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Ferrari: 'We made F1 great"
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Ferrari:  'We made F1 great"
Posted By:   |  14 May 2009   |  5:45 am GMT  |  0 comments

As the pressure builds in the powerplay between the FIA and the manufacturers, led by Ferrari, the Scuderia continues to push the idea that F1 is what it is today because of their unbroken participation over 60 years.

On the official Ferrari website they have posted a piece called, “The pride of making F1 great” and they go on to list all the great moments, which make up the sport’s history, of which Ferrari was the central protagonist.

Barcelona 09.

The intro to the piece reads,
“Since the year 1950, when the modern Formula 1 World Championship was held for the first time, Ferrari has been part of it as a player, approaching opportunities and difficulties with sporting spirit. The Scuderia Ferrari is the only team that participated in every championship. It is the only team that conquered 16 Constructors’ World Titles, 15 Drivers’ Titles and 206 victories.

That is why the Scuderia is loved and respected all over the world. Loved by many of its friends and fans, respected by its competitors. These are the stages of this extraordinary history..”

Elsewhere on the site they have wheeled out the two drivers, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, one of nine drivers to have won the world championship at the wheel of a Ferrari, to support the team’s position, despite the fact that if they follow through on the threat to quit, both men will be forced to choose between F1 and Ferrari.

“I understand the motivation, why the Company got to this point, ” says Massa. “The idea of having a Championship with two velocities, with cars, which for example are allowed to have flexible wings or an engine without a rev limiter, is absurd. We’ve already seen this year that the rules’ uncertainty not only led to a lot of confusion for us involved, but mainly for the fans. Imagine what might happen with what has been set up for 2010.

“For a driver racing a Ferrari in Formula 1 is a dream and I made mine come true. Since I was a child Ferrari has been the synonym for racing for me; that’s why I’m convinced that even if the Scuderia is forced to leave Formula 1, there will be other competitions, where it will be possible to admire the Reds on the track.”

Kimi.
Raikkonen says, “It’s difficult to think of a Formula 1 without Ferrari. When I drove for McLaren, the Scuderia from Maranello was the benchmark, the competitor you had to be compared with. Since I arrived here I understood that it is much more than just a team, it’s a legend, perpetuated via its road and racing cars.

I always had the passion for racing with everything with an engine and I always thought of Formula 1 as the pinnacle of motor sports, in terms of competition and technology. Obviously if there really were rules like the ones set by FIA, it would be difficult to imagine a Formula 1 we had until today.

“I can’t imagine drivers racing each other on the track with cars built according to different rules; that wouldn’t be good for the sport itself or for the fans. If that should happen, it would be too bad and I understand that a Company like Ferrari is thinking about racing somewhere else.”

The threat to race somewhere else is central here as is the DNA question, to what extent can you differentiate the DNA of Ferrari from the DNA of F1?

Whatever the outcome of this -and I am virtually certain a deal will be done for them to stay in F1 – this has been a useful exercise in reminding everyone of Ferrari’s importance and its brand values.

I was in the Ferrari story yesterday in Regents Street, shooting a report for Italian RAI TV on this story. It sits on that street alongside Jaeger, Hamley’s, Hugo Boss, Apple. The company has decided to really leverage its brand and make some money out of what is one of the world’s most famous and distinctive brands. When you look at how the team has pushed the button on licensing, marketing and merchandising in recent years, led by head of brand Danny Behar, who did a similar job for Red Bull for many years, you see that this current exercise in challenging the FIA is also an exercise in reinforcing the Ferrari brand.

We have all been forced to reflect in recent days on what Ferrari means to us. Many people will be more inclined, as a result of that reflection, to buy a pair of Ferrari branded Puma trainers for £70 than they were last week.

Did Ferrari make F1 great? Or is it the other way around? Or are both statements true proving the veracity of Bernie Ecclestone’s statement that Ferrari and F1 is the perfect marriage.

Next week this debate will move on to the other brand F1 cannot do without; Monaco. It’s the only track which does more for F1 than F1 does for it.

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  1. Steph says:

    Massa and Raikkonen offer their support to Ferrari, but are they actually threatening to hang up their helmets next year? No. And would they quit over this? Very unlikely.

  2. shaun says:

    if Kimi did say that it is more than he said for the whole of last year. And the closest he has come to sounding like a PR script.

  3. Jake Pattison says:

    “Many people will be more inclined, as a result of that reflection, to buy a pair of Ferrari branded Puma trainers for £70 than they were last week.”

    Thats a very interesting observation out of all this James.

