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Ferrari ridicule new F1 teams
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Ferrari ridicule new F1 teams
Posted By:   |  20 May 2009   |  1:22 pm GMT  |  89 comments

On the official Ferrari website there is an extraordinary piece, posted today, which has a major dig at the calibre of teams lining up to join Formula 1 next season under the new budget cap rules. The tone is very disparaging.

www.ferrari.com

www.ferrari.com

Under the headline “Formula 1 or GP3?” the following piece appears,

“Maranello, 20th May – They couldn’t almost believe their eyes, the men at women (sic) working at Ferrari, when they read the papers this morning and found the names of the teams, declaring that they have the intention to race in Formula 1 in the next year.

Looking at the list, which leaked yesterday from Paris, you can’t find a very famous name, one of those one has to spend 400 Euros per person for a place on the grandstand at a GP (plus the expenses for the journey and the stay..). Wirth Research, Lola, USF1, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport: these are the names of the teams, which should compete in the two-tier Formula 1 wanted by Mosley. Can a World Championship with teams like them – with due respect – can have the same value as today’s Formula 1, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?”

This was posted before the Paris court rejected Ferrari’s application for an injunction against the 2010 rules, but it has certainly upped the ante. Ferrari is deliberately provoking the debate, remember on their site last week was a long piece about how “Ferrari made F1 great.”

The FIA’s statement today is as much a response to this latest posting on the Ferrari site as it is to the verdict of the Paris court,

“No competitor should place their interests above those of the sport in which they compete. The FIA, the teams and our commercial partners will now continue to work to ensure the wellbeing of Formula One in 2010 and beyond.”

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89 Comments
  1. Steph says:

    Urgh, the arrogance of it all. It’s sickening.

  2. martin_tf says:

    Ferrari are really starting to look like a bunch of whingers in all this to me. At the very least I wish they would present their own idea for a set of rules that allow 13 teams to compete with an equal chance of winning.

  3. Howard Hughes says:

    Interesting. However Ferrari are falling into the same trap as experienced drivers do when they express frustration at the failings of a learner just up ahead – ie forgetting exactly where they’ve come from. Old Enzo was no less an arriviste when scratching round for an opening prior to helming the Alfa race team – sure the current crop of hopeful joiners aren’t exactly illustrious, but no one starts from a position of fame and glory, Ferrari included.

    I personally love the idea of have-a-go F1 heroes taking risks to try and get in on the sport. For many the glory days were the 50-early 70s, when many, many teams could find a chassis, bolt on a DF4 and go racing. And lest we forget, some of those derided by Ferrari at the time as ‘garagistes’ turned out to be McLaren, Tyrrell, Lotus and Williams.

    So there’s room for all. I don’t think anyone’s seriously claiming (even Max, whom I despise) that the wannabes are as glorious as Ferrari; but as this season is happily proving – you’re only as great and as glorious as your last triumph, which is why Brawn are in a position the Scuderia would gladly swap for.

  4. Robert McKayt says:

    Hmm…methinks that’s the sort of sneering attitude Formula 1 can do without.

    They could have legitimately made the point that its hard to believe many of these new “entries” are all that serious or plausible, but to make it in such a ridiculous, petty way tells me that they think they are bigger than the sport.

    Time to wave them bye-bye.

  5. Kirk says:

    Ouch!! I think Ferrari may have shot themselves on the foot with this one – they may have a point or two in there, but the way it was put across has lowered the tone quite a bit, and is actually very arrogant to say the least.

    Out of the new entries (Litespeed, Wirth, Lola, USGP, Epsilon, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport) I can only see 2 or 3 that can actually get the money, build their own car and go racing, maybe, so looks like the FIA played a clever one in adding every dog and his owner to the list as it has rattled Ferrari and forced them into an own-goal.

    Shame as I was siding with Ferrari on this one – but they will lose a lot of public support after such a poor attempt in dismissing the FIA ideas. They seem a bit out of control after reading this – but hey, they are Italians so it was probably written while still having a mega tantrum, with hands in the air and plenty of “ma che?”… :-)

  6. Ron Colverson says:

    I don’t believe Ferrari will stick it out and actually go through with their threats. But they’re going to have to eat an awful lot of humble pie.
    There is one scenario I can see happening though – judging by their performance in Q1 a couple of times this year, they’ll miss the deadline, put in a late entry and find, Oh dear, all the slots have gone!

  7. Aaron James says:

    Well the question is, what value is in it for a prestige, luxury brand like Ferrari competing with no-names?

    The benefit for the no-names is huge. But for Ferrari, for BMW?

    Moreover, it makes no sense for such huge companies to have their marketing departments spending fortunes promoting a sport to the principal benefit of a hedge fund.

    Some sort of cost cutting is necessary. But just as necessary is regulatory stability and equitable commercial arrangements. Until the latter two can be agreed, the sport is still fundamentally broken.

    It seems, sadly, that the regulator and CRH are pushing the budget cap as a way of preventing a rationalisation of the commercial and sporting administration of the ‘sport’.

    It’s sad, when 2006 when Fernando famously said ‘this is not anymore a sport’, a lot of people kind of thought he was just being emotional.

    Sad, because he was most probably right.

  8. Barny W says:

    So Ferrari think it’s a good thing that fans have “spend 400 Euros per person for a place on the grandstand at a GP (plus the expenses for the journey and the stay..)”??

