FERRARI has threatened to make an exit from Formula One after the 2020 season over disagreements with Liberty Media, the new F1 owners.
Ferrari, following the concerns raised by Mercedes and Renault, has joined in manufacturers’ opposition to Liberty Media’s plans. Ferrari has warned that it is gearing up to exit grand prix racing after the 2020 season.
Earlier, Mercedes and Renault have raised concerns over Liberty Media’s engine proposals for 2021. The changes pose a threat to damage the F1 sport by opening up an unwarranted arms race, the companies fear.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has reportedly said that he was not impressed with certain directions from Liberty Media, which also include prescribed changes for on the engine front. He further insisted that if F1 did not deliver a platform that was beneficial to Ferrari’s brand and its marketplace, then the Italian sports car brand will quit the race.
The American mass media company Liberty has completed their takeover of Formula One in January this year and have already begun plans to help progress the sport. The plans include to rebalance the income distribution to the teams to make the sport more competitive.
The Ferrari CEO and chairman is not happy with the motion. “We don’t necessarily agree with a couple of things . The fact that we now appear to be at odds in terms of the strategic development of this thing, and we see the sport in 2021 taking on a different air, is going to force some decisions on the part of Ferrari,” Marchionne is quoted in media.
“I understand that Liberty may have taken this into account in coming up with their views, but I think it needs to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand, and the marketplace, and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play. And that’s got a whole lot of implications, apart from the cost relief from the structure of Ferrari, which is not inconsequential.
“But it does open up a whole lot of alternatives about what Ferrari could be doing with itself going forward and beyond that date (2021). I don’t want to prejudge any of this. We’re walking into this meeting next Tuesday with the best of intentions, we’ll see where it takes us.
“What I do know is that it is part of our DNA since the day we were born. It’s not as though we can define ourselves differently. But if we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognisable sandbox, I don’t want to play anymore,” Marchionne added.
Ferrari has a binding agreement with F-1 till the end of the 2020 season. There is no commitment beyond that.