    I think the public in general become very desensitised to brand names, particularly ones that are out of the reach of most. Sure, many people would have Nikon in their shortlist when shopping for a new camera, it is a reachable goal. But not too many people on this planet can afford a Ferrari.
    This is a double edged sword for Ferarri, as it greatly limits their market, but it also makes them a very special and desirable brand.

    My point being, that their recent footstomping has probably done their image quite some good, as you have suggested. This in turn would do them no harm at all if they were to split from F1 and form a rival series.

  4. P Jaxon says:

    ferrari may be one of the great F1 teams throughout it’s history, but let’s not forget they’ve committed some of the worst sporting atrocities I’ve seen in the sport – Austria 2002 being a prime example – particularly during the schumacher era.
    In many ways I think the schumacher/todt/montezemolo period had a quite detrimental effect on F1, and the worst thing about it was that it turned me from a lifelong ferrari fan into a team I only feel disdain for these days.

  5. floydthebarber71 says:

    ferrari made f1 great? thats a bit of a bold statement isnt it? :P

    also, i find it difficult to believe that raikkonen strung that many sentences together. thats just impossible :D

  6. guy says:

    I think the only way this impasse can be resolved is if the manufacturers (ferrari, bmw, toyota, mercedes, renault) plus Red bull organsise a FOTA metting to agree a budget cap and / or new rules along the lines of your ‘comment of the week’.

    The purpose of the meeting should be public knowledge – hopefully encouraging brawn, williams and force india to attend as well.

    Only when they have concensus themselves will they have the power to threaten a breakaway series.

    However, will they be able to agree? The might do, but possibly without brawn, williams and force india.

  7. James Bond says:

    I’d like to explain something to people. Like it’s written here, Ferrari is a legend. I worked with people from that factory and spent few months there.(I used to work for firm which produces glass for their road cars) It is beyond imagination how they love F1. To tell them that Ferrari is no longer in F1 is unthinkable.

    Knowing that I’m convinced that big heads from FIA and FIAT will accept proposals and they will reach an agreement.
    I really love F1 but I also love Ferrari… Let’s hope that sport we all enjoy so much continues!

  8. David says:

    Surely the lesson from other categories of motorsport – and indeed other sports – which have split in two is that both are weakened. The CART/IRL split was a disaster for both series and greatly devalued great teams like Penske & Newman Haas as well as the ‘jewel’, the Indy 500. Almost from day one the question was when, not if, the two series would rejoin, and by the time they did both were on their knees.

    I am sure that you are right and that eventually this split will be resolved. I am also convinced that the larger teams will remain better sponsored and will therefore have more money available to them to spend somehow. Rather than trying to cap that I would prefer that the manufacturers simply be made to do more to support smaller teams with cheap access to components – particularly engines – so that they can expect to compete at the front of the grid, as Brawn and Red Bull have done this year.

  9. You’ve got to give it to them – nobody else can posture quite as well as the Italians. [ Now THAT statement is ... how u eenglish say .... "pre-posture-us"? - Il Moderatore ]

  10. Peter says:

    I was in the store yesterday too.

    I was trying to figure out weather that car is real or weather its a show car. I read somewhere that Ferrari never made any show cars but I wasnt entirly convinced. I asked a very attractive girl in the shop and she said it was a real car but was never raced.

    It was interesting being very quiet and listening to the conversations going on in that store. There were several people uttering things like “I wish McLaren had a place like this!!”
    Wouldnt it be great if there was shops liek that for the F1 teams. you can buy the odd shirt and stuff like that. there is a place just down the road where you can get a McLaren umbrella etc… but i cant help thinking that they should be really milking it instead of being fairly passive as far as the fans go. I think this is where Ferrari has got it right.

    Peter

    P.S. If I had seen you I would have asked for an autograph!

  11. Josh says:

    P Jaxon: However you feel about ferrari, I bet you still feel strongly. Contrast this with how strongly you feel about Force India staying in F1.

    I bet Ferrari’s and F1′s sponsors had a rough day upon reading about their threats to leave F1.

  12. phil c says:

    Ferrari is the Brand and Ferrari is f1. F1 is nothing without the teams. Mclaren, Williams, Ferrari are f1. People world wide recongnise these brands. I bet the number one searched word on google at the moment would be Ferrari.

    Ferrari has contributed so much to f1, good and bad Ferrari and f1 is like Man United and Premier League. If Ferrari goes over 100million viewers go with it. Bernie cant afford that and probably the breach of 80% of Bernie contracts because there would be a clause with Ferrari in f1.

