Montmelò, 9 May – Various different reasons brought Luca di Montezemolo to the Catalunya circuit, scene of the fifth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Having watched the two free practice sessions from the pits and waved to the many Ferrari fans in the grandstand, the Ferrari president then had a brief meeting with the press. He wanted to explain the reasons behind his visit, the first one being of a “sentimental” nature, linked to Michael Schumacher and his first of many Ferrari wins, here back in ’96 in the rain.
“My thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time and I hope he can win this battle he has been fighting for several months now.” Then the President switched to the topic of Marco Mattiacci, actually sitting alongside him. He’d had an early morning call to take on the role of the Scuderia Team Principal, following the resignation of Stefano Domenicali, a faithful servant who “unfortunately did not get the satisfaction of achieving the right results, because of the tough nature of all sports, just like when a footballer hits the crossbar instead of scoring a goal.”
“Mattiacci has already been with Ferrari for a long while, even if it has been spent outside the sphere of motor sport. I chose him, because I wanted to have someone who knows how to manage a group, putting the right people in the right place to do the best job, a competent person with all-round management experience.” As was the case in the early months of Jean Todt’s mandate in 1992, now Montezemolo wants to stay in close contact with the new man. “When he came, Todt was criticised a lot because he knew nothing about Formula 1, but then he managed to do a great job. So it’s like going back in time and I am sure that Mattiacci will do a good job, but I want to make it clear this is not a one man show, but rather a case of injecting the team with determination, rapid decision making and organizational clarity. If we have not worked well, then we need to understand why and react. There are still many races remaining and I am convinced we can improve, because I see a team that’s capable of reacting,” thus ruling out with this statement the notion of a supposed transitional season. In a final analysis, Montezemolo affirmed he was not happy with the results, which had not lived up to expectations, neither his nor the fans’, but he was keen to make it clear that from now there would be no more excuses.
“This current car is the last car created without a precise wind tunnel plan. It came out of the Toyota tunnel, because ours was not ready, but from now on there will be no more excuses as we finally have an efficient wind tunnel. We are Ferrari, we have been in Formula 1 since 1950 and we must start winning again.”