Montezemolo calls urgent meeting over F1's future

Pirelli Media

15 June 2014 by Ryan Wood

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has called for an urgent meeting to discuss Formula 1's future, amid concerns it isn't doing enough to attract a younger audience nor retain sponsor interest.

The Italian believes F1's current focus, which has centered largely around efficiency and saving money, isn't what fans or sponsors want to see.

He has written to F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and the sport's owner, CVC's Donald McKenzie, asking for them to bring together all concerned parties for a meeting in September ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

It's expected to include all 11 teams, the FIA, media, television companies, race promoters and even companies not directly associated with the sport, but ones di Montezemolo believes can help guide the sport in a direction that will attract a younger audience such as Google/YouTube and Apple.

Whilst Ecclestone has been reluctant to talk with 'online' media companies such as those above, a decline in televison ratings and an increase in online viewing means exploring other traffic and revenue sources is now more important than ever.

In a statement, Ferrari made clear that the sport must do more to remain relevant on the same level as the "Olympics and World Cup."

"It is not an ultimatum, nor a threat, but a proposal to call together all the key players in the sport to sit down around a table and come up with new ideas that will see Formula 1 continue to set the benchmark in motorsport, on level terms with global events such as the Olympics and the football World Cup," it read.

"The President wants to see a collective brainstorming from the group to act for the good of F1. Contributions from all areas are of value.

"Formula 1 has to be based on technical innovation, research and development, but this must all be done with sustainable costs and above all, must be moved forward as part of a product that can put on a show. Because it is the show that draws in the commercial partners, the sponsors and, above all, the fans, who are the real end users of the Formula 1 product.

"Finding the right mix of these ingredients will be vital for the sustainability and the future success of our much-loved sport."

The meeting is expected to take place at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters ahead of the Italian GP.