    Max is gone this time. Bernie wont let Ferrari leave, or any manufacture.

    My personal oppionion is they should all leave and start there own World Championship. The teams keep all the cash no bernie, no need for the FIA.

  13. Tom says:

    In my opinion I believe F1 needs Ferrari, more than Ferrari needs F1. F1 will claim that there are teams queued up waiting to enter, but I hardly think Lola or USF1 will capture the imagination in the way Ferrari does. I mean look at the crowds at any Grand Prix and there are more Ferrari fans than any other – by a mile.

    I think Bernie saying that F1 & Ferrari is a match made in heaven is a tacit admission that F1 really really needs Ferrari.

    A big part of the attraction of F1 is the notion of “testing yourself against the best”. If one of the best is no longer part of the competition, it would reduce the appeal of F1, in that it no longer would represent “the best”.

    Conversely Ferrari are well established as a global brand regardless of their involvement in F1. F1 has no doubt helped them (a lot) in establishing their brand, but I now think it is so big they can stand on their own. Anytime you have the old “If you could buy any car in the world, what would it be?” conversation down at the pub, the answer comes back as some sort of Ferrari more often than not.

    A lot of people know about Ferrari that have no interest in Formula 1, and I can’t see them not still being the leader in high end cars if they suddenly stopped racing.

    I for one hope F1 & Ferrari can form some sort of agreement that see the Scuderia remain in F1, as it would be a massive shame to see them go.

  14. Dermot keelan says:

    sure ferrari have been guilty of pushing the rules to the limits in recent times but F1 as a whole has become more cutthroat from the top down. We have the commercial rights holders who mercilessly rape the sport of half the revenues it generates, huge corporations pumping vast sums into teams, and then we have max who treats the whole sport with contempt by completely ignoring the visions that the fans and teams alike have for F1.

    The point I’m tryin to make is I feel that some of Ferrari’s and indeed McLaren’s sporting misdemeanours are a product of the environment they operate in. Obviously they control their own actions at the end of the day but when you’re being sqeezed from all angles, as the teams have been for years now, it’s much easier to justify stretching rules or any aspect affecting your performance to the limit, in order to create a competitive advantage.

  15. Ben G says:

    Good point – and it leads on to whether Prince Albert of Monaco might feel similar to Ferrari.

    Does he want to be associated with a split series, minor racing teams, and Max & co? Or would he form an alliance with Ferrari and the manufacturers?

    Take away the real F1 jewels, and the Max & Bernie empire would crumble quickly…

  16. Alexander says:

    James, there is nothing objective on the Planet Earth. Situations like this are a great material for people to talk, to chat, to write, to muse…to reflect on, however the nature of a human being is to always have a strong personal opinion and there are 7 Billion of those today.

  17. Cheesey says:

    Unbelievably, Ferrari are revealing themselves to be even more arrogant and self-obsessed than I thought they were.

    Truly astonishing.

  18. Jason C says:

    The brand “Ferrari” is an order of magnitude stronger than the brand “Formula 1″. If Ferrari decide to join with the other manufacturers participating in F1 now and create a new single-seater open wheel series that carries on with the cars currently used in F1, then that would be the de-facto replacement for F1.

    On their own, I don’t think they could do it, but crucially they have the other manufacturers (and Red Bull’s two teams) with them. This means that TV deals will be done, circuits will want them there and people will want to watch the races.

    It all looks like brinkmanship to me, though.

  19. Alexis says:

    More propaganda from Ferrari.

    They need to get over themselves.

  20. Amy says:

    I refuse to believe Kimi said ‘perpetuated’

  21. Kirk says:

    Kimi using words with more than 6 letters?!? Really?!? Shocking if true because recently he only seems able to mix the following words in a sentence: KERS, broken, again, season, over, gimme, ice, cream, bye, flying, home.

  22. Nitin says:

    Tom, you have said what I had in mind, hit the nail on the head. F1 needs Ferrari no thoughts about it. Ferrari as a brand has a lot of recognition. They have built this with their skills & owe some of it to F1 & they will continue to build by being in F1 or not.

    If in case the consequence of tomorrows meeting is not in favor of the manufacturers, this whole season will be wiped out …Tickets wont be sold, TV viewers will come crashing down starting from Monaco.

    The manufacturers will abandon this season & mostly not develop anything much, but keeps the momentum going to get more points & money.

    Their focus would then start to be on understanding on a new league of their own & considering the capital they can build who knows if Bernie wouldn’t be interested or not?

  23. Matthew Villari says:

    Bennetton made Ferrari great.

