“We Underestimated Mercedes”- Former Ferrari President Reveals the Team’s Costly Mistake in 2014

Published 07/22/2020, 3:59 AM EDT


Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo admitted that agreeing to switch to hybrid power units in 2014 was a big mistake.

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The Italian revealed that Ferrari underestimated Mercedes before the introduction of the turbo-hybrid era, which cost Ferrari dearly. Montezemolo urged Ferrari to make ‘bold decisions’ if the team wanted to find their way back to their former glory.

The inception of the turbo-hybrid era saw two F1 behemoths fall and an unlikely player establish a near unparalleled dominance over the sport. The mighty Red Bull and often dominating Ferrari was and still is no match for Mercedes.

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Will Ferrari ever dethrone Mercedes?

Mercedes is yet to lose a Championship in this current modern era of Formula 1. The Brackley-based outfit has always been one step ahead of the competition, ever since it first clinched a title in 2014.

In 2020, Mercedes arguably has no competition in the sport. Such is their level of dominance that top teams like Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren are enduringly playing catch-up.

But could this be because of Mercedes’ understanding of the regulations and technology better than its competitors?

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Montezemolo is of the opinion that Germany had a ‘better understanding’ of the subject compared to Italy. Speaking to RadioRai, Montezemolo said.

“It was a mistake on my part to agree to the switch to hybrid engines. We underestimated that Mercedes had studied it for two years. German industry also had a culture on the subject that was completely unknown in Italy.

“When I had to go, they told me that it didn’t matter that I had a positive financial record. You had to win on the track. At least we fought until the last race in my time, even if we didn’t win.

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 “We often lost at the end – with Michael (Schumacher, 1997, 1998, 2006), but also with Irvine (1999), Massa (2008) and twice with Alonso (2010, 2012),” said Luca, as quoted by Motorsport-total.com

Ferrari is in a world of pain with pressure piling up to fix its seemingly crippled car. As the Maranello-based outfit scrambles to find a solution to its issues, Mercedes continues to raise the bar in F1.

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Abhishek Bharadwaj

720 articles

Abhishek Bharadwaj is an F1 author and content strategist at EssentiallySports. Having joined ES in January 2020, he has over 700 articles to his name. While he was first introduced to the world of F1 in 2006, he started religiously following the sport in 2012 and has had an undying passion for it ever since.

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