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F1 needs to change to prevent decline - Montezemolo

ESPN Staff
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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says changes to Formula One are needed to prevent it going into decline.

Bernie Ecclestone has expressed his concerns about the new formula and believes all the teams will get behind changes, including an increase in the fuel allowance. Montezemolo is among the most vocal opponents of the changes to the regulations this year and has highlighted fuel saving as one of his biggest concerns.

"We want to increase the value, the passion, the success of Formula One," the Ferrari president said. "Formula One is our life, so we have to look ahead, sharing with the other teams a good solution. I don't want to think of the decline of Formula One, and if we look at it today, we have a race that is no longer Formula One.

"We have to give back to Formula One its characteristics. We cannot have an economy formula. It has to be extreme, with racing from the first lap to the last. Formula One is also about the engine music - not noise - and we also have to make sure it is not too complicated with regard to the rules.

"For the people in the grandstands, how can they understand what is going on with this fuel-flow meter [that led to Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification in Australia]? So it's important we share ideas together to improve the situation because I don't want to think of the big possibility of Formula One's decline.

"If an engine drinks less fuel, good, it means you can do a race on less fuel, but a public doesn't like a taxi driver that has to respect the fuel. This is not Formula One."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff made clear on Saturday night that he would not back any changes to the regulations this season. Montezemolo appeared to be willing to meet Wolff midway, suggesting changes for the future rather than an in-season overhaul of the regulations.

"It doesn't mean we have to change now, but we have to take care of the situation and all together look ahead," he said. "I think something, without changing rules in the short term, is possible. I understand Mercedes' position, but for me Formula One is more important than the rules, is our life, and so we have to think of the future together and to share common goals."

Montezemolo insisted his drive for change was not linked to Ferrari's poor start to the season under the new regulations and Mercedes' dominance of the first two races.

"It's nothing to do with this. With the rules of today we have to be more competitive. It's not a question of changing the rules now, but for the future it's a different situation."

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