  24. Aaron James says:

    Thing is, if Ferrari leave Formula 1, F1 will go on. I mean it’s still a racing series, and it is still going to have people in it wanting to compete.

    What difference it does make though is to make F1 immeasurably less attractive. After all, how engaging is it for a Santander to be associated with teams that really to not evoke the same passion and enthusiasm as Ferrari? How compelling is it for fans to be watching teams with no heritage like Force India doddling around the track?

    Apparently Mosley been told by sponsors that they don’t mind if the costs go down, it wont effect their interest in the sport. That they will get increased value for money. Will they get that value for money if the brand associations with marquees like Ferrari or even BMW or Mercedes are not to be had?

    Didn’t Frank Williams say in 2007 that the reason he went with a Toyota engine was as much to do with the marketing opportunities afforded by being linked to a massive manufacturer as any particular engineering concern?

    I highly recommend Dieter Rencken’s piece in last week’s autosport journal – it really does bring home the fact that Bernie’s commercial model is largely about exploiting the brand value of teams like Ferrari (but not just limited to Ferrari, this includes the likes of BMW and Mercedes too). If these marquee teams leave, Bernie’s (and therefore the vulture fund CVC’s) model gets left in a very bad way.

    The expiration of concorde has taken away what little representation the manufacturers had within the commercial and regulatory operation of the sport.

    This showdown with Ferrari is really about that. The budget cap aspect, is just a manifestation of this fundamental lack of representation within the sport’s power structure.

  25. Jonny K says:

    I really don’t buy the Ferrari argument that they’re needed.

    Additionally, I can’t help feeling that they are the only reasons this is an issue – they are the only team who will not accept a budget cap, and so are forcing this situation.

    Co-incidentally, Ferrari are also the only team not to got rid of Tobacco sponsorship, which was supposed to be required in 2007. Funny how the team getting $200 million a year from unethical funding are the only team not willing to be capped.

    I’ve also heard that Ferrari have some deal with the FIA which means that they are allowed to continue racing with current levels of funding, at least until 2012, which is why the two-tier system is put forward.

    Two-tier systems have worked before – until the 90s, teams could choose to race turbocharged or normally aspirated cars. (Incidentally, with Bernie’s medal system, Ayrton Senna would’ve won the 1988 WDC, as opposed to Alain Prost, who won more points. That Senna was the champion, by the system at the time does seem to argue that points systems vagaries don’t get that remembered in judging all time bests seems to be often overlooked. Not that I’d support medals…)

    Regardless: F1 needs budget caps to ensure new teams, to avoid losing any more. You know, IF Mosley was serious abuot losing Ferrari, the best thing he could do would be approach Lotus. The return of Lotus, who’re arguably bigger than Ferrari, could easily overshadow it. If we’ve got good teams with Lotus, Williams and McLaren, Ferrari is not needed.

    As a sidenote, presumably if Ferrari don’t race next year, they must buy out their drivers current contracts, as they can’t provide FIAWDC F1 seats for their drivers. Hence, in withdrawing, Ferrari have admitted they can afford to buy out their drivers contracts for next year. Which bodes well for Alonso, but poorly for Kimi (and, alas, would probably have a bad knock on effect on Felipe.) Maybe this is why they’re threatening this! :P

  26. pat says:

    Funny isn’t it…what car was spinning around at the last summer Olympics during opening ceromonies????

    pat across the pond Canada

  27. Yo says:

    So does this mean that Ferrari can do whatever they want whenever they want in F1? Saying that you are the heart of F1 and that you want to leave if something is not changed to your desire is not a good argument. Are they going to do the same threat everytime they disagree with something?

    As much as I understand the meaning of Ferrari to F1, I would like to see them out of the 2010 championship and see what happens to them.

  28. vicweir says:

    I’ve managed to watch F1 for over ten years without once feeling that Ferrari was the be-all-and-end-all of the sport. When the Schumacher/ Ferrari reign ended in 2005 I was as delighted as anyone who wasn’t specifically a Ferrari fan.
    However, I find their enunciation of the issues surrounding the FIA’s dogmatic plans for 2010 entirely sympathetic. As others have said, the example of the chaos over one diffuser and its legality or otherwise this year gives no encouragement whatsoever to believe 2010 will be anything other than total chaos.
    I’m also delighted that at long last a team has wheeled out its drivers to speak their minds ( although not necessarily their own words). They seem to be the forgotten element in all this. If the manufactuing teams remove themselves from F1 (I agree wth James, this won’t happen – because it can’t) but if they did, it removes star drivers from the grid in addition to the cars. Not all of them can find seats in the remaining or in-coming teams.
    This in turn would drain , at a stroke, large members of the watching and attending public, from GPs. Some of us would be very unhappy to see teams other than just Ferrari no longer on the grid.

