and does so for veteran and new fans alike.

We certainly would like to work with Formula One Management more closely as part of their effort in bringing F1 back to America and we’ve asked them about doing just that. Meanwhile, we feel it would be prudent to have a “plan B” should CVC Capital feel they have everything under control and need no help from our community.

We thought about a name and we hashed out many options as you can imagine. We’ve arrived at two names that we feel might be a fun, new approach for all of us but we were worried that you (the F1B community) might not like one or the other.

Pondering that possibility, we decided to take the issue to you and let you share your opinion with decorum & civility as always. Why not engage the very people we created this website for and seek their thoughts on the two names we’ve arrived on?

So here it is, two names that we feel could be an option should Formula One Management choose not to work with us in a more symbiotic way. Let us know which one you like. Keep in mind SEO, appeal to casual or even seeking fans and brand equity for veterans and the community as a whole. Which one describes us more while appealing to those who might be seeking a new home for their opinion?

Also consider the appeal factor and how the name might lend itself for branching out to all forms of racing so we can discuss the series you might like to share your opinion on.

For you graphic artists out there, consider the possibilities for logos and if you have a great concept, mock it up and send it to us. We’d be elated to have someone in our community design our new logo to go with the possible name change.

In the end, we love Formula 1 and really do respect Formula One Management. You’d be hard pressed to find a person who has defended Mr. Ecclestone as much as me but in life, timing is important and while we’d love to work with FOM instead of against, we do appreciate they may not feel compelled to do the same.

Should we change names, please be patient with us as we get all of our social media changed, RSS feeds and podcast feeds changed. It will take time and hard work and a little patience from all of you but in the end, we will still be the same community we’ve always been.

That being said, nothing is definite and let’s hope we can reach an agreement but in the end, it really is all about YOU! The community of F1B. Regardless of what our name is, the core DNA, nuance and character of this site will always be made by and for you.

Should we need a “plan B”, which domain name appeals to you more?


EX Ferrari Engine Designer Reveals Ferrari Problems

Luca Marmorini, Former Ferrari engine chief has revealed that he was told to sacrifice the potential of the new power unit as the team claimed it would make up for the performance deficit through aerodynamic improvements.

Marmorini oversaw the development of Ferrari’s power unit but departed the outfit when his organisation was reshuffled at the end of July, after the team claimed just two podiums across the opening 11 races of the year.

Marmorini claims that Ferrari Chief Designer Nikolas Tombazis assured him that the power loss from the engine side would be compensated by the aerodynamic improvements made to the F14T, compared to recent Ferrari machines.

“In short: it was made ​​to pass the idea that all the woes of the F14T are the fault of the power unit,” Marmorini is quoted as saying by Italian journalist Leo Turrini. “As if in a company with the history of Ferrari had forgotten how to make engines! I mean, I accept any accusation, but do not tell that to Maranello [as] there are people who do not know the business, the turbo, hybrids, etcetera.

“With my colleagues I packed a power unit with a certain size, ie, [a] smaller version of the Mercedes and Renault, because we were asked by the project manager of the car, Mr. Tombazis.

“[They] said we want a very compact Power Unit, with small radiators, because the less power [we] will compensate with aerodynamic solutions that will guarantee us an advantage over Mercedes and Renault. It’s been exactly like that, except that, when we are confronted with the competition, the horsepower was less obviously, but this was not compensated by aerodynamics!”

Marmorini also admitted feeling sympathy for the engineers at the team and revealed that he was rarely in communication with Team Principal Marco Mattiacci, who joined the outfit in April.

“I would like to explain [the problem] to Mattiacci, but in three months I exchanged a few words, we saw each other twice: the first for the greetings, the second when he subjected me a letter that confirmed my farewell to the company,” he said.

“Look, I do not want to accuse anyone. For real. [I must] point out, however, that Ferrari took a road racing department plans to entrust to inexperienced people.

“Ferrari also runs the risk of damaging the bedrock on which many successes have been built on in the past. I do not speak for me, I am now out. But I’m sorry for the engineers I know who are still there, good people who are demoralised.”

Marmorini also wished his successor, Mattia Binotto, well and denied signing a deal to return to Formula 1 with Renault.


Have Pat Fry and Ferrari parted ways?

The latest claims coming out of the Ferrari marquee is that Ferrari and Engineering Director, Pat Fry have parted ways.

According to Sky Sports F1, Fry has become the latest high profile casualty and despite the Scuderia’s denial, the reports quotes “sources” as insisting the 50-year-old has indeed been let go.

Ferrari has endured a torrid year so far, with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali being axed first back in April and it is also understood engine guru Luca Marmorini was sacked earlier this month too.

New Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci said recently that he was preparing a “different” outfit for the 2015 Formula 1 season and while he was vague on what that meant, it seems those changes might not include the involvement of Fry.

Despite Fernando Alonso finishing second in the Hungary GP, Ferrari are staying true to their plans and preparing for their 2015 campaign.


Luca di Montezemolo calls for Knights of the Round Table

Going on the back of our previous article, Ferrari-plays-down-switch-to-lemans  Ferrari issued a more in-depth statement about the actions it is taking to change the direction of the sport.

“Ferrari has had Formula One coursing through its veins for over half a century and that’s why it has decided to make a move to turn the sport away from the wrong turn it appears to have taken,” the statement read. “The Maranello marque has decided to do this through the means of a formal act, which is a concrete proposal, in the form of a letter from its President Luca di Montezemolo to the Formula One rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone and to Donald McKenzie, the president of the company that owns Formula One [CVC Capital].

“It is not an ultimatum, nor a threat, but a proposal to call together all the key players in the sport to sit down around a table and come up with new ideas that will see Formula One continue to set the benchmark in motorsport, on level terms with global events such as the Olympics and the football World Cup. The President wants to see a collective brainstorming from the group to act for the good of Formula One. Contributions from all areas are of value; teams, sponsors, promoters and media, so that the key values of Formula One can be reestablished. President Montezemolo would also like to see other high-end players invited, those who are currently not involved or only partially so; new media, social networks and colossi such as Google and Apple.

“Formula One has to be based on technical innovation, research and development, but this must all be done with sustainable costs and above all, must be moved forward as part of a product that can put on a show. Because it is the show that draws in the commercial partners, the sponsors and, above all, the fans, who are the real end users of the Formula One product. Finding the right mix of these ingredients will be vital for the sustainability and the future success of our much-loved sport.”

Ferrari have struggled all season with its current packaged and are falling back every race to the front runners Mercedes.