    I’d rather watch Prodrive Aston Martins for €100, if they’re going to be like that.

    It wasn’t just Ferrari, names like Frank Williams Racing Cars also “created the history of this sport”.

  9. Ade says:

    Ferrari have always had this air of superiority about them, and I’m afraid Mclaren have it too. I’m guessing that they might actually leave F1 this time, or at least get as far as waiting till Max and Bernie capitulate and give them concessions (again!). F1 needs to be seen to be at least caring about their finances, and after young Mr. Obama has decided to help get rid of gas guzzling Yank motors (even though it has been opposed all the way by said gas guzzling motors makers!) if F1 doesn’t adapt, it will be dead sooner rather than later. This attitude by Ferrari is also the attitude that meant Massa and the bored Finn man have lost out in Q1 once each this year and is the reason I dislike them so much. Get with the plan Ferrari or it’ll be the prancing leaving F1 horse….

  10. Gavin says:

    I thought it was a appalling comment by Ferrari. They are acting like spoilt little rich kids who don’t want anyone else on their cubbyhouse.

  11. Ross Clabburn says:

    James,

    Forgive me if i’m mistaken, but I believed that the FIA are the regulators – where is their right to tell private teams how to spend their money? OK, no-one will argue that a reduction in costs is necessary, but a large team like Ferrari spend over 300 Million dollars a season, so to reduce that by 80-90% is not feasible in such a short space of time. I feel like taking Max and Bernie and shaking them until they see sense.

    Ross Clabburn

    (P.S. I don’t even like Ferrari! McLaren all the way!)

  12. Oliver Drew says:

    Ferrari’s arrogance sickens me.

    I was almost ready to say that considering the car they have produced they have knuckled down and got on with the job of catching Brawn. They deserved credit for that.

    However there arrogance about the new rules astounds me. Gone is the veneer that they want to do what is best for F1, they are now trying to do the best solely for themselves. That attitude needs replacing.

    Lola, USF1, iSport and the rest want a place in F1. Great, if Ferrari don’t want to register as a team for next year, replace them. It will be no great loss to F1.

    Despite what Ferrari say they and “the manufacturers” did not make F1 great alone. The only two manufacturers with genuine long term interest in manufacturing in F1 are McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari. In short, F1 was founded on plenty of independent teams. F1 has lots of people to thank – not least Sir Frank Williams, perhaps the greatest INDEPENDENT team owner ever to grace F1.

    If Ferrari wants to get people “on side” they will have to learn to be less arrogant.

  13. Finn says:

    Alonso getting ready to leave F1?
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/75445

    If the big teams and drivers go, F1 will be dead. Ferrari are arrogant, but there’s a lot of truth in what they say … people will turn away from a little series.

  14. StJimmyL says:

    If they want to leave, let them! If they start a rival series it will take decades to get the TV coverage up to standard. Just look at the mess IndyCar, ChumpCar whatever it’s called today is still in after the early 90′s.

    Do we really see the FIA crumbling over this? If they do, any big team will know that they can pull this card to whatever dissatisfies them.

    “I don’t like Brawns’ diffuser! If you don’t make them change it, we’re going home…”

  15. Peter says:

    Maybe they are arrogant, but in my opinion they are right. I am getting to lose interest in F1 and not consider it as the top of the business anymore thanks to FIA. I wish FOTA formed a new series, because the direction manufacturers have showed in the last few month is the right one and they could do a great job without FIA.

  16. trap says:

    IMO Ferrari are trying to devalue the F1 brand in the face of the sponsors and TV companies that support the sport with millions.

    You might not like the tone but they are right… and Im a mclaren fan

  17. It’s all very rich from a team currently at #7 – it’s hard to see them ‘making F1′ that far behind the pace.

  18. Stephen says:

    WoW, is what i can say…

    Imagine F1 without Ferrari, Toyota, or other manufacturers & you fly down to watch the race, book a hotel & spend money to Japan or China or India or Rome from wherever you are…

    LoL…I cant see that happening if the teams listed by MM are in F1 for 2010!!

  19. Sam says:

    Er… McLaren are an independent, despite the fact they have a partnership with Mercedes for engines.

    As for Ferrari, they’re a joke. I’ve never liked them, even when Mansell was driving about in their V12 monsters, and I like them even less now. I don’t like their air of superiority they parade about with, I don’t like the fact they have special arrangements with the FIA to give them preferential treatment, I don’t like the fact they are the test team for the tyre development (just a BIT of a technical advantage there… the fact the tyres are made to work best on the Ferrari) and I REALLY don’t like Luca De Montezemolo.

    I sincerely hope they go through with their ‘threat’ to leave F1 now that the budget cap proposal has been supported in the courts. I for one will not miss them.

  20. Tim Parry says:

    That’s what happens when you use Babelfish to translate Italian into English.

  21. Steven Roy says:

    There is no doubt that the standard of teams that the FIA propoganda machine is spewing out is appalingly poor but Ferrari should remember that some of the great teams in F1 started out like that. Frank Williams was derided by all but he found a way to make it work and for a period dominated.

    F1 has been a closed shop for too long and there should be a way for new teams to enter and compete. Teams should never be guaranteed a place on the grid or no other reason tha that they were on the right side of the door when it closed. For years we have seen the likes of Minardi and Force India run consistently last with no-one allowed to come in a nd challenge that position.

