Montezemelo's Revenge

The office at the top of Maranello tower. An Italian man in glasses enters the room, as his boss swivels around in his huge backed chair.

SD: Forza Ferrari!
LdM: Forza Ferrari! What was it you wanted, Stefano?
SD: A few things. First, we've noticed Mike Coughlan hanging around the bins again.
LdM: Give him one of our dossiers.
SD: That nearly didn't work last time, Luca, are you sure...?
LdM: If Williams are on the pace next year, the
Place de la Concorde will find out about it.
SD: OK, second, Rob is getting irritated by the team strategy.
LdM: Tell him we can bring back Badoer if he's not happy.
SD: Do we really want to hamper our second car that much?
LdM: Quite frankly, Stefano, you need to hamper second cars more. Did you see that mess in Germany last year? It should not happen again. If I see that Brazilian fool ahead of Fernando again there will be trouble.
SD: Of course, sir.

They are interrupted by a small work-experience boy.

SWEB: Mr di Montezemelo, Ron Dennis was on the phone for you.
LdM: Did you take a message?
SWEB: Of course, sir.
LdM: What was the message?
SWEB: I have no idea, sir.
LdM: Tell him I'll return his correspondence forthwith.
SWEB: Of course, sir.

The boy leaves the room, almost colliding with a brash Yorkshireman holding a glass to the wall.

LdM: Was there anything else, Stefano?
SD: No, sir, everything is fine.
LdM: One more thing. Win us the Belgian Grand Prix.
SD: Yes, sir.
LdM: With Alonso
SD: Of course, sir.
The sign outside the Northampton Conference Centre was put up quickly, due to their consequential meeting of the whole of F1 in the same centre:

Room 1: Red Bull Racing End of Season Review and Finger Pointing
Room 2: Ferrari Are Less In This Room Than You Secret End of Season Meeting
Room 3: FOTA Emergency Meeting

In Room 2:

LdM: Forza Ferrari!
All: Forza Ferrari!
LdM: So, we must ask, today, how did our season go?

A shout from the neighbouring room in a German accent was heard to shout "Slowly" to guffaws from the assembled energy drink enthusiasts

LdM: Lets first look at Fernando's results.
SD: As you can see they're indicative of an extremely successful season
LdM: If, of course, the other car won the title
RS: Hold on a bloody second! T'other car wasn't allowed to challenge!
LdM: Quite! And lets have a look at its results!
SD: As you can see, Felipe usually beat the Mercedes, which were of course totally crap all season.

There was a knock on the door. Ross Brawn entered.

RB: Nice speech, Stefano.
SD: Erm, Ross, didn't expect to see you here...
RB: They've delivered two trays of biscuits to you, and some of the FOTA delegates are getting hungry. Why aren't you at the FOTA meeting, Luca?
LdM: Erm... well, it was called after we booked this room...
RB: Couldn't you do your meeting after?
LdM: Erm... no... actually, we quit FOTA. And I think they delivered your biscuits to room 1.
RB: OK, I'll ask Christian...

Having just quit the Formula One Teams Association out of not having an answer for Ross' questions, Stefano went on criticising Massa.

SD: So, how many times did Felipe collide with Lewis?
RS: Several, but they were all Lewis' fault. Its them bloody pirates at McLaren...

There was a knock at the door and Martin Whitmarsh entered.

MW: Avast! I have come to board your ship!
RS: Bloody hilarious!
MW: So you're blaming us for your collisions!
RS: Yes, I bloody am. Your driver is a numpty!
MW: Usually finished in front of Felipe though!
RS: OK, but at least we're not bloody Lotus!

There was a knock on the door. Eric Boullier entered.

EB: Martin, have they nicked our biscuits?
MW: I believe they have!
LdM: Oh, so we're being accused of nicking stuff by McLaren, are we?
MW: Yes!
LdM: These biscuits are our IP!
EB: Erm... why don't you want to be Lotus, Rob?

RS: Because you've got no money!
EB: Anyway, Martin, we asked Red Bull if they'd got our biscuits and they said they've only got cans of Red Bull, and when we asked why they missed the FOTA meeting, Mateschitz quit!