  29. Jon says:

    James,

    Can you please do a blog post on the new regulations? The fine print in these that gives the FIA alot more power in the future?

    I saw these points broken down point by point on another forum, I could post the link but as far as I know you guys don’t like links posted here.

    There are some HUGE changes to the regulations, in alot of different areas (other then the cap etc).

    And NO ONE in the media is making any noise about it. It’s no wonder the teams are so united and angered.

  30. Rich says:

    I think the question of who made which great is irrelevant. Ferrari are pushing this message to try to generate support from the fans but the bottom line is that this support wont really change anything.

    It is about opposing Max Mosley. Ferrari have complained about the budget caps and two-tier regulations but these are just the symptoms. The disease is the unilateral way that these – any many decisions previously – have come about. The dispute is not about the regulations, it is about who controls the regulations.

    I fear that nothing short of a complete Mosley climb-down will do for Ferrari at this moment and I fear that Max will be unable to do this.

    Either Ferrari or Mosley will not be in F1 next year.

  31. Andrea says:

    “Did Ferrari make F1 great? Or is it the other way around?”

    Without wanting to underrate Ferrari’s role in the history of F1 and without any offence:

    Where would F1 be now if noone would be watching?
    What would Ferrari do if there wouldn’t be any fans in front of the TV screens and around the race tracks?

    What REALLY made and makes F1 great is the fact that millions of people around the world are following it – on site and on TV! That’s why sponsors are interested in it. That’s the reason why that huge amount of money is flowing into the F1 business. Having your company’s name in F1 is one of the most prestigious things in the business world, because there are so many people around the world who see your name and your logo on the cars, overalls, etc.

    Please, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong… ;-)

  32. Northern Munkee says:

    I hope “Ferrari made F1 great” gets plenty of media exposure, because that kind of arrogance may well backfire, given the F1 championships F1 British bias, BE, MM, all the other teams. I can’t imagine the French (even if the French are just a footnote in history) and the Germans being too pleased, being marginalised, in Grand Prix racing.

    If there’s anything that gets a Brit annoyed enough, to dig its heals in on British fair play, its continental arrogance, even if it seems to make no logical sense. We are slow to get going, but you keep going on like that…

    The truth is Ferrari played a significant part in making F1 what it is, but only a part but there are plenty of others who can take significant slices.

    F1 made F1 great.

    So keep going Luca, just don’t be surprised, or shocked, you get a “Up Yours Delores!”

  33. Peter says:

    I’ve always said that F1 needs Ferrari and vice versa. Ask somebody who isn’t interested in the sport and they will only be able to name one team, Ferrari.

  34. Robert McKay says:

    So to sum up:

    “We’re great and we’ve raced a lot and won a lot and thus if the rules don’t suit us you should change them or we’ll take our toys away and the world will cry its little eyes out.”

    Now, whilst I understand why we’ve reached this situation, and that the Ferrari brand is indeed very strong within F1 (stronger than anyone else), god they don’t half have a high opinion of themselves.

  35. Rob says:

    How come “the fans” are suddenly important and spoken with reverence…. They didn’t know we existed for the last 20 years I have been an F1 fan… Just go to a US Nascar race and see how they treat fans compared to F1 (unless your celerity I guess).

    More importantly… watch a tin top race on the box and see how the audience is treated far better then the crappy F1 broadcasts I have sat thru (Oz was okay – just okay – with the feed from the UK (Murray days) but the US feeds have been generally terrible, although have picked up a bit the last couple of years with Peter Windsor getting more air time.

    I find Kimi’s quote funny… When I was driving for McLaren the red cars were the benchmark… DOH… True with Shu driving and the Brawn team running things it was a good little underfunded team :-)

  36. Mark A says:

    Interesting to read Massa’s comments about it being confusing for the fans, like this year!

    I don’t think it will be confusing as there are only 20-24 cars on the grid and lets be honest everyone knows the teams and therefore which level of parts they have. Additionally, I don’t remember Ferrari complaining and threatening to leave F1 when they, Renault & Lotus all had Turbo’s while the likes of Williams and Tyrrell were running around with DFV’s, there was a huge performance gap between those teams, and the fans accepted it and got on with watching the racing.

