Towards the new F1: Sergio Marchionne puts Ferrari’s cards on the table
Innovation
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Oct 2017   |  6:04 pm GMT  |  116 comments

Sometimes you can see moments of history approaching. As we head towards two important dates for the future shape of the sport – the October 31 future engines meeting and the November 7 teams meeting where the new plan for F1 will be revealed by Liberty Media – there comes the inevitable positioning, led by Ferrari.

This is the first crunch moment in Sergio Marchionne’s tenure at the helm of Ferrari. And as in the past when Enzo Ferrari, or successors Luca di Montezemolo or Jean Todt spoke for the Scuderia – he says essentially that Ferrari is F1 and vice versa but that it won’t write the sport a blank cheque.

Speaking to the Italian edition of Motorsport.com at the Ferrari Mondiali event in Mugello, Marchionne says that if Liberty messes around with the DNA of F1 then Ferrari will no longer be interested in participating.


It’s not just about the money

“I confirmed two obligations [to Liberty at a meeting in Austin last week],” said Marchionne.

“Like them, we want to reduce the costs of F1 which are beyond the limit. And that’s not because of technical choices but because of the way the sport is managed.

“We will do everything to reduce the costs of competing. And that will help the sport.

“But the most important thing: to change the nature of F1 for commercial reasons is a discussion that doesn’t interest Ferrari. We have to be very careful not to take away history from the DNA of this sport; that’s what interests Ferrari.

If these two things are missing, then Ferrari’s interest in staying in F1 will diminish.”

So far in all his pronouncements on F1 leading up to these crunch meetings, where Liberty will reveal their plans for F1 post 2021, CEO Chase Carey has emphasised the importance of getting the costs under control and making the F1 teams sustainable businesses. And he has underlined the value of its history. American sports owners always value history.

But the key will be whether they value the history that Ferrari represents to the tune of $100m a year surplus to what the teams receive in appearance and prize money. Bernie Ecclestone and CVC put that value on Ferrari; Liberty needs to find a way to make Ferrari feel valued but to level the playing field a bit. How they tackle that will be one of the key moves of this coming phase.

“This isn’t a threat,” Marchionne continues. He referenced comments in Gazzetta dello Sport by Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene which some have interpreted as a threat. Marchionne says he will protect Ferrari’s involvement in the sport, “but not at any cost.”

“I’m open for any discussion, but if they want to turn F1 into a nonsense, a shppping channel, then I’m not the slightest bit interested.

“There is a very noble aspect to F1 beyond the things that happen on track; it’s a sport which is truly different from the others and we can’t over commercialise it. If they do that, we are off; no interest.”


The F1 of the future

You don’t need to be an expert in political theory to understand this messaging. Marchionne repeats his core message about the things Ferrari is not interested in. Unusually for the build up to a major meeting, featuring the reveal of a new F1, there has been little gossip about what is on the table from Liberty’s side. That reflects their style and approach. It’s not divide and rule, as in the past, in fact it’s the opposite. They want to try to treat all their ‘family members’ the same, as much as possible.

That’s a bit of a problem for Ferrari and Mercedes, because they feel they bring far more to the table than Sauber or Force India. While Ferrari and Mercedes are well aligned with each other, Red Bull are at odds with them. It will be fascinating to see this play out.

We know that the direction of travel on engines is that they will be based on current 1.6 V6 engine, they will be louder, will be higher revving and that will be achieved by means of a higher fuel allowance, up by as much as 20%. They will be simplified with some components of the hybrid system – such as the MGU-H on the turbo, either dispensed with, or standardised.

But Carey and his team have given little away about what the broader rules package and integration of the cost cap might be. Some top teams have a working assumption that the cost cap will be $150m without driver and senior management salaries of marketing, with a glidepath down to that figure over three years.

The next two weeks will be momentous. Stay tuned.

What do you make of Marchionne’s comments? Leave your own comments in the section below

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116 comments

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1

...we can’t over commercialise it.

Segio, that ship has sailed long before you decided thay Luca was in the way.

2

Sebee, did you not watch the drivers’ introductions at the USGP?!

3

Good point.

I missed that Grand Prix. Had to make do with highlight reel.
Sunny day...it was rip some single track on my bike or watch TV.

Seems I was spared.

