WATCH: Bentley's new 467kW Continental GT

The new third-gen Bentley Continental GT boasts 467kW, 900Nm and a top speed of 333km/h.

Meet VW's SA-bound baby SUV, the T-Cross

A disguised prototype of the T-Cross, VW's new baby crossover SUV, is being tested on public roads.

How the mighty Montezemolo humbled

2014-04-07 08:38

ALL SMOKE, NO FIRE: Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso brakes to hard during the 2014 Bahrain GP. He and team mate Kimi Raikkonen have yet to take a podium spot in 2014. Image: AP/Luca Bruno

SAKHIR, Bahrain - Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo knows about the lows and highs of Formula 1 but he could not have suffered a more humbling time than he did at the 2014 Bahrain GP on Sunday (April 7).

Not only did he see his scarlet cars, lapping mid-pack throughout, repeatedly passed by teams with only a fraction of the Italian team's budget but also witnessed the rapid destruction of his argument that the new-era F1 was boring and needed urgent rule changes.

The 2014 Bahrain GP was hailed by most observers as one of the most exciting races of recent years, with copious overtaking and some thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing throughout - especially from Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.


While such a spectacle was a boon for the sport it was a setback for the Ferrari chairman, who had been lobbying International Automobile Federation boss Jean Todt and F1's commercial power-broker Bernie Ecclestone intensely in the days leading up to the race, saying the sport's smaller hybrid engines had created uneventful racing and must be changed.

Rosberg, second after a thrilling race-long battle with team mate Lewis Hamilton, managed a smile when aiming some pointed remarks at Ferrari and other critics who had leaped to judgment after the season's first two races, Australia  and Malaysia.

Rosberg said: "There were recent criticisms but they will all be very quiet on Monday, which is a good thing."

The political defeat was bad enough but was made even worse by the uncompetitive showing of the Ferraris with richly-paid world champion drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen ninth and 10th respectively.


Early in the race, when Force India's Sergio Perez cruised past Alonso on the main straight, race coverage showed Montezemolo turning away from the garage TV monitors in disgust. The track exposed Ferrari's lack of straight-line speed - which will be the focus of upcoming midweek testing that, the team hopes, will produce a turnaround in fortunes.

Alonso said: "We can't be happy with our performance. Our sole focus must be on working day and night. The season is in its early stages and we can stage a recovery. We have the resources, the potential, to do it and it's all down to us."

Montezemolo left the floodlit desert circuit during what many described as one of the best grands prix for a decade.

"I don't think there is much more to see," the Italian was quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport before leaving the track mid-race.

"Seeing a Ferrari so slow on the straight gives me great pain," he admitted.  "I was not expecting much from this race, but something more (than this).

Stay with Wheels24 for fresh F1 reports.

Read more on:    fia  |  ferrari  |  2014 bahrain gp  |  2014 f1 season  |  bahrain  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.