Leaving Formula One would harm Ferrari, says FIA president

Formula One

Leaving Formula One would harm Ferrari if the Italian team were to follow through on a hazard to give up the sport, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt stated.

The sports car producer’s chairman Sergio Marchionne this month alerted that the team could leave if the sport took a direction contradicting Ferrari’s interests.

Ferrari are Formula One’s most successful and glamorous team and the only one to have contended in the world championship since the first season, that took place in 1950.

“I do not wish to see Ferrari leaving, however I am uncertain it will be a good idea for Ferrari to leave Formula One,” stated Todt, a former Ferrari boss, at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Ferrari is a special brand, combined between racing and road automobile,” added the Frenchman, who was team principal when Ferrari were going through their most dominant with seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher behind the wheel in the early 2000s.

” So I believe it will hurt for Ferrari not to be in Formula One.”

Marchionne’s caution followed the FIA and commercial rights holders Liberty Media revealed plans for a cheaper, louder engine, with more standardised parts to replace the present power units from 2021.

Liberty also wishes to level the playing field and distribute income more equally to teams after present commercial agreements expire in 2020.

Ferrari, commemorating their 70th anniversary this year, get special payments for their legendary status and also have some powers of veto under their existing contract.

The team have threatened to leave the sport previously without following through.

While some see the danger as an empty one, the sport’s past supremo Bernie Ecclestone informed Reuters recently that it must not be dismissed.

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