    Max and the FIA are entirley wrong in their actions and for the first time ever Ferrari is gaining support outwith its fanbase. it needs to be a lot smarter than to publish stuff like this. It is a small step from people seeing Ferrari as the injured party to people questioning why they had an unfair advantage in the first place and what is the value of their success and pedigree when it was achieved with the assistance of the FIA. Ferrari have to choose their next steps carefully.

  22. floydthebarber71 says:

    well….they’ve been bubbling with arrogance since this whole thing started to come to a head….how terrible to see. they’re losing a lot of respect from me, and i’ve been a ferrari supporter for well over a decade.

  23. Big Fred says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how Ferrari climb down after throwing their toys out the pram. Clearly Ferrari don’t want to go anywhere and want to stay in the sport but retain the control that the “small chap with a perpetual bad hair day” and the “one who likes dicipline” have allowed them. We are on the cusp of a new order of motor racing.

    My only worry for the future of F1 is how well the budget is policed. The credibility of F1 will rely on this. Will this be the new arms race of F1? The team wins the most who has the best forensic accountant who can hide the most spend in bogus satellite companies. Who will be the first Enron of F1?

    Two tier racing is a non-starter for me and I won’t be tuning in unless of course Ferrari is the only capped team spending hundreds of millions of Euros being lapped by privateers. That would be sweet…

  24. Alistair Blevins says:

    Ferrari are spot on.

    They’re speaking out against the devaluation of the sport they, and many other teams (past and present) have worked very hard to build.

    Whilst I’m sure they respect other teams racing in lower formula why should they have to compromise so much to make the sport easier to access?

    And yes, the quality of some of the organisations seeking to enter is questionable when measured on the pedestal that is the F1.

    I’m all for easier entry criteria for new teams, but I refuse to believe it can only be acheived with an arbitrary budget cap.

    BTW I wonder if there is a correlation between the FIA being based in France and the introduction of extreme left wing rules and regulations?

  25. Andy Fov says:

    Has anyone thought of an overspend tax?

    All teams are allowed to spend what they like. The amount of the overspend over and above £40million is measured, and the team will be fined that sum.

    All cash collected is pooled and divvied up between the underbudgeted teams.

    Everybody races, everybody’s happy.

  26. Mooks says:

    James, I mentioned this in a previous article of yours, to which you so kindly replied. If you get chance, could you see if you could get couple of words out of the sponsors, more in particular, Ferrari sponsors?

    I would love to know how they are feeling now. Not only is this damaging F1 reputation, again, but surely this would set back those that help finance the team? The more Ferrari express themselves about 2010, the more it appears they’re digging their own grave.

    The other teams against the 2010 changes have not broadcasted their frustration as much, and in my opinion, keeps options open for them and doesn’t damage the brand or F1 as much either.

  27. Aaron James says:

    Mooks, a more important question to ask is that of sponsors of other teams. Their sponsorship loses a lot of its value if F1 is made to appear budget and lacking prestige.

    You don’t have to sponsor Ferrari to be seen by people attracted to F1 because of Ferrari’s presence. What about television advertisers? Where is their value for money if the television audience drops with the loss of Ferrari?

    I dare say we’d see more clucking chickens than Sony TVs sponsoring F1 broadcasts if Ferrari, Toyota and BMW leave.

    Frank Williams commented on the change of engines from Cosworth to Toyota that there was as much a marketing move as performance one. The marketing opportunity of being associated with a massive manufacturer was more important than the performance of the highly impressive cosworth v8.

    I think that’s a pretty important point to remember, because even if Force India, Brawn GP and Williams submit entries for the 2010 season, they are possibly going to have to look for engines.

  28. Steven Ritchie says:

    I’ve been putting some thought to this and realised that I’ve never cared about which team is doing well. I care about the drivers I support and hope their team is doing well.

    It never mattered to me that Damon Hill was in a Williams or a Jordan, it mattered to me that Hill was winning.. or at least beating Schumacher..

    I now care about Button and Hamilton being in a competitive car. I dont care particularly that McLaren are doing badly, but it bothers me that Hamilton isn’t competitive.

    If you level the field, I think that brings a new twist, but so long as the drivers are there, I will still be watching in 2010. Ferrari or no.

    Contractual commitments aside, have any of the drivers said they will not race in the ‘new’ Formula 1? Or will Massa take a seat at Litespeed in 2010 if that’s what is available!?

    The sport is the sport and the constructors championship is second in my mind to the drivers championship and that seems to be lost in this whole discussion.

    Is this just me?

  29. Jamie says:

    How can what they’ve said be wrong think of it like a a top football team against a lower football team, il use Real Madrid and Manchester United for instance. What do you think they would do if you took there spending powers away from them and let Getafe or Hull city spend the same amounts of money or reduce United or Madrid to having to spend the same as those lower teams they would kick up all sorts of fuss. But then back to F1 Ferrari Toyota ect have all spent Billions over the last couple of years hell the Brawn is running from the same sort of thing from Honda’s input so why cant Ferrari say that new teams coming in under the cap will de-value the sport i say they’re right my self but then i do support Ferrari do agree that they shuld lose their rights to have special rules ect, and that the sport shuldnt become 2 tier but by christ the FiA need to find away to keep the top teams in.