These rows continued through the night, interrupting three important meetings. Eventually, peace was restored when Ross designed a double-deck biscuit tray for the centre, but Mateschitz and Montezemelo were too proud to admit they'd quit FOTA by mistake.

In the office, Colin Kolles swiveled around in his chair stroking his white cat*.

CK: I knew we could stop them with the biscuits. Muhahahahaha!
JMC: So, we win next year?
CK: Surely, against that lot we cannot fail!

*black cat, hair dye. HRT aren't made of money!
The FIA inspector left Montezemelo's office, troubled by their massive recruitment of McLaren staff. Stefano Domenicali lead him down into a basement room to soothe his mind...

SD: So this is the McLaren IP Control Room
FIAI: What happens in here?
SD: We take an ex-employee of McLaren. You, come over here!
EEoM: Yes, Martin.
SD: Now head into the Control Room.
EEoM: Of course, Martin.

Stefano and the Inspector walk on a travelator moving across the mezzanine, showing what happened to the ex-McLaren men.

SD: First, their anthracite uniforms are sprayed scarlet... then they are taken into the Quarantined McLaren IP room.
EEoM (singing): The F-Duct's connected to the rear wing, the rear wing's connected to the engine...
FIAI: What happens in there?
SD: All the McLaren IP is extracted.
FIAI: And what happens to the extract?
SD: It is sent to another room to be 'destroyed'.
FIAI: Ah! And why do they call you Martin?
SD: I don't know. That has been puzzling me for a while actually...

The ex-employee meets the two men in the antechamber

EEoM: I love the Ferrari family!
SD: And what do you know about McLaren?
EEoM: I don't-a like the McLaren! When can I build-a the third car?
SD: See, all McLaren IP suitably removed, and patient suitably Ferrarised.
FIAI: I think that is everything, Stefano. Thanks very much!

The Inspector left Maranello, satisfied to the unprecedentedly thorough action that the Scuderia had taken...

EEoM: Where's the pomegranate smoothie dispenser?
SD: Shut up, idiot, he might still be in earshot.

Luca read over the memo. It saddened him. The glitz and glamour of Maranello was now to be brought to the world inside. And by webcast. Worst of all, he'd had a call from Woking earlier in the afternoon. To be fair, it hadn't annoyed him until he spent an hour with the "Ronglish to Italian Dictionary" Martin Whitmarsh had brought the team after Fernando won the British Grand Prix.

All in all, it was a bad environment for Stefano Domenicali to enter the room!

SD: Forza F-f-f-f-errari!
LdM: Forza Ferrari. You sound cold?
SD: Well, its pretty cold out there!
LdM: I've had two phone calls today!
SD: Really?
LdM: Yes, one from Ron Dennis gloating with words he knew I couldn't understand.
SD: It was kind of Martin to buy us that Dictionary, wasn't it?
LdM: And the other was from Felipe's dad celebrating his 2013 contract!
SD: Hold on, I didn't think we gave Felipe a 2013 contract?
LdM: No! But you know what he's like for celebrating prematurely!
SD: You really need to stop giving Felipe good news when you're upset, boss. I don't think its helping!

Stefano was always relieved when Luca decided to take his rage out on the Massas, it meant he was safe! Well, unless his phone rang...

PA: Mr di Montezemelo, Dietrich Mateschitz to speak to you, shall I put him through?

The Ferrari Head of Marketing had to tell Luca that the world thought his new car was ugly...

HoM: Forza Ferrari, sir!
LdM: Forza Ferrari! So, what does the world's media say about it?
HoM: They say it is ugly, unlike McLaren's car.
LdM: How dare they? HOW DARE THEY? Even a platypus-nosed Ferrari is more beautiful than a stinking McLaren!
HoM: Thats not what the forums are saying...
LdM: Its not right. Someone will suffer for the rage I'm feeling!

PA: Mr. di Montezemelo, sir, Luis Perez-Sala to speak to you; wanting you to recommend him a good driver. Shall I put him through?
After months of searching, Eddie Irvine had secured the letter which proved that he was mistreated by Ferrari in 1999. The missing link in the chain. He trembled as he opened the envelope.


