Di Montezemolo 'sorry' for Ferrari after first championship-less decade in F1

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Former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo is "sorry" for the team failing to challenge for the Formula 1 championship in recent years.

The 2010s marked the first time in history the Italian went a full decade without winning a single championship, Drivers' or Constructors', with the latter in 2008 still the last to their name.

That's not to say they didn't come close though, with Fernando Alonso losing out at the final race in 2010 and 2012, while strong starts in 2017 and 2018 fizzled out after the summer break.

“What I am sorry for is that for a few years Ferrari has not won the World Championship," Di Montezemolo told Sky Italia. "The fact that Ferrari was never able to at least be in the fight until the last race of the year, that’s bad.

“I have some bad memories myself, of many titles lost at the last race of the season, but at least until the end, there was a chance to win. Last season and further in the past this has not happened and I was sorry."

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Last year was another case of initial optimism proving unfounded as Mercedes stormed to a sixth straight double championship success.

And the former chairman, who stepped down in 2014, offered some reasons why.

“It was a world championship that I hoped would go better, given the initial start and the winter tests,” he said.

“The causes are first of all the competitiveness of the machine: last year it was more evident that there were reliability problems.

“Then there is the tactics, the management of the race, the drivers. Winning in Formula 1 means having a perfect set of elements.

“I had put together a great team at my time if I think of Todt, Brown, Domenicali, Byrne. I think we must take into account that we must improve our team.”

At the same time, however, last year was seen as a year of evolution at Ferrari with the arrival of Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto settling in as team boss.

“Binotto is smart, in his first year with a very large amount of responsibility he did well,” Di Montezemolo added.

“We will see, in 2020 I expect an improvement from Red Bull and the Honda engine, but Ferrari has all the elements at least to try to win and fight until the last race.”