    If Ferrari feel they are bigger than F1 then perhaps they should go off and do Sportscar racing, I for one would love to see a Ferrari works team back at Le Mans, and see how F1 survives, which it will, as it’s still the pinacle of motorsport, with or without Ferrari.

  37. jed says:

    Ferrari is a company built around Grand Prix racing. It is said that Ferrari are selling road cars in order for them to afford to race. At the very least that is how Ferrari started. This is where all the passion comes from. Ferrari is a racing company first then secondarily a car company. This is the reason why a whole nation cheer for the red cars at every grand prix. This is the reason why they have accumulated so many fans all over the world. And this is the reason why F1 is what it is now. Losing the only car company established for the sole purpose of going grand prix racing from the sport is a loss that is just too huge for F1 whether or not you are a Ferrari fan.

    The FIA’s objectives with the rule changes are noble. I do not doubt the good faith of Max Moseley in coming up with the said regulations. He has done this also because he loves the sport. It is not easy to be in his position.

    What is objectionable though is the method the FIA used in changing the rules. It sets a dangerous precedent. With the amount of money every team in F1 is spending, each and every team should not be at the total mercy of the FIA when it comes to the making of the technical regulations. The teams should have their say and their say should carry a lot of weight before the FIA makes the rules.

    Thus, apart from the debate on the two tier series and budget caps, I do hope that FOTA and the FIA can come up with a procedure to be followed that allows a well organized way in creating and/or amending the regulations of F1 so that this situation will not happen again. It should not happen again.

    I believe that Ferrari and the FIA love this sport so much that in the end a solution will be reached.

  38. Mooks says:

    James, one thing has occured to me, what do the sponsors of the teams think of the notion, unless the rules change, we’re gone?

    Surely some have multi-year deals, and would inevitably need compensation, IF they aren’t bluffing and do not sign up for 2010.

  39. rcj says:

    I have been a big fan of the FIA’s WRC for years.
    I haven’t watched a single race or followed it at all this year.
    The costs got to be so prohibitive that there are only 2 manufacturers left. Do you know how boring it is to watch the same two cars over and over and over.

    F1 needs variety. It needs a larger number of teams. And sadly, it is in danger of losing several teams in the near future. The sport is just too expensive in these times.

    I suspect the manufacturers will use this issue as an excuse to bolt, something many were probably going to do anyway.

    Also, I have yet to read a reasonable explanation of why a team can’t choose the budget restricted rules. If Ferrari doesn’t want to compete against teams with less restrictions, then choose to cap your budget. Simple.

    If they are worried about job losses, just transfer some of their efforts back to LeMans events.

  40. MartinWR says:

    Simple reason Ferrari won’t accept the budget cap and is stirring up as much trouble as possible, is it can’t hack it unless it spends five times as much as many of the other teams. And they know it. And their trouble stirring is doing the sport a disservice. Their whims have been indulged for far too long, with the inevitable result the think they’re special. I think many people would quietly disagree that they are more important than the sport itself.

    The manufacturer teams are utterly dependant on the teams who spend a fraction of the their budgets. They need them to make themselves look good, create a spurious mystique, and to make up the numbers, because if F1 was fought between the mega-buck teams competing on anywhere near an equal financial footing, there would only be six to eight cars racing. Who would want to watch that? Their vaunted superiority is an illusion, bought by unfettered spending, not in essence by skill and brains.

    Maybe I am in a minority of one, but I’d like to see all the teams start from somewhere near an equal base-line with respect to money. As things are now, F1 is largely a test of who has the biggest purse. The fact is, that hasn’t made the racing one iota more enjoyable, less in fact.

    I do agree that a budget cap will be extremely hard to police, and the thought of the teams policing it themselves is just ever so slightly ludicrous. However it’s a system that can evolve and be developed and improved. But why would Ferrari be so touchy about someone looking at the books? Have their accounts never been audited? What are they so afraid of? Not being able to cheat the cap is the only conclusion I can draw.

  41. sean says:

    Ferrari aren’t the biggest spenders in F1 but they are the biggest brand and one of the most iconic brands in all the world.Over the last 15 years they have built up there car division to such a level that it no longer need’s F1 to sell cars that’s what montezemolo has set out to do and achieved .F1 may carry on but will anyone still be watching they have the “tifosi” the largest fan club in the world.
    Commercially this could be a massive shock to F1 as the revenue derived from sponsors & track right’s will be dramatically slashed no exec is going to pony up with huge amount’s of cash when he already knows that a large chunk of the target demographic will not be watching.This may in turn solve the overspend issue as sponsors ain’t that interested in event’s that don’t have huge appeal which F1 at the moment still has.