4

It may be too early to judge, but so far there is little evidence that these Liberty folks know what they have got into or how F1 should be run. The most conspicuous outcome is a huge escalation in costs: Bernie ran a small office from home, they have rented huge offices in the most expensive parts of several cities to house the army of admin staff they now employ.
Of course, they could be right about all this and skeptics like me very wrong. Let's hope so.

5

Your not wrong. They have no clue.

6

That Bernie ran the sport from a 'small office from home' just goes to show what an absolute farce the sport had become under his and CVC's tenureship. Operated like a tinpot dictatorship. You think that's admirable somehow?

7

Yes, but they bear their own costs. It has zero impact on the teams. And that army of new staff is there to grow the business, so lets give them some time to see how it pans out.

8

Your reply to my reply not appearing.
I did read your comment. You said that Liberty SG&A does not impact the teams. You are wrong. There is a stream of revenue, of which the teams take approximately one-half. Liberty wants to force team budgets down 35% on average through a cap. Coincident with that they will reallocate the revenue stream. They are not going to massively cut costs to the teams and leave them with the same share of the revenue. Liberty SG&A is one of the costs that must be paid for, just like the costs of the teams, producing the world feed, freight, etc. it all matters.

9

@Gary - I'm not sure what you're trying to say. The LM costs are paid from the LM revenue streams. That LM may reduce the payments to the teams is neither here nor there.

10

Huh? It does not have zero impact on the teams. The cost cap will only be implemented with a parallel change in the allocation of revenue. You think Liberty is in the business of transferring all the enterprise value of F1 from Liberty and bond holders to the teams? Think again. The SG&A expenses at Liberty are all part of a single equation.

11

@Gary - read my comment again - I was not referring to the teams cost cap, but rather the increasing headcount at LM's F1 operation.

12

20% more fuel?

What's the point then?

Go back to the 100kg lighter V8 cars with KERS. Every hypercar hybrid has a V8.

Look at the way crowds in London responded when Ricciardo rolled out in the V8 RBR. Even the commentators lost their ability to pedal the PUs after that. You want DNA, that's the last one before this unfortunate mutation.

13

the v8's and 10's would go through 100kg of fuel in 1 stint of a race sebee

14

Agree! F-1is a RACING series and V8s are fully appropriate. Enough of this green idiocy!

15

Sebee, Mate, Leave it alone. V8's have sailed off into history. It is gone. Over and done with. When does nostalgia for something become an obsession?

16

if you allow 20% more fuel flow you can turn up the boost and rev it higher. OK, it won't be 18000rpm but those days are not coming back, yet the V6 made with a louder exhaust, more wastegate chatter and 15000rpm should be pretty good in itself.

17

If you allow 20kg more fuel, you're about 20kg away from what V8s needed.

You're going to have these hybrid PUs just to save 20kg of fuel? Talk about pointless!

And still the engine modes remain - the biggest castration of driver's contribution...ever...these modes!

18

You sure that wasn't just Danny Ric that had them gasping?

19

With a car that sound like that? It's easy to make fans gasp.

20

Thiis not the first time Ferrari have threatened to quit and it won’t be the last . Would F1 be poorer without them ? Yes but how much poorer? Too many teams have gone under because of the high cost arms war sponsored by them. Liberty need to stand up to Ferrari for the good of F1

21

The problems is that manufacturers come and go. They buy a team then try to offload it to the highest bidder. And that's when they just don't simply shut down their operations.

Remember the likes of BMW, Toyota and Honda?

Ferrari brings the stability that an Audi or a Porsche won't ever provide. Same for Mercedes.
Whilst some privateers are financially sound (McLaren and Williams for example) others such as Force India, Haas or Sauber might just shut shop like Super Aguri did ten years ago.

This loyalty to the sport has to be rewarded. It suits everyone.

22

Isn't these privateer shutting up due to the inequality the payment structure is working? Ferrari 100m as a "bonus". Ask Force India what they could to with their 150m budget + another 100m.

I think Ferrari probably needs the F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. Can you image the marketing value for Ferrari if they quit F1? Their exposure will be reduced dramatically.

Whats needs to be rewarded it speed on the track. This "loyalty" is BS in my ears.

