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Formula 1 News - December, 2008
Ecclestone blasts back at Montezemolo

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Dec.20 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has struck back with a vengeance against Luca di Montezemolo, after the Ferrari president hinted heavily that he should quit.

Montezemolo, also chairman of the F1 teams' alliance FOTA, is sided strongly with Max Mosley and the teams in pushing for more than 50 per cent of the sport's revenue pie.

He was also heavily critical of F1 chief executive Ecclestone's governance, accusing the 78-year-old of not running the sport like a "normal" business.

In The Times newspaper, Ecclestone angrily fired back that di Montezemolo should keep quiet about commercial income.

"The only thing he has not mentioned is the extra money Ferrari get above all the other teams and all the extra things Ferrari have had for years -- the 'general help' they are considered to have had in formula one," he blasted.

"Ferrari get so much more money than everyone else," Ecclestone continued. "They know exactly what they get, they are not that stupid, although they are not that bright, either.

"They get about $80 million more. When they win the constructors' championship, which they did this year, they got $80 million more than if McLaren had won it."

Ecclestone said the special deal with Ferrari was agreed amid the 'breakaway' threat of a few years ago.

"That's where the $80 million comes in. We 'bought' Ferrari," he explained. "We 'bought' Ferrari's loyalty. Our deal with Ferrari was that we 'bought' them so they would not go to the others."

Ecclestone was also enraged at the thinly-veiled attack by Montezemolo about his business ethics, particularly the suggestion that he is not financially transparent.

"They have the right to send people into the company and search for everything," he countered. "Ferrari in particular, more than anybody, from day one, have had the right and they've never done it.

"We have bankers here and we've got (owners) CVC checking every single solitary thing. So anybody that starts saying that we've done anything wrong, I'll sue the arse off them," he fired.

Ecclestone suggested that Montezemolo might be unwise to push for a meeting to discuss the sport's distribution of revenue.

"What he should do, rather than asking for money, with all the extra money Ferrari gets, he should share all that amongst the teams," he said.

As a final scathing thought, Ecclestone attacked Montezemolo's complaint about Canada dropping off the 2009 calendar.

"The reason the Canadian grand prix is finished has been discussed with all the teams, including him, and it was agreed that what Canada was paying was nowhere near enough," Bernie said.

"It's a shame he's not in touch with people that seem to run the company as opposed to what he does -- work as a press officer," he concluded.

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