  42. sean says:

    “Addition”.with F1 struggling for crowds how are the tracks going to afford to pay bernie’s right’s fees with empty stands.
    The fall out from all this may be bigger than any of us realise.

  43. energiepass says:

    I don´t look it anymore on TV…Too much changes in rules and too much rules at all.

  44. michael c says:

    The majority opinion (rightly too in my opinion) appears to be let Ferrari take their toys home if they dont want to play by the new rules – and that they are not bigger than F1 – and Lotus, Mercedes, Honda, Tyrrell and Brabham all prove this.

    James – as per other comments on this article it would be good to have one of your articles summing up what the changes proposed by Max Moseley are and then we might be more in the picture as to why Ferrari and others have a problem with them and whether the objections are reasonable – or just whether the manufacturers are wishing to continue the ‘arms race’ and flatten the opposition with a bigger budget.

    On the face of it a budget of £40 Million excluding drivers and hospitality should provide quite enough for a good spectacle – which is what F1 ultimately is (and personally I wouldnt like to see the pinnacle of motorsport becoming like Touring Car or Nascar slipstreaming/bumpercar type races) – I dont recall the 70′s and 80′s – with relatively low tech and half the grid on DFV’s being less entertaining than the racing today

  45. Sasquatsch says:

    Ferrari’s claim that they made F1 great is utterly madness. They have no greater part of it than teams as Lotus, Brabham (who remembers those teams nowadays???), McLaren or Williams. They survived difficult times where as teams as Lotus and Brabham did not, but that does not make their contribution any less.

    If one person can make that claim it’s Bernie Ecclestone who in the 70′s and 80′s unified the constructors to take a stand against the FI(S)A and made a professional championship out of what really was a bit amateurish back in the 60′s and 70′s.

    But then they are Italians and react overly emotional as a lot of people seem to do here.

    Formula 1 can live on without Ferrari (or any car manufacturer for that matter) as (apart from Ferrari) they where not there 10 years ago.

    And a breakaway series (as they threatened with before) is not going to happen as both sides know that it will hurt them more than it will gain anything. If a breakaway series occur both that series and F1 will become a fraction of the original series and it will take years to get to the popularity of what F1 is now. You only have to look at the split in CART to see that’s true.

  46. Ben says:

    Ferrari: ‘We made F1 great”/

    No they made F1 boring….next..

  47. LMW says:

    In a recent thread, someone recommended a book on Italians, that was not connected with motorsport, but was a good book nevertheless, which the mod also recommended.

    I can’t find this post, so if anyone can remember the title of the book, or the mod reads this, could you remind me?

    Many thanks

  48. phil c says:

    you cant blame the dominance of a team on the team. You need to blame the puppets that race against them. To say it was budget is crap. Mclaren Toyota all the top teams spend around the same cash.

    Austria was a joke, but no different to hat fangio did, what DC and Mika did in 98. There are hundreds of examples.

  49. Sam says:

    David Coulthard had to let Mikka pass for a few times. Massa had to do the same to Kimi in 2007 and Kimi had to do the same for Massa in 2008 so on…..

    Why that particular team order was worse then others’?

  50. Fastmikey says:

    Some of the worst sporting atocities? Sport is sport, for good and for bad. Good decisions get made and bad ones do too.

    You could say that Mclaren over the last couple of years have made even more of a meal of it – Lewis probably thinks so right now. But in a pressure cooker sport such as this people end up showing their human side – you do not compete to not win and sometimes the need to win trancends everything else.

    Thats the fun of it and that is why you still watch it . . . F1would be a hollow place without this.

  51. Suzy says:

    Each to its own. I think there a lot more people who became Ferrari fans during the Schumacher era than those who got turned down by it for whatever reason (some cite reasons like you, some say they liked their Ferrari to be underdogs etc.). I, for one, think of the “Team Schumacher” as a group of people bound by a very strong passion, determination, hard-workingness and I was very, very impressed by how that Schumacher-Todt-Brawn-Byrne axis operated and how they brought perfection in F1 to a new level.

    As for the original article by James, Ferrari did play a great part in making F1 great, however they did not make it great alone. But I don’t think that’s what the original statment of Ferrari claimed either.

  52. rpaco says:

    Jake you have reminded me of my only Ferrari branded purchase, it was a long time ago in a market in the backstreets of TaiPei. It took nearly ten minutes of haggling. It had the new Testarossa on it, unfortunately the paint was like a solid board and the rest shrank to half it’s size. So let this be a lesson and the rest of you all nip down to Regent Street and get the genuine article.

