Ferrari: Make F1 like NASCAR and we may walk

Ferrari says it will not accept racing in a Formula 1 that features dumbed-down engine technology, as the Italian outfit hit out at Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt's plans for an independent power unit.

Ferrari: Make F1 like NASCAR and we may walk
Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari
Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari
Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF15-T
Ferrari team members on the pit wall
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T

Speaking in Maranello on Monday, at Ferrari's traditional pre-Christmas press briefing, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said the Italian outfit would rather walk away from grand prix racing than face rules it did not like.

"Ferrari would find other ways to express its ability to race and to win," said Marchionne.

"It would be a huge shame [if Ferrari left], but Ferrari cannot be put in a corner on its knees and say nothing.

"Now, the rules are written in a way that serves lawyers, who interpret them.

"In November 2014, it was clear that it would be possible to use tokens for power unit development – and this was something that, in a sense, saved Ferrari's season.

"But we need to simplify the rules and create more manageable regulations – where we should not be supported by lawyers, but by engineers, as it was a few years ago."

FIA mandate wrong

Marchionne said he was particularly upset by the FIA's move to hand Ecclestone and Todt a mandate for change, in their bid to overhaul F1.

"It's a choice that we obviously do not share, because we believe that the development of the regulations should be done in a coordinated manner," he said.

"This view is also shared by the Mercedes and Renault. Here we spend hundreds of millions of Euros, so we are talking about decisions that should not be taken lightly.

"The problem is that in trying to create a power unit that is more affordable for smaller teams, we are in a way taking away from those organisations that are able to develop. And that is the reason why we go racing.

"We go to the track to prove to ourselves and to everyone our ability to manage the power unit. If we begin to undermine this advantage, Ferrari has no intention of racing.

"If we make Formula 1 like NASCAR, we would lose the advantage of experience in track solutions, which can then have an impact on production.

"I understand very well the difficulties that smaller teams face, but this is something that FOM has to solve; it is not something Ferrari has to solve."

Veto right

Marchionne also insisted that Ferrari had no choice but to block a plan by the FIA to impose a cost cap on engine prices.

Speaking about Ferrari's long-held rules veto, he said: "I think that in the past it has never been used, but we used it recently because the proposal was out of place.

"The problem of this sport is that the regulator can not impose conditions on the economic management of the team.

"When we are told that we must make the engine and then sell it for two pounds, from the economic point of view, this argument does not stand – because it is going to change the dynamic business that we are managing.

"The economic conditions by which the Ferrari engine is provided to a customer cannot be established by the F1 Commission."

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