Mar.31 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Luca di Montezemolo insists Ferrari’s former management should not be forgotten after the fabled team returned to the top step of the podium.
Long-time president Montezemolo was just one of many victims of Maranello’s 2014 turmoil, as Ferrari also shed two team principals, numerous engineers and number 1 driver Fernando Alonso.
“I am very happy,” the 67-year-old, now chief executive of Alitalia, said.
“I did not expect that the team would win so quickly,” Montezemolo is quoted by international media reports.
He insisted, however, that the new guard at Ferrari, headed by Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrivabene and Sebastian Vettel in the cockpit, do not deserve all the credit.
“This is the reward for hard work,” Montezemolo said. “It began on this car in Maranello in February 2014, and was then picked up by those who run the Scuderia now.”
He continued: “This victory is perhaps also due to some small errors by Mercedes, but also to all those who planned the car and engine last year.”
Veteran F1 driver Jenson Button agrees that Vettel cannot take too much credit for turning Ferrari into an immediate winner after his Red Bull switch.
“He has definitely lucked into a situation, I would say,” said the McLaren-Honda driver.
“It is one of those situations which sometimes works out for you.”
Even so, it must be a bitter pill to swallow for Button’s new teammate Fernando, who after five years at Ferrari is now racing the woefully slow McLaren.
“I sat next to Sebastian (on Sunday) and thought ‘What is Fernando thinking?'” admitted Lewis Hamilton, an avowed admirer of the Spaniard.
“It could have been him. It’s just strange how things turn out,” the two-time world champion added.
Alonso, however, insists he has no regrets about leaving Ferrari, even though Vettel is now driving a winning car that could contractually have been his in 2015.
“When I saw Mercedes win by half a minute in Australia,” he is quoted by Spain’s El Confidencial, “I was very clear about my decision.”