The former Ferrari president said that while the 1.6 litre, turbo V6 regulations were not introduced until 2014, Mercedes was working on its pacesetting design long before then.
“Niki Lauda recently confessed to me that Mercedes was working on it since 2007,” Montezemolo, 69, told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
“That is why they were so adamant during the (rules) negotiations,” he claimed.
Montezemolo admits that, in hindsight, it was a mistake for Ferrari – which wields a controversial veto over major decisions – to accept the beginning of the ‘power unit’ era.
“I made a mistake, yes,” he said.
“But I felt that I could not put Ferrari in a position antithetical to progress. A fearful Ferrari could not be my Ferrari,” Montezemolo insisted.