  53. Andy Fov says:

    £70 Ferrari trainers?

    I’m not being elitist here, I am a grubby commoner – BUT if I was the type of person who’d drive a Ferrari I’m not sure I’d like to see the same label on a pair of trainers worn by the likes of me.

    That said, McLaren tried and failed to launch their own range of high-end audio equipment. They failed (IMO) because there was no affordable entry point for Joe Public. Maybe it is better business to appeal to the masses?

  54. guy says:

    Nice one Kirk – although I thought Kimi was more of a Father Jack (from the father ted series):

    ‘DRINK’!!

  55. Jason C says:

    Comment if the week FTW!

  56. Jason C says:

    That’ll be comment of the week.

  57. Grabyrdy says:

    Fangio ? You thinking of Aintree 55 ? Not proven.

  58. P Jaxon says:

    I didn’t blame anything on the dominance of the team, nor did I say anything about budget. And there’s a MASSIVE difference between drivers allowing their team-mate to overtake of their own volition and being ORDERED to let the ‘Team Number 1′ through (particularly in a non-mathematically necessary scenario). So, none of your points are valid.

    I really believe ferrari’s importance is being way over-estimated at the minute. For a decade before Brawn sorted them out, they were a joke and rarely won anything. Would anyone have been worried if they’d slipped out of the sport then?

  59. Phil c says:

    P Jaxon I mis-interpreted some of you response, however to say the schumi team had a detrimental affect on f1 is crazy. People want to see racing, they dominated and made some distasteful decisions but it was the other teams that didn’t build a fast car. I loved the dominance of one team, and to watch schumi was brilliant. The effect Ferrari has, good or bad, and continues to have on f1 is massive. No matter what track you go to Ferrari has massive support base and their contribution to f1 is massive. Sponsors, tracks, f1 is directly linked with Ferrari. I mentioned this in another thread, Ferrari contribution to f1 is probably equivalent to over 100million viewers world wide. Even Bernie said when schumi retired ratings went down significantly in some instances over 20%. Schumi is directly associated with Ferrari. If Ferrari leaves what would happen to the ratings then, the sport would recover but not to a point if Ferrari was present. I have no doubt all his contracts would be based on viewing numbers, and presence of certain teams and no doubt Ferrari is one of them. Ferrari pulls the big dollars directly and indirectly you cannot deny that, thats why it is a huge risk to f1 if Ferrari leaves.
    Ferrari has made f1 great, not on its own but has contributed significantly more then any other team in f1. F1 as a marketing model works brilliantly but it is the contribution of the f1 teams, especially Ferrari, Mclaren that make f1. The FIA and Bernie don’t attract sponsors and huge dollars. Ferrari, Mclaren…. do that. Will the sport survive if Ferrari leave yes, if the manufactures teams stand firm, all are apart from Merc, f1 will be stuck with a one maybe 2 make series running Mercs or Cosworth engines. No one will build an Engine or Kers system with a 40mil cap. This is not f1 and Bernie knows it.

  60. I was with him until I got to the word “perpetuated.” You’d think the staff writer would at least try to make it sound like the driver actually said it.

  61. Darren M says:

    No, Kimi definitely said that, he’s an an intelligent and articulate young chap, and I greatly appreciate his wisdom on major sporting issues. I also subscribe to his opinions on the meaning of life and his contributions to other contemporary philosophical debates.

    May I take this opportunity to point readers out to a mcomment Kimi made on the inaugral Abu Dhabi GP in a Mubadala advertising feature in September 2008′s F1 Racing, which I find most illuminating:

    ‘…It will be nice to race in the same venue as the very first Ferrari theme park, wearing the logos of two important Abu Dhabi companies like Etihad and Mubadala. The connections are getting stronger and stronger, and it means that, in the long term, we can count on committed and passionate partners.’

    I can categorically state that Kimi Raikkonen DID say this. And pigs can fly.

  62. James Allen says:

    Good question. I know some companies which were invited to Spain and had a great weekend discussing opportunities to sponsor of teams were left a bit confused, not to mention annoyed, when the teams in question announced that they may not enter in 2010!

  63. Northern Munkee says:

    I’ll watching F1 without Ferrari along with all the other motoring racing I watch that doesn’t have Ferrari in it.

    Ferrari get over yourself.

  64. P Jaxon says:

    nah, I used to love them, than I grew to hate them, now I’m kinda indifferent, so if they left I wouldn’t be too bothered.

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