I agree Eddie shouldn't be allowed to win the Championship...


... but I do not believe that Ferrari should intervene. I do not believe that as a team we can do anything to prevent Eddie's coronation that God-given talent has not already prevented. Even if we bring Michael back and gift him a Grand Prix he won't win the title!

Like I say, no worries. I've talked to Max and I reckon Mika will be McLaren's last Champion for a while!


Maybe, Eddie needed to keep this quiet!
Luca was keen to secure an engine deal for 2013, so he had travelled to a non-descript factory in Switzerland to sign up his usual customer. He was led down a corridor whose walls were totally undecorated bare brick, and was led to a wooden office door which only had the name tag "P Sauber" written in white ink halfway down. Luca headed in.

PS: Hello, Luca, please take a seat.

Luca already had...

PS: So I assume you are here about the 2013 engine deal.
LdM: Yes, we were hoping to extend the partnership between Sauber and the Ferrari/FIAT family, leading to greater successes for both constructors in the World Championship from next year onwards.
PS: Your usual price?
LdM: Erm... of course, yes, I don't see any problem with that arrangement. How is Sergio?
PS: Perfectly efficient.
LdM: I mean, do you like him as a driver?
PS: There have been few errors.
LdM: But has he been fast enough?
PS: There have been few errors.
LdM: I'm still surprised you took on Kobayashi, Peter.
PS: We are working on curtailing his exuberance.
LdM: To you, Heidfeld really is the perfect driver, isn't he?
PS: Nick reduces expenditure buying new cars. Have we agreed on our deal?
LdM: Erm... yes.
PS: Then thankyou for visiting Hinwil. The financial team have asked all visitors to visit the gift shop.
LdM: I want to go to visit my "incubated" driver.
PS: I look forward to meeting Mr. Bianchi. Goodbye!

Luca liked dealing with Sauber; the thing Luca hated in a negotiation was finding someone as clever and conniving as himself. Sauber was so straightforward it was unnerving. He allowed himself to be escorted to the Sauber gift shop just out of curiosity, it didn't seem like they did that kind of thing.

It was like walking into a monochrome attic. The only colour was provided by the blue paint on the model C20s. Luca particularly liked the black and white sombreros and maracas which were clearly in the Perez range.


On arriving back at Maranello, Stefano met Luca at the door, Luca carrying a bag of stuff brought from Hinwil.

SD: Forza Ferrari!
LdM: Forza Ferrari!
SD: So, what have you brought?
LdM: Important things to improve the Scuderia.

SD: What's this book?
LdM: "Kookbayashi: Sushi Solutions", thought the chef could use that at Suzuka!
SD: You sure, OK. What else?
LdM: Monochrome maracas, they should remind Sergio of where he could go back to.
SD: And what's this?
LdM: Erm, nothing...
SD: It doesn't look like nothing... it looks like a model of Kimi Raikkonen in a C20.
LdM: Well, I like reminding of the last time we won a Championship. If it still does that job next year, then I might put you in the gift shop...
Ah, so. I thought perhaps he had been cloned in preparation for taking the 2nd seat at Ferrari next year as Felipe "seat warmer" Massa is levered out. That way we could have Fernando Alonso jnr chucking it in the wall in Singapore to gift the win to Fernando Alonso snr. Could get a bit confusing when the FIFTY message is broadcast over the pit to car radio.
LdM: When I find out who leaked this, I will kill them.
The envelope landed on Luca's desk.


Dear Mr. di Montezemelo,

Its not going so well. McLaren say our car will fry*. Yours,


*That is actually the word they used. Not fricassee. Fry. Worth a look?

Luca burst into the corridor, knocking pictures of Michael Schumacher celebrating podiums off the wall as he swept past. He barged into the Ex-McLaren IP control room to see what arse there was to kick.

LdM: What the hell is going on here, Mr. Fry?
PF: Oh, nothing, sire.
LdM: Yes, thats what I thought!
PF: What do you mean, your holiness?
LdM: Why is McLaren IP not being harvested, Pat?
PF: We've all lost it, your grace.
LdM: Lost it?
PF: Well, my liege, have you heard of McLaren's "Treasonous Bastards Policy"?
LdM: Not usual Ronspeak, but go on...
PF: It means that McLaren's so-called Treasonous Bastards do not see IP as they leave, oh Great One.
LdM: Right! So your McLaren IP runs out in...
PF: May 2009, He From Whom The Sun Shines.
LdM: So it is Stefano's fault. Right...