23

Rune I agree with you, but if they spend 250 million on F1, they have to shift a lot of 250k cars to cover the cost. I don't know if they do, but the numbers need to add up to make it worth their while! And F1 without Ferrari would be cold 🙁

24

Fair point @Damien_Marquez - however the current situation in F1 with extra bonus money and voting rights is non sense.
Unfair distribution of funds and voting rights has lead teams to shut up shop or close down.
Stability should be the core value the organizers provide to all F1 teams - all that favoring one or two teams results in uncertainty for all other teams and means they easily fall out of love and justification to the purses in the company board members and means the sport then is too scared to offend the highly regarded teams.
Favoring a couple of teams brings instability to all and is unsporting - why would a team want to compete in such a "competition?"

25
Tornillo Amarillo

Bring refuelling back, danger and strategy are part of F1 DNA.
Refuelling shakes the race and it costs nothing.

26

I think it's time refueling came back.

27

It's odd Mercedes think they bring more to the show, if they weren't there we'd likely have seen a better championship battle between Red Bull and Ferrari. And F1 was just find through the 1980s and 1990s without their presence.

And as for Ferrari, I honestly think Liberty should call their bluff. Sure, F1 would miss the scarlet cars, but would survive without them. Funds need to be distributed fairly, Ferrari, if they're so popular, want to exploit that by attracting sponsors and by selling merchandise. Getting £100m just for turning up is simply wrong...

With fairer funding teams like Caterham and Marussia could have developed and grown. They'd have amassed a fan following, and been viable in their own rights. Instead the system as it stands resigns teams like them to be perpetial tail=-end Charlies till the money dries up. That has to change.

28

By fairly, you mean meritocracy right?

So, if F1 were limited to Force India, Williams, Toro Rosso et al duking it out, without Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda - all of which have a storied history - do you think the F1 brand would be as valuable? The revenue pie as rich? Marussia or Caterham would never have the cachet of Mercedes and Ferrari, even with a string of WC's between them.

It may be more exiting prospect to you and hardened fans for a fairer F1 with evenly matched B-teams, but you have to take a much wider view on this - I am sure its not something any of the stakeholders in the sport seriously aspire to.

29

A meritocracy - you get paid on merit for results achieved. But not results achieved 20, 30 or more years ago. €100M just for turning up, no matter how red your car is, is not a meritocracy.

30

@ Mr Banana - That's a narrow definition of meritocracy. From the shareholder perspective, having Ferrari involved is preferable to Caterham, as there is tangible difference in the enterprise value of F1 with and without Ferrari.

31

And Williams don't have a storied history?

32

@Teds - Of course they do, my bad for missing them out. But the wider point still stands - that teams contribute differently to the F1 brand, and like it or not, you cannot compare the cachet of the top tier group and the also-rans such as Caterham.

33

Does Formula 1 use Ferrari brand to boost itself?

34

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

35

Yes they do. All official merchandise stores have 50% of Ferrari items on sale, the other 50% is shared by at least 6 teams. Most web sites that are Formula1 centric (including this one) have red graphics all over the place. 30/40% of TV viewers and spectators are Ferrari followers. Most of the promotional material has a lot of Rosso Corsa in the graphics. When Ferrari is a title contender, which happens at least 2 season out of 3 for the past 30 years, TV shares are higher and there is more attendance at races.
I give you another annedoctal example: in Singapore this year, as soon Vettel and Kimi where out of the race at a lot of the spectators (I could say 15/20%) that where on the grand stands, went for a walk. Someone may argue that it happened because of the rain...

36

Allegro, so the colour red is owned by Ferrari?!

37

Why do I get the impression you posted that reply from a PR office in the vicinity of Maranello? 😉

Ferrari have a huge advantage as it is, their fanbase and strong brand allow them to earn $millions over and above outfits likes Sauber before they've turned a wheel. Giving them a huge slice of cash from the prize fund simply isn't sporting.

Williams have heritage, Torro Rosso would soon become a substitute for Red Bull, and most of Asia would like to see Force India do well.

F1 is ultimately about drivers more than teams. Benneton are largely forgotten, but Schumacher isn't.

38

@AndyFov - I realise it may come across that way, but I assure you I am not a Ferrari apologist on this matter. I wholly endorse the principal that LM need to take responsibility for ensuring that there is a sustainable business model for smaller teams. That probably includes a fairer distribution of revenues.

I'm very partial to seeing the underdog doing well, but being objective, I can not agree that the sport should value the giants such as Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren et al the same way as it values those at the smaller / less successful / smaller fan-base teams. It's a simple reflection of the value that these entities contribute to the sport. The same principle that applies to the pay-scale system we're all familiar with: A senior engineer with 20yrs experience will be more highly compensated than an engineering graduate.

