Blog: Simon WarburtonScuderia fights back

Simon Warburton | 16 November 2010

Not content to lick its wounds in private, Ferrari owner Fiat has waded into a heated inquest into the F1 team's efforts with its its driver title chances at the weekend's curtain-closer in Abu Dhabi.

Suffice it to say Ferrari's man finished some distance behind Red Bull's on-fire driver Sebastien Vettel, who not only took the desert chequered flag but the Championship too.

But it seems the waters have been muddied back in Italy by some, er, full and frank views from Italian politicians on Ferrari's performance, lighting the touchpaper - as if much was needed - to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

After acknowledging the F1 result was "certainly not what we all expected," Marchionne paid tribute to everyone at Ferrari from chairman to junior mechanic, noting they "gave it their all."

Then he loaded both barrels before firing off this volley: "As such, I consider the sarcastic comments directed at the men and women of Ferrari and Luca di Montezemolo, especially those from the political world, to be wholly unwarranted and offensive.

"A less than ideal race result does not negate the good work done by so many, work that cannot be discounted by statements from individuals who seem almost to take pleasure in the defeat."

That was followed by a somewhat more conciliatory statement from Fiat chairman John Elkann, who insisted Ferrari remained united.

And just to make sure no-one at the Ferrari F1 team gets twitchy, Elkann added for good measure: "For our part, I want to assure the fans that we will give Ferrari all the support it needs to be ever more competitive."

It's hard to imagine UK politicians - in whose country reside a large number of F1 teams - getting so worked up - the Brits finished second and third in the race - but a brand more ingrained in Italy's DNA than Ferrari would be hard to find.

Just in case that needed emphasising, a statement from Scuderia Ferrari added to the combustible debate: "We're sorry to see that there are some politicians on the outside who are ready to jump onto the winner's bandwagon then push for the guillotine when things go badly," it began sombrely.

"And we don't understand anyone who revels in self-defeatism, who sinks into the culture of ‘everything's gone wrong, we have to start all over again.'

"They are vices that are very Italian, that we must learn to shake off."

As I say, it's a bit different in Italy to Milton Keynes.


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