Ferrari boss warns: Quit threat is not a bluff


Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has warned that people are “playing with fire” if they think the Scuderia’s threat to quit F1 is a bluff.

Formula 1’s new owners Liberty Media unveiled the sport’s proposed engine regulations for 2021 in October and it did not go down well with the Italian marque as well as Mercedes.

Marchionne cautioned at the time that if they press ahead with the rules then Ferrari “don’t want to play anymore”.

However, the threats were met with caution as Ferrari have issued similar warnings in the past, but Marchionne warns that they are not bluffing.

“Some people say that our threat about the 2020/2021 regulations is a bluff, but they’re playing with fire,” he said at the annual Ferrari Christmas media dinner.

“The situation has changed since 2015. Starting from that moment, everyone knows that if we threaten to do something, we do it.

“One of the greatest advantages is that the current Concorde Agreement [between teams and F1] is very different from previous ones and ensures a greater contractual freedom, even during the agreement with Liberty Media.

“The previous contract made it impossible for the team to evaluate an alternative outside of the circus. Now we can analyse the possibility to create something similar to Formula 1 in terms of a show.”

Should Ferrari decide to move away from F1, then they could form a rival series if they can “pull other teams”.

“There is the possibility to create an alternative championship from 2020/2021,” he said. “We can’t ignore this possibility, but I prefer avoid it if we can.

“I would like to continue with Formula 1, but we have to find compromises that don’t leave Ferrari without the possibility of showing its DNA in every race.

“If we can’t find that, then Ferrari has to go away. If Ferrari can pull out other teams, we have to see it from an economical point of view, but I think that we are able to do it.”