As for the sport being about drivers rather than teams - based on the merchandising and flags at the race events I've been to, I would strongly question your assumption. It may be true of legends such as Schumacher or Hamilton, but as these guys gravitate to top tier teams, its hard to discern where the fan loyalty lies. For the rest of them I suspect the equation is different; I'd venture that at any given race there are more Sauber flags than Ericson hats....

39

The $150m proposed cap will do absolutely nothing too affect the way championships can pan out and is probably still more than quite a few midfield teams can afford . Also I don't often agree with Christian Horner so strongly very often but on this occasion I do as this will be impossible to police to exact numbers unless the FIA employs accountants who can monitor this stuff. Those teams with Manufacturer backing will find some way to still spend as they please.

40

$150m would be a great if they can bring more value to each team, making sponsors more likely to invest in smaller teams. If the teams are getting paid more equally too then that cap should be just fine.

41

You've touched two things here, first that $150m is not enough reduction and second that they wont be able to police the budgets. Well if you a right on the second, then the first doesn't matter, which is why I personally welcome the move to start policing the budget. They have to start somewhere and eventually they might just be able to achieve decent policing level, who knows. And if and when they do, then they can turn they eyes to budget itself, but now with the working tools to manage it.

One thing is certain, Liberty is bound to learn a lot from this.

42

Every other sport has budget caps. Some skirt them...like a player agreeing to get paid less to be on a championship team. But budgets are needed indeed. Not having it perverts the whole show. Using difficulty policing as excuse to not do caps is a mistake as you rightly note.

43

Your obviously not known with soccer. There are no limits or budget caps. The richest team wins. Or as is not uncommon in Spain, the team with the largest debts.
example: one player costing the amount of the total Ferrari spendings and some more:
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-10-most-expensive-soccer-players-in-the-world-to-acquire-2017-06-12

44

This is amazing!
If Liberty continue to help Ferrari as Moseley and Ecclestone have in the past then they will continue in F1?
Incidentally where is the Ecclestone story James?
I want to see where everyone dismisses Ecclestone as a rambling old fool who is no doubt suffering from dimentia.
Which he obviously isn’t, he is just bored!

45

Bernie is yesterday's man and his latest outburst is merely to draw attention to himself.
Im glad James has kept such rubbish out of his site. There is enough Ferrari hate being thrown around here as it is without encouraging more by publishing BE comment's.

46

You think so?

You think the long time leader of F1 saying there "was" collusion is a non-story?

He's only been gone 1 year. He's not talking about something that happened decades ago.

Takes at least 3 yeara to change the culture of a business, and even then the change will be minimal and in both directions.

You don't think that certain outcomes are better for F1 and Liberty than others? And if so, how do they resist the temptation to "manage" those outcomes?

47

The point im trying make Sebee is that Bernie throwing out comments such as the ones he has, without providing any specifics, is BE just making noise.
I doubt we'll ever get them either as surely nothing went on that he wasn't aware of.
As for the management of certain situations you should know by now i have agreed with you on this and believe we have seen it rather recently in F1 and indeed other sports also.

48

Bernie yesterday's statements mentioned at all? You'd figure that would get some mention from Sergio considering who said it and what was said.

Do the statements help things or do they harm things?

Does it belittle Ferrari in F1 and motivate them to stay and prove themselves? Or is there brand damage to both F1 and Ferrari by what Bernie said? Could it motivate Ferrari to leave F1 at all?

If this was done to benefit Ferrari, do things end there? Was it done at cost of others? Was it done for others? What does this all say about the integrity of these organizations? Championships? Wins? ...in this game of give and take.

49

Final verdict...1/4 of the grid gets penalties.

The penalties farce continues with PUs. Can't wait till we have 3 PUs limit in 2018.

50

Guys, just saw this Lewis Hamilton Bose commercial. Are those F1 sounds played PU sounds? Or are those from another F1 engine? 🙂

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OkoctC8b2Xs

51

....wrong link. Those commercials load so fast, one after the other!

This is the one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw5cwnK4ZZk

Those aren't PU sounds at the end, are they?

