Ferrari issue F1 quit threat

Ferrari is threatening to quit Formula One after 2020 if plans for substantial changes to engine rules go ahead, as proposed by Formula 1’s new owners Liberty Media.

CEO Sergio Marchionne said the Italian supercar maker “will not play” unless it’s provided with “a set of circumstances, the result of which are beneficial for the maintenance of the brand in the marketplace and to strengthening the unique position of Ferrari.”

Mercedes and Renault also said to be unsure on the new engine design proposed for after 2020 because it would require major financial investments. The changes would make F1’s V-6 turbo hybrid engine simpler and cheaper as well as higher-revving, and therefore noisier, to satisfy fans unhappy about the current muted sound, reports Reuter.

Marchionne said dropping out of the world championsip race could eventually be beneficial for Ferrari results. “We will celebrate until the cows come home,” he said Thursday on an analysts’ earnings call.

Ferrari is the only carmaker to have taken part in every edition of the Formula 1 World Championship since its start in 1950, the team founded by Enzo Ferrari in Maranello, Italy has competed in more than 900 Grand Prix competitions.

The Italian racing team has played the ‘threat to quit F1’ card before when it has been unhappy with suggested rule changes, although Max Warburton, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein says “Marchionne has a strong hand, he is clearly emotionally attached to F1, in our view F1 needs Ferrari more than Ferrari needs F1.”

Talks are set to take place this coming week on the new rules proposed under the sports  U.S. owners Liberty Media Corp.

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