“I have never said that the Ferrari team will leave the Formula 1 at the end of 2020.” are the words that Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne yesterday at the Geneva Motor Show.
The 65 year old further elaborated on how he felt the sport’s regulation should go revealing –
“In an ideal world, I would imagine we have a set of tyres and engine specifications, and everything else I would free up”
Marchionne continues, “If we have an area today make a millimetre too wide, there’s a breach in the regulations so it is impossible to make a creative car. I would prefer that we throw all the rules out the window. I would completely release everything, then we would see what the technicians would be capable of. That would be a challenge. ”
“But no, instead we have suggestions that will make all vehicles sooner or later the same. In the end, they only differ in colour. If this is to be Formula One of the future, Ferrari will be out in three seconds.”
“I think it’s important that the engineers can work without restraints. We’ve had that more and more over the years, including aerodynamics.”
Just a few months ago, we heard Marchionne repeatedly threatened: If Ferrari does not get what Ferrari wants, then Ferrari is gone.
“We are not quite in line with strategic directions, and if the sport moves in a different direction from 2021, then that will force Ferrari to make certain decisions. If we get the impression, the conditions do not support the Ferrari brand if Ferrari’s unique position is not strengthened, then Ferrari will not be there. ”
Ferrari have a rich history in threatening to leave the sport, so when fans and the media hear repeatedly such sabre rattling, one can forgive those that profess to be Tifosi one day, then embarrassingly quieten down after reading the latest toys – pram – throwing routine. Indeed Vettel ‘of Baku’ is well suited to the Italian squad.
Now at the Geneva Motor Show, Marchionne clarifies his recent statements in an interview with Autoweek: “I never said that the Ferrari team will leave Formula One at the end of 2020, but that we will do that if we can not settle our differences. We are longer than any other racing team in Formula 1. We understand the sport. It’s hard to imagine Formula One without Ferrari, so I hope we can leave that behind. We are in dialogue with Liberty Media and I am hopeful that we will take a step forward. If we do not succeed, you will surely hear about it.”
Clearly the team are ‘doing a Bernie Ecclestone’ and setting out their pitch in the 2021 regulation debate far to the right. Former F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone was renowned for starting at the extreme in order to settle where he wanted the decision to go. As one of the large teams in the paddock, Ferrari do not want tight cost cutting to come into force, strangling their ability to outspend others. Setting their stall out with a policy of little regulation on the cars, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to see where they need the new 2021 regulations to go.