  30. MartinWR says:

    Boy, have Ferrari boxed themselves into a corner on this one. Were they badly advised, or did their sheer unbridled arrogance get them into this mess? Surely it can’t be that they really aren’t bigger than Formuls One? Big surprise.

    I believe I read that Ferrari stated the big teams are spending 400 to 500 million euros per annum. Unbelievable madness, if that figure really is true. Thank god some kind of sanity has been introduced into the sport at last, with the (roughly in reality) £100 million cap. That’s still a heck of a lot of dosh.

    In practise, I think we can be pretty certain that Bernie will find a way of fudging the issue so the spoilt brat of F1 can still get its own way (as usual). That is what all the silly, childish grandstanding is all about. It’s always worked in the past, right back to the days of Enzo Ferrari. There’s little reason to believe that it won’t work again.

  31. Stevie P says:

    My gast is flabbered!!!

  32. George says:

    Surely Lola have as much pedigree as BMW or Toyota?

    Personally I dont think this will harm the sport much, obviously viewing figures are likely to go down if major manufacturers leave, but the sport was run without them for decades. The manufacturer teams have no one to blame but themselves for this resolution, the independants have been complaining about the amount they spend for years but they did nothing to change.

    On the subject of a breakaway series, how the hell would they govern that? All I can see is a terrible mess followed by the teams quitting in a hissy fit.

  33. Caron says:

    Well, Ferrari don’t help themselves with this sort of comment, but that doesn’t mean that they are entirely wrong. And let’s remember that Bernie called them idiots the other day, so there are faults on both sides.

    Over the years they have spent billions on Formula One which has been as beneficial to the sport as it has been for them. Nobody can deny their contribution and the glamour they’ve added over the years. I would be very annoyed if the FIA carelessly threw away 60 years association with Ferrari.

    I can’t imagine that it must be easy for them to have to contemplate making so many people unemployed in the current climate. They are not used to having to make those hard decisions.

    Now the Court has made its decision, it’s time for the name calling to stop. Let’s hope somebody bangs some heads together over the champagne in Monaco this weekend. Nobody really wants to see half the current teams walk away.

    Like the House of Commons, the sport needs a huge change in the way it’s governed. Time for a bit less shooting from the hip and a bit more careful restructuring to give everyone a fair say.

    It’s a shame that in this most exciting season all this drama is taking place off the track. I shall be watching this weekend, savouring every moment, in case this is the last time Monaco is actually any good.

  34. chris says:

    ferrari slamming the new teams in public stinks. I agree with their sentiments but they have to take a leaf out of kimi’s book and stay ice cool. Max is obviously a skillful politician and is gradually backing them into a corner. I hope the big boys are around next year but i am getting seriously worried now.

  35. Steve says:

    So this is the equivalent to the England football team pulling out of the World Cup because they don’t like the offside rule and then trying to get all the other national teams to pull out as well.

    It is completely ridiculous that Mosely ever gave Ferrari special conditions to operate in. [moderated] I for one am glad to see this special FIA / Ferrari relationship implode and if they get so upset as to not sign up for next year and we have a whole bunch of new players who want to compete on an equal playing field then I say bring it on.

  36. Leo Allen says:

    Strutting arrogance. Reminds me of the weird little fella
    who took control of Italy’s fortunes in the not-too-distant past. He apparently made the trains run on time. Not much else.

    He strutted and scorned just the way in inhabitants of Maranello’s famous car makers do today. And the world saw through him and recognised his worthlessness, just as we see so very clearly what bluster and petulance bring to the fools whose weapon of choice it is……

    If they go, Ferrari will sustain far more damage in the long run than any lasting harm to F1.

    Nobody is indispensible.

  37. Chris says:

    To be honest, if Ferrari, after all of their arrogance, pomp and threats did pull out, it would be good if Max and Bernie simply said “Seeya! Oh and can the last one out of the garage please turn the lights out.”

    It would have been interesting to have seen Ferrari’s stance to this in the early 1990′s when they weren’t winning anything.

  38. Mike Lord says:

    I’m sure there’s a brilliant book to be written one day about all the ‘forgotten’ teams like Simtek, Pacific etc.

    Point is, it’s fun to have a mix, but F1 needs a business model that allows that mix to function naturally rather than being artificially imposed.

    Why not just allow teams to buy a customer chassis again, as Super Aguri and Toro Rosso have done in recent years? Let the grandee teams operate uncapped but allow them to recoup much of their money by selling chassis and engines to smaller teams, and allow 30 cars in each event, with perhaps 17-18 teams and a few not making it into the race each weekend?

    It’s not the amount the teams are spending that’s such a problem, but the fact that they get so little of it back from commercial exploitation of their developments and TV contracts etc. Why is so much money allowed to be taken out of the sport? Isn’t this ‘crisis’ based on Bernie and Max not wanting to admit that their approach has, by and large, gone a bit wrong?

    Does anyone really think Ferrari won’t be on the grid next year?

  39. Kristian says:

    Ferrari are acting as if they only remember the 2000s manufacturer era of F1. Look back to the entry list for the late 90s, and you’ll see it dominated by names such as Sauber, Minardi, Tyrrell, Prost, Stewart, Arrows, Benetton, etc. – none are major car names, but we are only used to them due to their prolonged presence in F1. Hell, even Williams and McLaren were names originating from privateer days.

