Luca di Montezemolo’s half-hearted denial on Saturday has not stopped rampant speculation about the long-time Ferrari president’s future.
Some outlets quoted the charismatic 67-year-old as having said he is definitely staying put at Maranello for another three years.
But that’s not what he said — he said he gave his “commitment” to the shareholders in March, presumably also signing a contract, for a longer reign.
Germany’s Bild newspaper says it has learned that, behind red garage doors, a “raging dispute” is now taking place about the terms of Montezemolo’s early exit.
“As usual, it’s about money,” read the report.
The discussions may also be about the post-Montezemolo shuffle, with boss Marco Mattiacci or perhaps Fiat’s tipped Sergio Marchionne to replace him.
Ross Brawn could then return to F1 to replace Mattiacci as new team boss, as Montezemolo reportedly eyes the top job at the Italian airline Alitalia.
“I’m not going to comment on rumours,” Mattiacci said on Friday. “Plenty of work on my table. No comment.”
So while comments are shy, rumours prevail. One is that Montezemolo has fallen out with fellow officials over the theatre for Ferrari’s stock floatation — Hong Kong or New York?
Pino Allievi, the best known and most highly respected Italian correspondent in F1, insisted: “This is Luca’s last visit here at Monza (as Ferrari president).
“It’s the end of an era,” the La Gazzetta dello Sport veteran added.
Even Piero Ferrari, the only living son of the great Enzo Ferrari, is saying nothing: “I have nothing to say,” he is quoted by Speed Week at Monza.
“I’m only a minor shareholder.” (GMM)