Toto Wolff, Team Principal and Head of Motorsport, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has said that a breakaway championship to rival Liberty Media-owned Formula 1 is a “realistic” possibility which “could happen”.
Wolff, according to The Guardian, has warned that a rebel series is gaining momentum and could be on the cards with the new season only days away. He further said that the prospect cannot be ruled out unless Liberty Media aligns its vision with the teams.
British business tycoon and former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has claimed last month that the Ferrari chairman, Sergio Marchionne, had already held talks over a rival championship. Ecclestone has ruled the world’s top motorsports series for over four decades
Ferrari are disappointed with Liberty Media’s vision of the Formula 1 with Marchionne warning on a number of occasions that his iconic team Scuderia Ferrari will quit if F1 owners did not revise their future plans. The team is unhappy with the proposed redistribution of prize money and the concept of a simpler engine.
Formula One’s future looks bleak after the expiration of the Concorde agreement, which binds the teams and stakeholders together till 2020.
“The perspective of doing something else is a realistic one, and it could happen if we don’t achieve to align our vision,” said Wolff. “Marchionne has a clear vision of what Formula One should represent for Ferrari, which is a purist sport that isn’t a shopping channel. I would strongly encourage all of the sport’s stakeholders not to try and provoke him.
“I agree with most of the things Sergio says because Formula One has a certain DNA and it is a sport that needs to stick to its roots. So, don’t mess with Sergio Marchionne. Formula One needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs Formula One.
“I will give it everything to align the vision among us by seeking consensus and accepting compromise.”
Amidst the increasing resentment among the F1 teams, the future of world’s top motor racing series may take a raw turn unless Liberty Media makes strong moves in reaching a consensus among all the stakeholders.