    I have absolutely no problem with a grid of McLaren, Williams and a couple of the current established names backed up by the new ones.

  40. Suzy says:

    Arrogance, whiners? Have you seen the comments from Monaco today? It seems like other teams and most drivers of other teams support Ferrari in this!

    Mark Webber today just echoed what Ferrari claimed a week ago that Ferrari IS Formula One! Mario Theissen said that the special righs given to Ferrari (ie. veto) because of their tradition have been always well know to other teams and ACCEPTED BY THEM in contracts (source: http://www.motorsport-magazin.com/formel1/news-77766-teams-akzeptieren-ferraris-sonderrechte.html ).

    If Ferrari is really nothing special, as some folks in Britain (journalists and fans) claim why do other teams accept Ferrari’s special rights at all? Why do drivers keep echoing the sentiment that Ferrari is Formula One?

    Whether fans of other teams like it or not, Ferrari IS special to F1 and it is well accepted within F1!

  41. Annie says:

    I certainly wouldn’t spend £400+ on a grandstand ticket to watch Litespeed, Wirth, Lola, USGP, Epsilon, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport & drivers I’ve never heard of.

    I wouldn’t even get out of bed to watch them on TV.

  42. rpaco says:

    If you sit quietly you can hear the sound of accountants panting in anticipation and sharpening their pencils and lawyers, a gleam in their eyes, rubbing their hands, completely unfazed by Gordon Brown’s attack on nearby tax havens, as in readiness, they open new bank accounts in far off untaxable lands.

  43. Yvonne says:

    I suppose that the European market will be familiar with the new teams coming in, but for a person who lives in Asia, I simply have no idea who they are. We don’t have the luxury of watching many forms of Motorsports, even on paid cable. So if Ferrari and other car manufacturers do leave F1, I would think viewership will be greatly affected, not to say buy such expensive tickets to watch it live. I can relate to car brands I’m seeing on the road and I do support Toyota cos I own one. It may be difficult to support a car whose name and engines I’m not familiar with or a driver who may be successful in other formulas, but which I have no access to. I agree with what Ferrari is trying to do, but not what they are saying to the press. I’m actually getting nervous about this.

  44. roy says:

    There have been many great names in Formula 1 in the last 50 years who have had to leave for one reson or another, many of them won championships competing against the over hiped Ferarri team too. Great teams great men running them all gone now they are missed and not forgotten but not to the point that Formula 1 is less important without them.

    I have one question here or is it two, will Ferarri walk away at the end of the season or will they now be summoned before the orld motor sport council on charges of bringing the sport into disrepute and be thrown out mid season. They do theirselves no favours and no credit by continually running to the courts in this manner.

    Finally are they so convinced they are incapable of winning if they have the same budget as other teams and no extra cash above the funds available to other teams (extra tv rights money) to buy extra gizmos to entertain the croud like the ill fated traffic light stick seen last season.

  45. Richard says:

    I simply don’t get this blind loyalty to Ferrari and “the manufacturers”. It’s as if all football supporters said “the league would be nothing without Manchester United”.

    Ferrari come across as spoilt kids in all this I’m afraid. I actually feel sorry for Stefano Domenicali, because I suspect this is all being done above his head (as Max said the other day, the first Domenicali knew of the injunction application was when Max got a text during the meeting!)

  46. guy says:

    Budget caps will be impossible to police effectively.

    As such, why don’t the teams at the end of each season have to disclose their designs for that season to everyone meanign the lower spending teams can catch up a bit but keeping innovation (and secrecy) for the following year?

  47. Ed says:

    Ferrari’s extraordinary hubris on this issue has made me realise that the sport may in fact end up better for their absence, rather than my knee-jerk, history-minded initial thought that their loss would be profoundly damaging.

    The FIA’s plan looks to be introducing a Formula where survival of the cleverest, rather than the fittest, will be key. I’m totally comfortable with that as a framework for F1. If Ferrari choose not to rise to the technological, financial and intellectual challenge, then that’s more a reflection on their weakness than on any weakness in Formula 1.

    Next season – with the rules as they currently stand – looks set to offer a greater number of teams and drivers than this year, plus an even bigger scope for the tearing up of the form book. OK, I fear that the staggeringly close time differentials, from pole position to the back of the grid, will be the first and most obvious casualty. But 2009′s thrill of the unexpected being continued into another year is a thought which nevertheless excites me.

  48. MS says:

    Ferrari need to grow up, they’re like a spoilt brat stamping on the ground crying the loudest. The prospect of new teams coming in and engineering their way to championship victory is far more exciting than the richest teams spending their way to wins.

    I’d rather see exciting new challengers rather than Ferraris breaking down ad nausium. They talk about giving fans value for money, how about engineering cars that can make it to the end of a race? How about drivers who actually want to talk to the cameras pre-race? How about not being arrogant enough not to think they can soar through quali by sitting in the garage?

    Honestly, I could take or leave Ferrari before this year’s championship, yet they’re taking the edge off what is an otherwise OUTSTANDING year just because they’re not getting it their own way.

  49. KP says:

    Ferrari are merely expressing the views of the casual audience. Who are these nobodies? Casuals don’t want to watch pikeys.

    I don’t want to watch these reprobates either and I haven’t missed a race or qualifying session in over 22years.

    Let’s go Le Mans Luca.

