Marchionne ‘serious’ on quit threat

Formula 1

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne says the team's threat to quit F1 in 2021 must be taken seriously amid planned changes to the sport.

Marchionne offered the quit threat last month when details of new engine regulations and a reduction in revenue were outlined by F1 officials from 2021 following lengthy meetings and talks with various stakeholders.

At its core, the changes planned by new owners Liberty Media revolve around the much-criticised engines, which have been slammed for not being loud enough, while altering the structure of the sport to ensure the pit-lane is more competitive overall. Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull – who have considerably larger budgets – have dominated in recent years but Liberty are keen to ensure that doesn’t continue with money being split more evenly.

Marchionne says there is a long way to go in negotiations but he made it clear the team’s warning they could walk away from F1 was real.

“The dialogue has started and will continue to evolve,” he said at the recent Alfa Romeo-Sauber launch. “We have time until 2020 to find a solution which benefits Ferrari.

“The threat of Ferrari leaving Formula 1 is serious. We have to find a solution which is good for the sport but we also have to be clear on the things we can’t back down on.”


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