Luca di Montazemelo – one of modern Formula 1′s elder statesmen – has been a grumpy old man of late.
From back markers to a lack of testing time, Ferrari not being able to use their fabled Maranello test track, or just disagreements with even older, more controversial statesmen, di Montazemelo really has had much to be vocal about.
Like any doting parent he’s not always been the quickest to lay any blame at the doorstep of his young siblings, be it the drivers or the team principal.
They’re all his children you see, but after great preseason hopes and no small amount of fan fare, they’ve not quite lived up to expectation so far this season.
Patience really has been a virtue for Ferrari, and it’s had to be. Stefano Domenicalli has constantly called for plenty of patience – not a character trait of the Tiffosi. Results and championships are what they want, what they demand. Tears are what they’ve had to settle for, for what they feel has been far too long. Not bucket loads of tears mind but bitter ones, as Ferrari have up until now struggled to keep pace.
Blown diffusers and a raft of aerodynamic changes are their only real hope of salvation. This latest step in their development really is step one, though Fernando Alonso rightly stated that it opens up new areas of car development: areas that they will be attacking with vigour for the rest of the season.
That said, it’s been a awful long while since Ferrari introduced anything on their car that the other teams have sought to copy, which says as much about how the tightening of regulations have affected the ability as it does a teams inability to spend its way out of a problem.
Fresh ideas that work first time are the collateral of the day, and what they lack in raw invention they must make up through raw determination, as in this modern, ultra-competitive era, no team shows any sign of simply lying down.
Di Montazemelo’s not just a father with high expectations; to his credit he’s also a diplomat. He’s been careful not to be publicly critical of his team, though a reverse in their fortunes so far is what he expects. A watershed weekend in Valencia is all that will do. One thing we can be sure of is that in his mind there really is only space on the top step for prancing horses. Steaming red bull’s and silver arrows’ need not apply.