The boss of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, is preparing to take political pole position in Italy, according to renowned Italian sports newspaper La Gazetta Dello Sport.
Montezemolo has been the head of one of the world’s most famous automotive brands for 20 years but is reportedly set to confirm long-standing rumours that he will challenge for the Italian presidency.
“There is no way that the Italians want to see the same old faces, the politicians who have allowed the situation to become the way it is,” La Gazetta Dello Sport says Montezemolo wrote in an open letter to Italia Futura, a think tank he founded in 2009 to engage young Italians in politics.
“That is why the next elections will not be a matter of routine. It will be a date with history, which must begin a new season in public affairs.
“In 2012 Italia Futura will work hard to achieve this by promoting the new ideas and new faces that Italy deserves. We will start working even harder at a grassroots level to create a strong, united network throughout Italy by June.”
Italy is one of the countries at the centre of the current Eurozone debt crisis and the incumbent president, Silvio Berlusconi, has survived a series of scandals over the years.
Montezemolo started out as an assistant to Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari before rising through the ranks of Fiat, the parent company of Ferrari.
Montezemolo has become an increasingly influential figure in Formula One and helped to turn the Ferrari Formula One team from underachievers in the 1990s to a dominant force from 2000 to 2005, with multiple constructors’ championship titles backed by consecutive drivers’ titles for Michael Schumacher.
He stepped down as chairman of Fiat in 2010, further fuelling rumours of his ambitions for political office.