Luca di Montezemolo, one of the most powerful figures in formula one, thinks the highly-controversial new 'double points' rule might live a short life. Reaction to the plan for double points in Abu Dhabi next year, to keep the championship alive throughout the season, has been generally negative.
And Montezemolo, the Ferrari president with an unique veto over key F1 decisions, warned: "I'm not a fan of the double points. "It's too artificial," he is quoted by Germany's Sport Bild. "I would not be surprised if the rule is soon abolished."
In a wide-ranging and fascinating interview, Montezemolo also tipped Fernando Alonso to live out his full Ferrari contract, despite McLaren's obvious interest. McLaren supremo Ron Dennis this week insisted "never say never" when contemplating bringing the Spaniard back to Woking. But Montezemolo said: "I will not argue with my friend Ron, although it would be good for the press -- Fernando has a contract until 2016. My only concern is giving him a better car."
However, he did have to "tweak" the ear of the obviously frustrated Alonso this year. Montezemolo urged the 32-year-old to take a leaf out of Michael Schumacher's book. "It is important that you not only win together, but also lose together," he said. "Michael knew how to do that between 1996 and 1999. Fernando knows that he drives not for himself, but for Ferrari, even if I can understand his frustration at times."
Some believe it was Alonso's attitude in 2013 that triggered the decision - against the Spaniard's wishes - to sign world champion Kimi Raikkonen to be his new teammate. But, fascinatingly, Montezemolo suggested the Finn is in fact the number 2. "He knows that he is in the second half of his career," he said, referring to Raikkonen. "But he is especially strong in the race, and is able to take points from Fernando's opponents."
For the moment, then, Montezemolo ruled out making a move to sign F1's driver of the moment. "Sebastian Vettel is very fast, focused, wants to win," he said. "I like his attitude: no manager, no politics. But although I have a lot of problems, a number 1 driver is not among them. In two years time we can talk about it again," the Italian added.
Finally, Montezemolo revealed that he has been approached by an American group, keen to acquire a Ferrari 'customer car' and race in formula one. At present, the rules would not allow it. "It's true," Montezemolo said. "We were contacted, and if the rules allowed it, we would like to sell them a car. It is extremely difficult for a new team to build a competitive car out of nowhere, so I would like to help." (GMM)