Di Montezemolo slams Ecclestone criticism
2 December 2012 – Luca di Montezemolo returned to the controversies surrounding the Brazilian Grand Prix by slamming Bernie Ecclestone, who criticised the Italian team for its post-race antics. According to the Ferrari president, he “is no longer in control” of what he says.
Formula 1 supremo Ecclestone had condemned Ferrari’s clarification request to the FIA regarding Sebastian Vettel’s overtake on Jean-Éric Vergne in the opening phase of the season finale in Brazil. Discussing the alleged pass under yellow flags on Lap 4, Ecclestone was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: "It’s a complete joke. What they (Ferrari) are saying in that letter is completely and utterly wrong."
The reply from the higher echelons of Ferrari, however, didn’t take long – and it also included some harsh words. Talking to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport as he attended the Ferrari Day in Valencia, di Montezemolo dismissed Ecclestone’s criticism.
"You have to show respect for your elders, especially when they get to that stage in which they are no longer in control of what they say," the 65-year-old quipped. "However, old age is clearly incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities."
The Ferrari president was keen to put the yellow flag matter behind him, and also extended what could be considered as an olive branch to rivals Red Bull.
"The FIA declared that for them there had been no infringement and so the matter was closed," stated the man in charge of Ferrari since late 1991. "Congratulations to Vettel and Red Bull because whoever won after such a difficult season deserved the title and because at Ferrari that is what we do. We would like everyone to congratulate us next season if we win."
Di Montezemolo also took the time to look back at his team’s efforts throughout the 2012 season and repeated his earlier wish for next year’s car to be a competitive package right from the first round.
"We were nevertheless one of the main protagonists this season," he added. "We challenged for the title right until the end and next year will be very important.
"The most important thing is to be there at the top. We will have to work very hard to give our two drivers a winning car."