  50. jed says:

    Ferrari is just making a point on why they are saying goodbye to F1. I do believe Ferrari is serious in leaving and it will be such a great loss to F1. so too will the departure of the other teams. F1 cannot and should not be governed the way it is being governed now.

    Ferrari did not mean to put down those teams, they just simply are telling the truth as to the present value of those teams.

    In the recent climate that Max has created in F1, there is no more room for political correctness, the hard and truthful facts must be pointed out

    In this instance Ferrari is arrogant, they should be arrogant and it is correct for them to be arrogant.

    I congratulate them for being arrogant.

  51. Emma says:

    Ferrari are perfectly right. They have a brand name to protect, would you pay the same amount of money to watch a bunch of mickey mouse teams instead of Ferrari and co?? Its a joke. The best thing for Ferrari is to leave F1 and let the rest dig their own grave under Mosley and Ecclestone. As for the criticism directed towards Ferrari, it smacks of prejudice in my opinion.

  52. Richard Mee says:

    It’s looking like it might be the reverse of 2005 – all the other teams slyly making hay with B&M and leaving Ferrari high and dry… sweet irony!

    Having considered this over the past few days it’s obvious… B&M have had their fun and for a grand finale they’re simply going to return F! to the state it was in when they found it – lots of non-works teams, most of whom are meaningless, but they look pretty and make up numbers.

    I’m a capitalist through and through, I 100% support Ferrari in their bid to leverage their previous investment – however, this is no time for embittered histrionics, they’re not playing clever or grown-up politics given the gravity of this situation and Max is running rings round them this week.

    Either way, the likely outcome is that 99% of punters will give any future F1 incarnation a chance out of curiosity alone. F1 fans are famously hard to shake off.

    If the first few races tick the boxes and the new teams show personality we’ll all be hooked by the time it gets to Europe and the soap opera will start all over again…

  53. sean says:

    Regardless of what they have said Bernie will not kill the goose that laided the golden egg.Ferrari are correct just not politically correct selling these noname’s to anyone is going to be very difficult Bernie know’s this.He will step in take over control and it will be all sorted and the new guy’s will be shafted thats usually what happens in F1.

  54. Lewis Jones says:

    Why don’t Ferrari stop being so childish and see if they can build a decent car for 2010? I am fed up with their arrogant attitude.

    Their season has been a disaster and I would echo Niki Lauda’s comments about ‘spaghetti culture’. If you’re losing a contest, focus on winning it, not bleat about rule changes.

    And to be honest, if they want to go, go on then! See how many people will tune into the Ferrari circus from Le Mans…..

  55. rich says:

    A little harsh on Lola but pretty much bang on. A good little dig at Ecclestone too with the ticket price bit.

    This is probably one of the best Ferrari press pieces since Montezemelo dedicated the 2007 championship to the bloke that worked in the copy shop. Cracking stuff!

  56. MartinWR says:

    For Ferrari to sneer at prospective teams operating on a a smaller budget is unbelievable, pathetic. Since when was big beautiful? Or excellent, for that matter?

    For all their size, for all their money, Ferrari have failed to perform, and have trailed behind smaller teams in the races. Last year they failed to win the driver’s title as a result of silly mistakes. This year they have been even worse.

    Only fools and idiots equate size and financial muscle with excellence. Size is the sort of thing that impresses people of the calibre of Gordon Brown, i.e. the brain-dead. Is Brawn GP a lesser team than Ferrari because it’s smaller? No way.

    I am sick of the politicking, the sneering, the whining, and the whingeing. The court has spoken. Move on. As far as I am concerned, those who want to get out of F1 are yesterday’s men. I hope they get out as soon as possible so the sport can reinvent itself with new blood. If Alonso doesn’t like it, then get out. But either put up or SHUT UP. Similarly Ferrari. But cut out the trouble-making NOW if you’re going to stay. Otherwise, good riddance.

    Formula One is going to move on, with them or without them. That’s their choice. It’ll be different. So what? Times change.

  57. GP says:

    What goes around comes around…

    The GPWC was what FOTA is today until Ferrari suddenly switched sides after FIA/FOM made them an offer that would give them an unfair advantage.

    Now Ferrari needs the support of its FOTA partners to force Max into making some changes to the 2010 rules so they can stay in F1. How ironic!

  58. Warwick says:

    Based on attitudes like this, I think F1 would be better WITHOUT Ferrari in the long term. The series would take a serious PR hit at first, but in the long term the potential for more equitable racing is better without them. Pure arrogance.

  59. Jim says:

    Ferrari are right, F1 is the best and Mosley is a joke!

  60. Crom says:

    The comments on this post are unbelievable; so much emotion, mainly hatred (for Ferrari).

    This is exactly what Mosley wanted: hatred deflecting from the main issue which is half the teams (Red Bull x2, Toyota, Renault and Ferrari) disagree with him and threaten to leave F1 because of unfair 2-tier rules.

    For well-known brands to be viewed on the same level as new teams is an insult to the established teams.

    The FIA is the problem here, not Ferrari. Someone must stand up against this.

  61. Michael C says:

    The ‘spoilt brat’ sentiment of the many responses comes through loud and clear – and quite justifiably.

    £100 million (or is it €100 million?) Doesn’t seem like peanuts even I suspect to big car manufacturers in the current environment. It just seems to be the downsizing issue that they have problems with.

    Surely the acid test will be how many people follow Ferrari out of the door (would we really miss Renault and Toyota?)

