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Ferrari has labelled as “pure speculation” media reports suggesting that it could call time on its Formula 1 team in favour of a return to endurance racing and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans event.

The outfit’s clarification comes in the wake of company President Luca di Montezemolo venting his frustrations about the current state of Formula 1, which embarked on a new turbocharged power unit era this season.

“Formula 1 isn’t working,” di Montezemolo told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s declining because [the FIA] have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement. Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on.”

On the subject of Le Mans, di Montezemolo said that while he is open to the idea of a full works effort, Ferrari would not be able to combine it with its current commitments: “We cannot do sportscar racing and Formula 1.”

With di Montezemolo’s comments leading to suggestions of an exit, Ferrari has chosen to speak out.

“To say that after [the Concorde deal expires in] 2020, Ferrari could quit Formula 1 to concentrate on Le Mans and the Endurance championship takes his words to extremes,” read a statement issued by the team.

“Plus of course, there’s nothing to stop Ferrari upping the ante and competing in both disciplines. So it’s just pure speculation.”

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Hi, I have been a Formula 1 fanatic since 1987 when my family took me to the Adelaide GP. I now enjoy close friendships with team members at Ferrari and within the Holden Racing Team (V8Supercars).
  • Malcolm

    Firstly, come on dude you can’t have a picture that is so clearly identifiable as a screenshot from your galaxy device, as the leading photo on a blog post!

    Secondly, I think these are hilarious comments from Ferrari. If they had done a better job of designing their power unit, a la mercedes, then the last thoughts they would be having would be of Le Mans. They’re in a rough-spot performance wise, but when mercedes has been able to do more with the engine than they have it shows that they should have just put more design work into the engine, it doesn’t mean that the new regulations themselves are going to destroy the sport. They’ll probably come back next season with the same turbo design as the mercs, and do just as well.

  • Thank you, yes I did post this blog from galaxy so things do go wrong sometimes. Personally I would love the see the scarlet red in LMP1. I think Ferrari would bring a lot more to the sport.

  • Rapierman

    I’m guessing that di Montezemolo is the one that is unhappy with Formula 1 instead of the company itself. If he doesn’t like it, why is he there? It’s not really his team, after all.

  • Andreas

    So, F1 is not working because people come for the excitement? Maybe Luca should watch the last few races then… to me, this season has seen some of the most exciting racing in F1 in a long time. But I fear Luca isn’t actually referring to the racing needing to be more exciting. I suspect his dream F1 is more like what it was in 2000-04 – even though the racing was processional and the outcome predictable, at least his team kept winning. Oh, and the cars were LOUD. L O U D, I say!

    Sarcasm aside, I’d love to see Ferrari take on the WEC. And personally, I wouldn’t stop watching F1 if they left the sport. What makes me watch (or not watch) F1 is not whether or not there are Ferraris on the grid – the racing being exciting is far more important to me. And I can’t help wonder if F1 wouldn’t actually in some ways be better off without the red cars – it would at least be possible to reallocate the up-front money (rumoured to be in the $85M range) Ferrari is now receiving off the top of the total revenues, before any prize money is calculated.

  • Fred

    I would have used this occaision to start negotiations on the Concorde by saying something like “well it’s always possible”

  • StephenB.

    …if Ferrari comes back does that mean the return of Ford? ;-P

  • Tony Geinzer

    I’d welcome Ferrari in LeMans, IndyCar AND NASCAR! And let’s all work on the Concorde so that we hire Atlanta instead of Charlotte for an F1 Team.

  • Personally I don’t find it excitng to see wether Lewis or Nico wins, I don’t care either way, so this year is not very exciting for me.
    Dare I use the word boring?
    Of course Canada was a nice race because of the problems of Mercedes.

    So the “show” could use more excitement, as long as it is exciting racing, not some extra artificial rules.
    Less rules and more competition would be better.

  • Tom Firth

    Ferrari may one day return to Le Mans but it won’t be instead of, rather as well as in my opinion. Right now maybe not, in the next 2-3 years possibly, but I think they need a catalyst to do so, say Honda go into LMP1 with a partnership from Mclaren, in the way that Williams did with BMW in the late 90’s. If that happens, I can see them pushing further for it, at the moment, its just teasing. I would certainly like Ferrari back though, particularly now Porsche is from an LMP1 standpoint.

  • Hard to argue with Luca when you see his perspective. F1 is messing with everything at the same time putting tight restrictions on technical specs – all of which means the cars have no “edge” on each other and the most clever (as opposed to the most innovative) wins.
    Bravo Mercedes. For now.
    Boring R&D – Colin Chapman in this climate would never have been able to produce a rear-engined car. And let’s not make a list of improvements now no longer allowed (and would not have been developed!) like traction control that every modern car in the whole world relies on.
    Exciting year racing? I am truly pleased that some people find it so. There is a passion to the drivers and speed…but let’s not delude ourselves that the sport is exciting, the development of NEW and innovative technology is the main purpose and output of F1 and, sadly, this year it’s evaporated.
    Proof? F2 has faster same circuit lap times that many F1 cars.

