Bernie Ecclestone has kept a war of words with Luca di Montezemolo running.
Earlier, after the F1 chief executive slammed Ferrari’s pursuit of the yellow flag saga as “a joke”, Montezemolo suggested Ecclestone’s “old age is … incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities”. Ecclestone, who is 17 years older than 65-year-old Italian Montezemolo, has now hit back, claiming the Ferrari president often “doesn’t remember what he says”.
“I’m sure in his case it is nothing to do with his age because he’s always been the same. At least he’s consistent. God knows what’s going to happen when he’s 82,” the Briton told BBC Sport.
Actually, Ecclestone insisted he is a “big supporter” of Montezemolo’s, but thinks the yellow flag saga should have been handled “behind closed doors”.
“I think there was so much pressure from probably the driver (Fernando Alonso),” he said.
“You must remember he’s been saying nearly every race this year the car is rubbish and it’s a bit difficult for them not to look as if they’re trying to do something to help him.”
Ecclestone also dismissed Montezemolo’s complaints about the F1 regulations.
“The rules are there for everyone to use in the best way they can. They’re the same for everyone,” he insisted.
However, one of Ecclestone’s staunchest allies insists Montezemolo only reacted to a “clear provocation” by the 82-year-old.
“Sometimes when Bernie tries to be funny he is not, Luca was disappointed because no one would have liked that statement, and he answered him. Within ten days they’ll be friends again,” former Renault boss Flavio Briatore told Italian radio Rai.
Indeed, Briatore thinks Montezemolo is “right” to complain that formula one has been “put back in the hands of engineers”. Meanwhile, Spaniard Alonso contradicted reports he played a leading role in Ferrari’s push for Sebastian Vettel to be stripped of the 2012 title over the yellow flag affair.
“I was on vacation and didn’t even have an internet connection good enough to watch videos,” he is quoted by La Stampa newspaper. “But the situation needed clarification out of respect for the fans. Ferrari was right to turn to the federation,” added Alonso.