MILAN (Reuters) - Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo smashed a television set after seeing McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton snatch the Formula One world title from Felipe Massa in last weekend’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I broke the television, I must tell the truth,” Montezemolo told a news conference at a Ferrari event in Mugello on Sunday.
“When a television breaks it makes a terrible bang. My daughter in the other room was given an awful fright. Luckily we had another television so I was able to watch the podium ceremony, which I enjoyed.”
Ferrari’s Massa won his home grand prix and was poised for championship victory before Hamilton overtook a slowing Timo Glock on the final bend to finish in the fifth place he needed to clinch the title.
“I reckon that in the history of F1, we have never seen a world championship decided on the last bend of the last lap of the last grand prix,” added Montezemolo, who saw Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen steal the title last season in the final race.
“Miracles, when they happen, usually only happen once. I say that because last year was a miracle. A repeat is usually impossible. In Brazil, with Massa, we were in the process of producing another miracle.”
Montezemolo had words of praise for Raikkonen. The Finn was out of the running for the title this year but helped Ferrari to retain the constructors’ championship and spurred on Massa.
“Kimi has been a world champion right up to the last race this year. He has contributed to two constructors’ titles,” he said. “His points were fundamental. With all respect for Lewis Hamilton...I‘m happy with my drivers, the best pair in the world.”
Montezemolo, who is also head of the Formula One Teams Association, reaffirmed that costs had to be cut in the difficult financial environment.
“Like with the idea of three grands prix per engine, we have made ourselves reduce the cost from 20 million ($25.6 million) to 10 million euros per engine,” he added.
“We are working with all the teams to further reduce costs for 2010 and 2011. Unanimously we have decided that by 2011 an engine will cost five million.”
The idea of a standard engine for all teams from 2010 has also been suggested but Ferrari’s board has threatened to review its presence in Formula One if the cost-saving plan goes ahead.
“It is unthinkable that constructors like Ferrari, Toyota, Mercedes, Honda, Renault and BMW could accept putting their badge on a car with an engine made by others,” he said.
“This is because innovation, research and development in F1 have reverberations on industrial production.”
Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by Clare Fallon and Miles Evans