x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Ferrari would not swap Massa for Hamilton

The Ferrari president says he would not trade Felipe Massa for McLaren's F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says the team were to blame for Felipe Massa, above, not winning the world title.
The Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says the team were to blame for Felipe Massa, above, not winning the world title.

ROME // Ferrari would not trade Felipe Massa for McLaren's Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, the Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said. The 23-year-old Hamilton became the youngest world title winner after he edged out Massa by snatching fifth place on the final bend of November's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Last week the Briton said that he would never leave McLaren but the Ferrari supremo declared he would not take him over his Brazilian driver anyway. "Hamilton is a great driver, capable of coming close to the world title in his first year in Formula One and winning it in the second," Montezemolo told La Gazzetta dello Sport's website.

"But with all respect, I wouldn't swap him for Felipe Massa. "If Massa did not win it this year, we (the team) were to blame. It would have been normal for him to win. He didn't manage to because of our mistakes." Montezemolo added that there would have been an exodus from F1 if proposals for a standard engine had been approved. The plan was not included in cost-cutting measures approved last week to help the sport after the global economic crisis led to Honda's withdrawal.

"If the standard engine had gone through for all teams, at least four or five carmakers would have abandoned [F1]," he said. "I mean four or five plus Ferrari, i.e. all of them." *Reuters