SCUDERIA PRESIDENT: Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne arrives at the qualifying session at the Italian GP. Image: AFP/Andrea Solaro
MONZA, Italy - If Ferrari impressed with its new engine and second and third qualifying places on Saturday, president Sergio Marchionne said the Tifosi will be delighted in 2016.
On his first visit to the Italian GP in the wake of the long Luca di Montezemolo era, Marchionne said at Monza: "This year (2015), the new car was not quite ready for the season.
RED BULL ENGINE TALKS
"So we started on the new one very early and have invested more resources," he told Italian television Sky.
There have also been rumours Marchionne has scheduled meetings with Red Bull this weekend to offer the former champions an engine for 2016, but he said only: "I talk to everyone."
A bigger topic of conversation this weekend has been Monza's future, with Bernie Ecclestone saying after key meetings that a new contract beyond 2016 is now "unlikely".
Asked if Ferrari can help, Marchionne said: "I would like to make promises but it is difficult. We saw what happened with Germany."
"IMPORTANCE OF MONZA IS UNDENIABLE"
He added: "The importance of Monza is undeniable," he added, "but it's not our job to negotiate. We hope the prime minister Matteo Renzi comes to the race."
It is believed Renzi will indeed be at Monza on Sunday (August 6), but Roberto Maroni, the local Lombardy president, is already at the Autodromo and is notably upbeat.
Maroni told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "The chance the GP at Monza will stay alive is 99.9 per cent, I leave 0.1 for good luck.
"The meeting (with Ecclestone) went well and we understand each other."
Maroni admitted there is still a gap between what Monza can pay and what Ecclestone is demanding.
The Prime Minister said: "We have the assurance (from Ecclestone) that we want to close the deal and will do it by the end of the year for a thousand reasons.
Maroni added: "He (Ecclestone) said 'Ok, I'll wait and won't do anything until then'. Now we need to get to work to find the difference."