Ecclestone: Breakaway threat isn’t a joke

Date published: March 23 2018

Bernie Ecclestone has warned Liberty Media that Ferrari could follow through with a threat to start a breakaway series with Mercedes.

As Formula 1 debates the new regulations for 2021, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has already warned the sport’s new owners that if they don’t like the sandbox, they will leave.

And they could take Mercedes with them.

“The perspective of doing something else is a realistic one, and it could happen if we dont achieve to align our vision,” Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff recently said.

Having heeded the threats during his tenure in charge of Formula 1, Ecclestone has warned Liberty that Marchionne and Wolff aren’t joking.

“Talking to people like Sergio [Marchionne] and Toto [Wolff], they are not idiots,” Ecclestone told Autosport.

“They will weigh up whether it’s better for everyone to leave and do their own series, or do we need the FIA to look over things? So people will start to think what to do.

“The trouble now is that Sergio has come out and said, ‘The next time I see you, I’m going to punch you in the face’.

“And when he sees the people, he’s got to be sure that he’s going to punch them in the face.

“Sergio is not the guy that makes threats as a joke and then runs away from it.”