Sergio Marchionne on Sunday made his first appearance at a grand prix since taking over as Ferrari president.
He said in Montreal that the work done by the resurgent Maranello team and its new boss Maurizio Arrivabene so far in 2015 has been “exceptional”.
“There is nothing to regret,” said the Italian-born Canadian, “even if there are people who speak and say many things.”
Marchionne is undoubtedly referring to the barbs fired recently by his predecessor Luca di Montezemolo, who said Ferrari’s new chiefs lucked into their success so far in 2015 due to groundwork that had already been laid.
“The reality,” Marchionne told Italian reporters, “is that the (2015) car of last October was not ready.
“Since then an amazing job has been done, as all the progress we have made and continue to make every race is almost miraculous,” he insisted.
Marchionne said Ferrari might have made even more progress relative to dominant Mercedes if not for the “constraints imposed by the current regulations”.
He probably means the current ‘engine freeze’, which Marchionne says is just one example of how F1 is too complex at present.
“We are trying to simplify things,” said Marchionne, referring to trackside talks about the future shape of the rules, and a meeting on Sunday with Bernie Ecclestone.
“This is a sport that has to evolve,” he added, “because the most important thing is to have more viewers and yet we have written rules that are completely incomprehensible even to those of us who are involved in the sport.
“Unfortunately, what we did was to build a castle of complex rules in order to defend positions of domination, and even Ferrari is guilty of that.”
Marchionne said one step forward would be to bring back refuelling, even though the latest news from Canada is that bosses have freshly decided to scrap the planned reintroduction.
But “We are in favour” of refuelling, Marchionne said on Sunday. He said the decision to cancel the reintroduction was just “an opinion” given in recent meetings.
“We’ll see what the committee (Strategy Group) decides. I think another variable that increases the unpredictability of the outcome is a good thing.”
Finally, Marchionne said he wants to see Monza keep the Italian grand prix.
“For my part, Monza will not fail,” he said, “so if they have problems then we should talk to Bernie (Ecclestone).”
© RIF | GMM