    If more than five of the current major competitors were to leave then the whole spectacle would be in danger of degradation but otherwise we have been here before and provided Bernie manages it correctly we will come out the other side. Whatever happens if ticket prices remain as they are then this is going to become a TV only sport even for enthusiasts

  62. Sarcastro says:

    Note they didn’t mention Prodrive.

    And, uh… Lola? C’mon Ferrari, you remember them don’t you? They’re the guys who designed the GT-40 back in the 60s that kicked your asses up and down Lemans. They’ve also been building F1 cars on and off since 1962 fer krisake.

    Makes it hard to support the side that’s right when they’re being such monumental douches.

  63. Pat says:

    You know what I might be in a minority on this one – but is the withdrawal of the “Manufacturers” really the potential apocalypse everyone is predicting. What have they really brought to the party except the astronomical increase in budgets over recent years that are putting the independents who built and founded the sport in jeopardy.
    Apart from Ferrari & Toyota none of them are “F1 manufacturers” they have all bought into technology and skills – Renault bought Benetton (Formally Tolman – independent) Mercedes bought into Mclaren (independent) , BMW bought Sauber (independent), Honda bought BAR formerly Tyrrell (independent) – now Brawn (independent again) who incidentally are doing ok .

    Red Bull rescued the formerly “Manufacturer” Ford/Jaguar who initially bought Stewart GP (Independant), Torro Rosso (formerly Minardi – independent), Force India formerly Jordan (independent) … I could go on – F1 was built by independents who’s sole purpose of existence was to go Motor Racing and we lapped it up.

    Do these young drivers & Ferrari who proclaim the withdrawal of the Manufacturers will decimate F1 – Alonso/Raikkenon e.t.c. – really believe they provide better entertainment than Rosberg/Lauda/Hunt or Senna/Prost @ Mclaren Mansell/Piquet @ Williams, Mansell (Lotus) v Senna (Mclaren) Berger/Alesi & Schumacher (Benneton) the list goes on. F1 car in those days was edge of the seat stuff where the cars actually overtook on the track by the skill of the driver where cars could follow each other through corners close enough to get in the slip stream on the straight and – If the drivers’ nuts were big enough- which they invariably were – overtake on the brakes – nobody can forget Mansell/Senna down the straight of Barcelona (91) wheel to wheel at 190 mph or Senna / Mansell at Jerez (86) or Monaco (92) or Piquet Mansell at Silverstone (’87). All of this golden era of F1 was based around INDEPENDeNTS with the odd Manufacturer that came and went when it was commercially viable for them to do so. And it was all achieved on a budget well below £40million or the equivelant of what it would have been then.

    At the moment it would seem unthinkable of an F1 without Ferrari as in the 80′s it would have seemed unthinkable of an F1 without JPS Lotus – but Lotus went and F1 survived and I have no doubt F1 would survive without Ferrari -strange as it may seem now – but even if they did go ….they’d be back.

  64. anne says:

    Is this why Juan Pablo Montoya left F1 to become a Nascar Driver! TO MUCH DRAMA

  65. Robert McKay says:

    Oops I’ve added an extra letter to my surname there :-D

  66. Ron Colverson says:

    After that, there’ll be a huge row, they’ll get a special dispensation, and we’ll have 14 teams.
    Then I, for one, will be able to get a huge amount of satisfaction watching the arrogant b******s getting whipped by someone who can spend 40 million more effectively than them.

  67. James Allen says:

    That’s kind of how the budget cap works, if you overspend by £1 million in 2010, you’ll have £1m less to spend in 2011.

  68. James Allen says:

    Very nice line, Tim. Good old babelfish…

  69. MartinWR says:

    If Ferrari go away there will be absolutely no need for the two tier nonsense. It’s only there to accommodate spoilt cry baby Ferrari. It’s also been designed so the capped teams will have an advantage of more than 2 seconds a lap over teams that are still addicted to throwing silly money at the sport. Even Ferrari couldn’t be that stupid.

    Or could they?

  70. Ian says:

    Superb post.

  71. Suzy says:

    I disagree. Ferrari has always been the most popular team and it’s a bit of shortsightedness to think it has to do with their success at any given moment. Or do you think just because they are winning now BrawnGP has more fans than Ferrari?
    It has a lot more to do with their unique tradition, something the new teams don’t have.

  72. Andrew says:

    Then Ferrari should overspend by 40 million in 2010 and pull out all together in 2011. That would foil them :)

  73. Howard Hughes says:

    Why thank you.

  74. MS says:

    Agreed, great post

  75. Bob says:

    It’s almost bringing the sport into disrepute. Come on Max, a £100m fine and loss of constructors points ought to show Ferrari you’re serious.

  76. Suzy says:

    Oh come’on! I cannot believe people are so afraid of a couple of strong words in this politically correct brave world of ours.

    In your post you have just basically proven Ferrari’s point: that these are “dog teams”.

    So people now are basically whining about Ferrari’s “arrogance” just because they tell it as it is.

  77. Roberto says:

    I agree with Kirk that Ferrari may have shot themselves and have lose ground against the FIA and their weight in FOTA, but people should consider that these are ig companies with huge strategic thinking behind. The article is not objective it seems driven by impulse and maybe was published y single top orders and nothing else.

