Dennis wants a level playing field

Dennis wants a level playing field

Although Ferrari has signed a new Concorde Agreement with Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, the other teams are not meekly falling into line and Ron Dennis said McLaren could leave F1 if the conditions aren't acceptable. The teams, with the exception...

Although Ferrari has signed a new Concorde Agreement with Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, the other teams are not meekly falling into line and Ron Dennis said McLaren could leave F1 if the conditions aren't acceptable. The teams, with the exception of Ferrari, met with the manufacturers recently to discuss "a new framework for their participation in Grand Prix motor racing post 2007".

Ron Dennis.
Photo by Michael Kim.

The manufacturers -- Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) members BMW, Renault and Mercedes, along with Toyota and Honda -- laid out plans that include teams being invited to join on equal terms and to operate transparently.

Speaking to the press at a pre-season meeting on Friday, Dennis said he wants to be able to choose what's best for McLaren. "I hope that this company can be in a position to have the choice not to participate in grand prix racing in 2008," he told reporters.

"If we can sustain the company's economic profile, we will not participate in grand prix racing unless there is a level playing field. We will comply with the contract to 2007 but one of our common objectives is to put the company in that position of having choice."

"If the status quo exists for Formula One cars, then we will not participate in it in 2008 if we can put ourselves in that economic position, and that is exactly what we are trying to do."

"Maybe we would be in other types of motor racing in other parts of the world. It's part of our heritage. We think that transparency is critical. We think that impartiality is critical."

Under the current Concorde Agreement Ferrari gets a better financial deal than the other teams. Dennis recognizes the Scuderia's status in the sport but he doesn't think it's right for them to have special treatment.

"Ferrari are a magnificent grand prix team, steeped in tradition and they would most definitely be missed if they were not part of whatever the future holds for grand prix racing," he said.

"But they should not be put into a position which provides them with the ability to control change or receive disproportionate amounts of income compared to the other teams."

Many think that an agreement will be reached and the rival series will not go ahead. McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh believes the manufacturers proposals will win out.

"From 2008 we want the guiding principles of the GPWC group to apply," Whitmarsh commented. "We don't believe there will be two series and we don't believe that Ferrari will be able to go it alone in a championship racing against the GPWC teams."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone , Martin Whitmarsh , Michael Kim
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren