Ferrari's task made easier by lack of rivals, says di Montezemolo

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Former Ferrari Chairman and President Luca di Montezemolo believes Ferrari's current performance level has been made easier by the poor form of its rivals.

There's no denying the Scuderia's return to form this season as the outfit has pocketed a top-three finish at every race, with Sebastian Vettel even defeating Mercedes fair and square in Malaysia.

But di Montezemolo, who resigned from Ferrari last September after increased tension with his successor, FIAT Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, claims the Italian squad is also lucky that its main rivals, with the exception of Mercedes, have failed to get their affairs in order so far.

"I honestly think they [Ferrari] have been a bit lucky: This year, apart from Mercedes, they have no other rivals," Di Montezemolo was quoted as telling La Repubblica. "Williams has not improved, Red Bull has imploded  and McLaren is in crisis. In short, Ferrari starts every race with a podium in its pocket. But luck is useless if you don't take advantage of it."

The Italian's comments are perhaps a bit simplistic as there's no denying the House of Maranello and all its distinguished members have worked hard to turn the Scuderia's fortunes around, be it through the reorganization of its management staff or the restructuring of its engineering departments. Evidently, efforts are paying off even if there subsists a performance gap with the dominant Mercedes team.

Di Montezemolo also revealed how Michael Schumacher had been instrumental in leading Sebastian Vettel to the gates of Maranello.

"He was the first one to suggest we sign him, saying that he was the right driver for us. Stefano Domenicali also wanted him at all costs, so Vettel came to my home in Bologna, along with a bow of Swiss chocolates."

The former manager was by no means criticial of Ferrari, praising the team's choices, including the non retention of Fernando Alonso.
"Marchionne saw that Alonso had become gloomy and surly and was always showing skepticism with the team, so decided for the change. Vettel certainly gets paid less than what Alonso was asking to renew his contract. But he has strongly helped Arrivabene, who is a man with great personality, to impose a new, better, and more positive mood."

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