Ferrari Claims It Could Leave Formula 1, Start Its Own Series
CEO Sergio Marchionne fights against transition to ‘global NASCAR vision’ in his latest rant.
New Formula 1 owners Liberty Media are looking to change the sport in a lot of different ways—and Ferrari ain't having it. The Maranello manufacturer has spoken out time and time again in opposition to engine regulation changes and profit drops, all making a case for the brand's potential F1 exit. While talks of Ferrari leaving the series have somewhat died down in recent weeks, brand CEO Sergio Marchionne rekindled the fire at the company's annual Christmas meeting.
In a statement to Italian media, Marchionne said that F1 executives are making decisions that go "against the DNA of F1." Discussions of standardizing parts and revising power plant rules have caused plenty of tension between Ferrari and Liberty, and Sergio wants everyone to know that his company isn't kidding about leaving.
"We are not interested in cars being the same and simple and cheap engines like in Nascar [sic]. But I believe that (Liberty Media) will satisfy everyone for the future, otherwise, Ferrari will go away. If they believe that we are bluffing, they are playing with fire."
Marchionne then continued to mention Ferrari's pull within the motorsport community. According to him, the Italian brand is strong enough to draw other teams away from Formula 1 as well, though it isn't his main goal.
"If they continue on the path of wanting to turn F1 into NASCAR, with cars all the same, there could be a divorce. If they decide to make us all the same, we will go in three seconds, but that's not what we want." He continued, "The conditions for thinking about an alternative championship from 2021 would be there, but, I repeat, that's not our goal."
Previously, Marchionne claimed that leaving Formula 1 could be a major financial benefit for Ferrari. While he admits that his intentions are to stay, Liberty willing, he claimed that he wouldn't blink at the idea of being the man who pulled the Scuderia team from the sport. When asked how he would feel if he were to do so, Marchionne promptly replied:
"Like a million bucks because I’d be working on an alternative strategy to try and replace it. A more rational one, too.”