Iv’e read all the “don’t let the door hit you in the &*$ on the way out” comments from Formula 1 fans who have no love of Ferrari but while that may be the knee-jerk reaction from non-fans, it ignores the impact Ferrari has on the sport’s brand and livelihood. Some consider the threat to leave as an empty threat but CEO Sergio Marchionne says that’s not he case:
“We have a dialogue that is evolving, and we still have some time to find points of contact between our differences,” said Marchionne.
“Our position is clear, though: the agreement that we made with Sauber expires in 2020, just in case [after that date] Ferrari is not in F1.
“This possibility is serious. The differences are not small, but Chase and I share the belief that we should find a meeting point for the good of the sport.
“We have been very clear on the points that Ferrari cannot give up: the importance of the development of technology is essential for us. We cannot make the cars equal to the point that they can no longer be recognisable on the technological front.
“The heart of Ferrari is technical development. If the direction is not this, then Ferrari will find other contexts to demonstrate its skill on track – and maybe at that time we will also be with Sauber.
“We have doubled the efforts to find a solution with Chase, but we have no way given up our goals.”
As odd as it may seem, Ferrari went into the new hybrid era dragging their feet under Luca di Montezemolo but with Sergio, if there was a reason the sport will stay with the current format, it will be with Ferrari’s strong recommendation.
The challenge, as Sergio rightly points out, is that a cost cap is nearly impossible to manage and that would leave standardization as a way of mitigating costs but he isn’t keen on that either as it loses the bespoke and individual nature of F1 and he doesn’t want Ferrari to not be a Ferrari. I am sure Mercedes feels very similar.
So what’s the answer? Well, it has to be addressed because Ferrari only signed a Alfa Romeo deal with Sauber through 2020 meaning that if Ferrari leaves, so will Alfa.
Hat Tip: Autosport