    Behind the “not so good” comments made by Ferrari, it is true that the FIA have gone too far on their measures, they have pushed the teams which have invested billions which have contributed to make the sport what is today, of course FOM has made it`s part too, but the FIA should intervene only in sporting regulations, not commercials.

    Has anyone thought about how much value the teams will loose in terms of revenues and sponsorships??. We know there is a crisis and there will be a reduction on ad budgets but F1 is still the single most watched sport in the world, not the Premier League, not the spanish league, not the NFL, MLB, NBA, so F1 offer the best ROI return o investment for the sponsors and advertisers. So the FIA should think about this and let the teams and FOM handle the financials.

  78. Michel S. says:

    An equal chance of winning — but that’s against everything Ferrari believes in!

  79. Andy says:

    Steven: “Contractual commitments aside, have any of the drivers said they will not race in the ‘new’ Formula 1? Or will Massa take a seat at Litespeed in 2010 if that’s what is available!?”

    I heard Kimi say that he will race next season with Ferrari, irrespective of the series that Ferrari takes part in. This could be just Ferrari talking, of course.

  80. Nick P says:

    No, it’s not just you Steven. I feel the same way but I do think we’re in the minority.

  81. Mooks says:

    I know what you mean, Aaron and you’re right. I guess part of the thinking of the ‘budget’, would be to separate the bright from the clever, making use of resources and finding ways to maximise potential and, dare I say it, find ‘loop-holes’ in the regulations all within a ‘budget’. If successful, that could increase brand value in itself.

    Although, having said that, Ferrari could gain from this extra publicity they’re generating for themselves. They’re advertising their history, successes, and potential, and then gaining influence for future seasons. F1 and controversy seems to go hand in hand!

    The next few months will be very interesting.

  82. James Finister says:

    It struck me that Ferrari are saying “We won’t compete against these names in F1 because they are 2nd rate, so we’ll go to another prestigious series like LMS where are worthy competitors will be…” And that’s the point where there argument breaks down. Would they beat Lola’s in their first season back at Le Mans?

  83. Howard Hughes says:

    Not sure which part you disagree with Suzy. My assertion that Ferrari himself was once a Johnny-come-lately? Or that the era where various near-genius engineers took on the might of the grandee teams on a shoestring? Because I reckon both these themes are pretty much beyond dispute.

    I did state that no one can seriously claim that the new teams possess the allure or glory of Ferrari, but glorious heritage and pageantry only go so far, and not very far at all in a piranha-infested sport like F1. If Ferrari, arguably the world’s strongest (note I said strongest, not best known) brand, were to depart, it would I fear have less of an effect than they would hope. Senna died on track, and the sport went on. Schumacher retired, and the sport quickly replaced him. It’s like when you leave a job – you kid yourself that you’ll be sorely missed and they’ll struggle to get by without you – til you wander into the lobby shortly afterwards to pick up your P45 and you see all your ex-colleagues laughing and joking and getting on with things, and you realise that no one, but no one is indispensable.

    Ferrari could leave after this season, and it would make headlines around the globe. And it might feel odd for the first race or three, but trust me, by Monaco 2010 F1 would be consumed with the current battles and intrigues, and life, as ever, would go on.

    C’est la vie…

  84. Phil c says:

    Sorry mate your wrong here, Ferrari can spend a billon dollars a year and your ticket price wont change. That is dictated by the ridiculous fee Bernie Charges to host a race. Track prices is totally controlled by the track owners.

  85. phil says:

    All the drivers are annoyed with it. Alonso too. I wouldnt be surprised if they all walk out this weekend in protest. Alonoso, Kimi, vettell have a point. F1 is the cutting edge, these new rules are useless for the sport.

  86. chris says:

    Max Mosely is no joke. 12 months ago his career was in tatters with manufactures and motor sport associations calling for his head. He is the comeback king extraordinaire and is possibly more powerful now than he has ever been and for that I tip my hat. His ideas on spec formulas are still wrong though.

  87. Snail says:

    after young Mr. Obama has decided to help get rid of gas guzzling Yank motors (even though it has been opposed all the way by said gas guzzling motors makers!) i

    Obama hasn’t really. The requirement is for American made cars to do a whopping 42mpg (US mpg), which is 35mpg in UK gallons. Frankly its pathetic. And yet the whining about how this is a “high” and “unreachable” target is incredible – despite Ford Europe and Volvo being capable of it, Ford USA for some reason is not (likewise for Vauxhall and Saab, both owned by GM).

    They can build incredible things like Nimitz class Aircraft carriers with 7 hulls to withstand a torpedo strike and F14, F15, F17 fighter planes, but design a car? Not a chance. Incredible.

    Bzzt, retuning channel, F1 whining now resuming…

  88. Mr T says:

    you know, I think I’ll join you with the satisfaction

  89. Mr T says:

    sorry, have you not been paying attention to this current economic climate? this whole debacle started not to make the sport “easier to access”, but because F1 thought it was unaffected by the credit crunch and then saw the likes of Honda, RBS, ING and so on have to get up and leave. The whole cost capping issue does help the entry of new teams, which Bernie wanted, but it was mainly proposed to be implemented because F1 simply would be unlikey to survive if the silly levels of spending remained in place. The execution of the cost capping regulations is definately questionable, but a solution could have been better created without the legal action and whining.

    I fear Ferrari have been blinded by their own arrogance

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