  • Keenan

    Alright, we are 7 races into, what has been a very interesting season, and the barons of F1 still are not happy.

    Its time to embrace the change. If there is one thing I have learned in the world, it is that you can’t have everything. Naturally Aspirated V12/V10/V8s will always sound better and are cheaper short term, but then you have to vastly change Aero/Tire regulations to get competition. Hybrid Turbo V6s have a higher upfront cost but will keep engine/gas/oil manufacturers happy long term because they can test out exotic materials and the limits of what is possible under contraints. Remember 1.6L displacement is less than your 2L bottle of soda, and it produces over 500 hp.

    I think everyone who is complaining is just upset because their team didnt pull a Mercedes. Merc knew it was coming, prepared for it, and are reaping the rewards. Everyone else tried to play catch up with Red Bull for immediate satisfaction and Mercedes kept their goals long term.

    I mean maybe someone has to explain to me why so many people are saying F1 needs to be saved? The racing has been great this season even with Merc Dominance. Remeber McLaren in the late 80s, Williams in the Mid 90s, Ferrari in the early 00s, and Red Bull the last 4 years? Everyone seems to remember these dynasties with relative positivity. The lack of team orders at Mercedes and some other teams, make it exhilarating to watch.

    We cannot go back to the glory days of the 60s and 70s unless you roll back the cost of technology, make everyone forget the importance of aero, and reintroduce the massive risk of death. Its time to accept what it is and move forward, you don’t like losing to Mercedes, then produce a better package. The FIA didn’t say “Hey, its your turn to win” they just planned and executed better.

    In terms of Ferrari switching to WEC, that would be funny because the whole point of WEC is efficiency and reliabilty. The parity and excitement of this last Le Mans came from unreliability, not wheel to wheel racing. I’d like to believe the reason why people watch Le Mans at is is for the incredible engineering and strategy that goes into it.

    • Keenan: You answered the issue yourself: ” Remeber McLaren in the late 80s, Williams in the Mid 90s, Ferrari in the early 00s, and Red Bull the last 4 years?” well, yes we do, because INNOVATION without too many restrictive technology caps was the rule of the day. Even something like the mass damper (Benetton) was a great invention. Can’t do anything today the other boys can’t do. Red Bull was brilliant at aero design? Simply, give dimensions down to 1mm (yes 1mm or sometimes even tighter!), and presto advantage in design gone. Whats new this year? engines and a whole load of electronic do-dads. Okay, even the do-dads are all regulated and they ALL have to share the same CPU and memory caps. Come on, can’t you see your argument is already made? They have made this boring in an attempt to make it tighter, more exciting, and in the process killed the goose.

      • I fail to see where, say, 2005-2013, was an “without too many restrictive technology caps.” What’s the difference in innovation scope contrasted to 2014? Using that era to contend 2014’s limitations are killing the goose is confusing.

        How is the mass damper different from Mclaren’s “parachute” wishbones, Merc’s blown starter motor hole, or FRIC/blown wheel nuts? While general media as latched onto the power units, how do you feel about the maturation of these innovations. And to that point, neither the mass damper, nor Mclaren’s inertia (J-damper), F-Duct/double or blown diffusor, etc. were “inventions,” they are/were innovative, “clever” applications of either technologies or theories already well-established. I see much innovation 2014.

        Are 2014’s power plant regulations more or less restrictive than the last 3 years of the V10’s, or the entire V8 era? Brakes? Suspension? The aerodynamic/bodywork side indeed is more tightly-regulated; is this what you mean by limited development scope?

        It’s arguable that up to the mid ’90s, regulations did in fact allow more innovation. Whether that’s feasible today, where development involves more simulation (more computer power/more cost), is an interesting talking point.

        There are many reasons one might feel F1’s erred; however, if using the recent past as a model, 2014 innovation restriction isn’t one of them. If one dislikes the Direction that restriction leads the sport (like Todd), that’s a different argument.

  • How come so many people claim this is about Ferrari being down on performance and therefore blaming the current rules etc for that downturn.

    No where in the articles have I read Ferrari saying those things.

    As much as it pains me to agree with Ferrari, they are 100% correct saying F1 has lost the plot when it comes to engaging the fans.

  • Stan

    It would be pretty hysterical if they switched and either changes in the regs or technology diesel became the only competitive option. A Ferrari oil burner – put that in your pipe Luca

  • Paul

    I agree with Ferrari, I watched Le Mans this year. All out racing very exciting. Not so much F1 with its tyres, fuel, power releases etc…. F1 has become contrived in my view