Ferrari has denied blocking the appointment of former long-time president Luca di Montezemolo to be the new chairman of the F1 Group.
With current chairman Peter Brabeck reportedly wanting to step down for health reasons, it was claimed Ferrari’s recently-ousted Montezemolo was the favourite for the role along with former Diageo chief Paul Walsh.
But international reports have suggested that Montezemolo, despite now stepping up as a non-executive director on the Formula One Group board, had his potential chairmanship blocked by the ‘veto’ enjoyed by the new Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne.
But Italian reports quote Marchionne as denying he ‘vetoed’ Montezemolo’s move to the top job.
“In the F1 Group there is only one president, and that is Ecclestone,” he said.
“Ferrari can only be opposed to that appointment.
“As for Montezemolo, there was the proposal, but if there was the opposition of Ferrari it would only be for reasons of expediency with our competitors, as he led Ferrari for 23 years,” Marchionne explained.
“It was about fair play. It was like if suddenly I went to be the president of Volkswagen,” he explained.
“I would also have opposed the appointment of Jean Todt to the FIA for the same reasons. That choice had no consequences, but that does not mean that it was correct.
“I would have opposed it on principle,” Marchionne added.
As for 67-year-old Montezemolo, who was ousted in 2014 and subsequently became the Alitalia chief, Marchionne commented: “He did a great job and I respect him a lot.
“But the world has changed, just as the world will have changed when it is time for me to go.”
Marchionne was also asked on Monday about suggestions F1’s V6 engine formula could be scrapped altogether for 2016.
“(That is) difficult,” he answered, “as it must be decided by March and the costs would be high.
“We will keep these power units, as I think they are called, trying to get more and more power from them.”
© RIF | GMM