By Jonathan Noble via AUTOSPORT
Saturday, September 8th 2012, 16:52 GMT
On a weekend where there has been a renewed focus on cost control in F1, di Montezemolo argued that the time was ripe for a big rethink about the future of the sport.
“We want an F1 with less cost,” he said at Monza. “Tell me why we have to spend a huge amount of cost to spend 24 hours in the windtunnel to do a small wing flap that for the public [the interest] is zero, for the television is zero, and for me as a road-car manufacturer it is less than zero because we will never use this for the road car?”
He added: “Ferrari has been in F1 for more than 60 years. The success in F1 is crucial. Ferrari will remain in F1 if F1 is F1 and not a race for electric cars or games. It is innovation and technology and, if you have to spend money, you spend it for the advanced research and not for something that is nothing to do with competition.”
Di Montezemolo met with FIA president Jean Todt and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone for talks at Maranello on Friday to discuss the future of grand prix racing – and said he believed important steps needed to be taken.
“I want to have rules that permit us to spend less, because I don't think if you say, this is [area] limited to spend [on], how can you control this?” he explained. “I think in the recent past, somebody cheated on this.
“So I prefer to have clear rules that allow [teams] to spend less, particularly in something that is not crucial for the spectators or the competition.”
Speaking about potential changes to the format of race weekends, di Montezemolo said: “Looking at young people, it [the length of races] is too long.
“Maybe I'm wrong but I think we have to look very carefully what we can do to improve the show of F1. I give you one example, one and a half hours is a long time for young people; maybe it is good instead to have the race in two parts.
“Maybe it is a mistake, but we have to think of something, we cannot stay always the same.
“We have to be innovative without losing the F1 DNA, like technology and innovation. Now, the last 10 laps if you are in the lead, you take care of the tyres, because maybe you don't arrive at the end, you take care of your engine. This is not F1 extreme; it is something we have to look at. Maybe we maintain the race, maybe it is something we change for the future.”
He also suggested that F1 should be more flexible about when races take place.
“You can maybe give more room for technological research for the road cars and also to improve the show, because this is another problem,” he said. “I don't think it's good to race in July and August at 2pm when the people are in the sea or on vacation. Soccer plays at 6, 7, 8 o'clock.”