Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has hit out at Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone, suggesting the Briton may be too old to be running the sport.
Ecclestone, 82, was critical of the controversy generated after Ferrari decided to write to the FIA asking for clarification on Sebastian Vettel's pass on Jean-Eric Vergne during the season finale in Brazil. Ecclestone said last week that Ferrari was too late to consider a protest, and called the situation "a complete joke."
Di Montezemolo, speaking during the Ferrari World Finals, was critical of Ecclestone, saying "old age" is often "incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities." Di Montezemolo's comments on Ecclestone came after the Italian criticized the current lack of testing for younger drivers.
"We are constructors, not sponsors: I'm no longer happy that we can't do testing on tarmac and that you can't give any chance for young drivers to emerge," he said. "Since some people have used the expression 'It's a joke' in recent days, I would like to say that this is the real joke.
"Yes, I'm referring to one of Ecclestone's phrases: my father always taught me that you have to have respect your elders, above all when they reach the point that they can no longer control their words. So I will stop there. Certainly, old age is often incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities."
Di Montezemolo insisted Ferrari had accepted the FIA's clarification on Vettel's move and that it had now moved on.
"Congratulations go to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull because they won and we are happy to congratulate winners, hoping and wishing that next year we are on the receiving end of these compliments," he said. "As for the yellow flag saga, we took the simplest and most linear route, by asking the Federation to look into it, making it clear that we would accept their decision and that's what we did."