Ferrari boss calls for shorter F1 races

© Ubaid Parkar, 11 September 2012
© AP Photo/MTI, Szilard Koszticsak

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has called for sweeping changes in Formula 1 to keep the show relevant for broader and younger audiences, if the sport needs to succeed in the future.

Speaking to reporters during the race weekend at Monza, the Italian pointed out that F1 not only needs to reduce costs and keep the technology relevant but also toyed with the idea of shortening the lengths of the Grands Prix to improve the show.

"Looking at young people, the races are too long," Montezemolo was quoted saying by Reuters.

"I give you one example: one hour and a half for the young, it's a long time. Maybe why don't we do a test and we do two starts?” he reasoned. "Maybe it is a mistake, but we have to think of something, we cannot always stay the same... we have to be innovative without losing the F1 DNA.”

The Ferrari chairman stated that the current state of the races was not “extreme” enough to excite young fans.

“Now, in the last ten laps, if you are in the lead, you take care of the tyres and because maybe you don't arrive at the end, you take care of your engine,” he illustrated.

Montezemolo was also of the opinion that the timings of the non-European races should be tweaked to suit where Formula 1 already has some history to retain existing fans.

"I don't think it's good to race in July and August at two o'clock in the afternoon, when the people are at the sea and on vacation," he said. "If you look at a sport like soccer, they play six o'clock, seven o'clock, eight o'clock."

Costs have been another issue that the 65-year-old was concerned with as the escalating expenditure hasn’t been quite relevant, according to his observations.

"Tell me why we have to spend a huge amount of cost to spend 24 hours in a wind tunnel to do a small wing flap that, for the public, has no interest, 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 asked.

"Ferrari will remain in F1 if F1 is F1 and not a race for electric cars or games,” he threatened.

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Additional quotes sourced from AFP.

 

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