Montezemolo at Mugello: “A fantastic circuit, the nicest in Italy”

Mugello, 2 July – Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo was a guest of honour at the Mugello Circuit for the Motorcycle Italian GP taking place there this weekend. He visited the track in Tuscany this morning, which is owned by the Maranello company to see for himself the new central grandstand, inaugurated for this the most important motorcycle meeting of the season.

“It is a fantastic circuit, by a long way, the nicest in Italy in terms of the atmosphere and its structure,” said Montezemolo having visited the grandstand along with the Chief Executive of the Mugello Circuit, Paolo Poli. “The track is tough and fun, both for those who drive on it and those watching and now there is also this new building for the public which is really exceptional because it provides a view of several points on the circuit. I wish to congratulate those who carried out the work of improving this facility which already benefits from a very beautiful location set amidst the greenery. And on the subject of colours the new kerbs which reflect the Italian flag are very nice.”

During his visit to Mugello, the Ferrari number one met Dorna CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta and also went to the Ducati Marlboro Team pits where he was able to meet Valentino Rossi, who had just come out of his debrief following the final free practice session of the morning.

Before leaving, Montezemolo met some journalists and naturally the subject of Formula 1 came up. “It’s an emotional year: this winter I would never have expected us to have such a difficult start,” said the President. “There are reasons why this happened, such as problems with the wind tunnel. Situations like the ones we have experienced this year can be useful in giving you a direction to go in terms of working methods, of spirit and also in terms of organisation and that is what I have asked for from the team. Now we are working very hard to make up the ground lost and to try and win races: I think we could have done so in Monaco and in Canada. It’s a year in which everything is going well for the others but less so for us. In Formula 1, you can have years like this, where everything goes in the right direction: I can remember it well, without having to think too far back. We must knuckle down and look ahead: I have every confidence in our group and in the way it is reacting, even with a different approach, a more aggressive one, which must also be applied to the design of next year’s car.”

Asked if he thought the World Championship was now over for Alonso, Montezemolo had this to say: “If I was mad, I would say no, but we never give in and Ferrari has always shown that spirit. Before saying the title has definitely gone, I still want to wait for a few more races. Certainly, it is very very difficult: we will do our best and the maths will come at the end.”

The President was also asked for an assessment of the two Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers: “Alonso is a great driver and I am very happy to have signed such a long term contract so that we will have a very deep involvement with him, as we did with Michael Schumacher in his day: the fact we will be together at least to the end of 2016 is confirmation that both parties are pleased with this relationship. I am also very satisfied with Felipe, who this year is reacting very well and who represents a reference point for the whole team. We are pleased with our drivers: we must improve the car to get back to being where we want Ferrari to be.”