Luca stormed off to kick Domenicalli's arse. Who knew, thought Pat, that a creative honorific blitz and a totally implausible explanation can buy you that kind of time!

Ron would be pleased...
Sunday morning, Luca di Montezemelo is on the phone to Charlie Whiting.

LdM: You know, Charlie, that we must have one win a season. Its in the contract. If you arrange it today, well, we won't have to get desperate, we won't have to mess up Michelin tyres like we did in America, we won't have to change the rules for one race like we did in Britain. One race a season. Remember that! Oh, and by the way, I think we'd like a one-two...
The Ferrari outward mail delivery bay was a buzz of activity as the big package was readied for departure. Luca had been sure to include his note:


Please accept this generous present of 2000 cucumbers as a thankyou for the cans of Red Bull that the team so kindly sent after every single one of your victories this season. I would like to wish you the best of luck, particularly that there is na rain on your parade.


S. Domenicali
The Head of External Relations was sent in to meet Luca. As the man with the easiest job in Italy - namely patronising and insulting everyone he came into contact with - he was not worried. He had been spending weeks with the Technical Staff for this moment.

LdM: Forza Ferrari!
HoER: Get out of F1, you snivelling bastard.
LdM: What?
HoER: Sorry, sir, habit. Forza Ferrari!
LdM: Have you been spending some time with the Technical Staff?
HoER: Indeed I have.
LdM: And you have checked on Bernie's location?
HoER: I believe the gnome is having his brain cleaned by specialist minions today.
LdM: Can you live without a brain.
HoER: Bernie lives on pure spite.
LdM: So, you've faxed Jean?
HoER: Well, I've e-mailed the treacherous dwarf, sir.
LdM: Yes, yes, and the message is out.
HoER: The message is out, sir.

The Head passed Luca a folder marked "2015 Technical & Sporting Regulations", for his perusal in the future.

LdM: And, what if Bernie tries to block it, what is your plan?
HoER: My plan? Well, we suggest that he might die.
LdM: We know he won't. It was in that contract he signed with the Devil to bring Formula One to Hell in 2016.
HoER: But can you imagine what he'll do when we suggest that John Button is about to replace him!?
Rob Smedley was worried as he demolished yet another of di Montezemelo's office doors. He had seen the rumours...

RS: What is this bloody crap from James Allen's blog, then?
LdM: Forza Ferrari, Rob?
RS: Forza Ferrari sir.
LdM: Ah, yes, I did see that this morning. I thought it was interesting that they could even think like that...
RS: Why? Felipe is staying, isn't he?
LdM: My God, Rob, no, of course not. But Sergio is going to be the replacement. That's why you see the mechanics learning Mexican pastimes outside.

Luca gestures to his window, where the Ferrari mechanics had dumped lots of sand in preparation for their 'cultural induction' to 2013. They hadn't done this since the Paella drive of 2010, and were quite looking forward to this one. It would at least be better than the 'stand in a queue moaning about the weather' they had to attempt when Mansell signed, although it was useful for understanding 'Nige'.

RS: Why can't Felipe stay?
LdM: Why can't Felipe drive fast?
RS: Erm... he's doing the best he can!
LdM: Well that is why he cannot drive for Ferrari. We have been here since the beginning and we have to be excellent. Ferrari is passion. Ferrari is the dream. Ferrari is the king. Forza Ferrari!
RS (dejected): Forza Ferrari, sir.

Luckily for Luca, Smedley had dejectedly left his office before he saw the mechanics bring out the barbecue, cricket kit and corked hat...
Stefano was putting 2 and 2 together.

SD: Webber and Alonso, Webber and Alonso. Why would they want that combination. Unless...

A Maranello estate agent was talking to a large Italian man:

EA: So, why do you want to move to Maranello?
FB: I have a new job next winter.
EA: Really?
FB: Really.
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