52

Holy cr*p, who’s site is this? As per usual CB awash with negativity ad infinitum ad nauseum. Ferrari is F1, F1 is Ferrari. Get over it already. What I mean by that is simply that teams like Ferrari, Williams & McLaren are the racing heart & soul of F1. I cannot imagine the series without all of those teams involved. In his own way, Bernie was also the heart & soul of F1. I don’t think it will survive long without him, at least not in a recognisable way. We must also accept that those of us who have been there almost since the beginning have also had our day, and it’s our turn to move over too.

53

Baron, there was a time when people couldn't have imagined F1 without Brabbham and Lotus, but they went, and the sport continued without them. If Ferrari did finally carry out their threat to walk, the sport would carry on . There would be damage in a few markets, but these would recover. Doesn't matter anyway, they aren't going anywhere, the F1 programme is the sole marketing spend for the road car company, and at the moment it costs them nothing.

54

Marchionne must be feeling pretty pleased at the moment with FCA profits up although sales volume is down. The whispers of mergers with the Chinese have subsided though one wonders what would be the ituation if his development merger with GME (Opel) had gone ahead. (With Opel now part of PSA. Ironically still producing the Ovavoo 2 van at Luton in the IBC factory )
So he has may things on his mind apart from F1, which is really just the advetising medium for Ferrari as far ashe is concerned. Som do not like the increased Ferrari production and dilution of the brand's exclusivity.
Liberty have alarmed many of us and I would assume much of the team management, wiiththeir proposal to cut Friday's and have more racing? A direct contradiction one may think, snce Fridays are an essential part of the weekendn when all sorts of development are tested for bot this year and next. The setting up of the car takes a day at least, this is a very much shortened version od the free practice era when a car would be on the track every day between races. (Ususlly with Schumacher at the wheel) And everything could be tried. True, the use of the simulator has, with reasonable correlation to reality, now cut the time required, but still to do with no development time on track is changing the parameters too far.
The increas to 25 races will hugely inflate costs for teams as they will have no option but to doube up all travelling personnel.
They put th enail in the coffin for me by confirming Sky exclusivity or pay to watch after next year, that will be when a lot of us sadly give up, being on fixed incomes and having an aversion to being ripped off.
But we shall see, because much of what they wanrt is really in the domain of the FIA and not the commercial rights lessee.
Oh James you must remember the fuore when the ITV coverage was ditched for Sky, plus a half season share for Channel 4. Remember how Bernie wriggled when reminded that the 100 year agreement guaranteed FTA coverage? At the time he virually admitted that condition existed, but said the higlights covered it.
Liberty are good for F1 in many ways but yet to be judged pn their long term plans.

55

It was BBC that had the rights in 2011 when SKY was announced for 2012, not ITV.

ITV ended in 2008.

56

Welll missed!

57

Get rid of Vettel
Put Ricciardo and Kwept Kimi.
After that sad shunt on Lewis at Mexico.
Shows Vettel is a sad looser.

58

"Some top teams have a working assumption that the cost cap will be $150 without driver and senior management salaries of marketing"

Hoping that should read $150m 🙂

59

150$ - F1 soap box racing anyone 🙂

61

Yeah, don't mess around with our new Ferrari Tire Cutter Wing Option !

62

The thought crossed my mind that wings could be appropriately reenforced for that very purpose.

Note to self RBR...add feature to Max's car.

63

He could do better with reinforced tires to avoid attacks by Ferrari like in singapore or Bottas.(several times this season)

64

James, this is interesting. I think F1 is more of a business/marketing platform. The value of entertainment is questionable. I do not know all the numbers, but I think more people come to watch Moto GP races than F1. I am guessing that the cost of running all teams in Moto GP is less than the budget of a single team in F1. Also, you have a more more spectacular races in moto GP when it comes to racing. The racing aspect of F1 is a very minor element. It is mostly about Politics. It is funny, F1 is all about fuel saving now, but think about many new tracks...they are built thanks to petro dollars.

65

That's pretty concise....for so much truth.

The politics can be fascinating. Just like engineers try to take spotlight away from drivers, so they appear to matter, the ring leaders enjoy the spotlight too. It's an ego trip for them. Maybe they agreed to these quiet PU cars so they could be heard and not be drowned out be the noise? 🙂

Makes you wonder why people watch F1 for the racing, right?

66

I watch both. MotoGP is way more exciting and entertaining than F1.

But... if I had to chose only one to watch over the other, it would be F1 without a doubt. Its like comparing the Premier League to the Chinese Super in football, or a heavyweight fight to a welterweight in boxing. F1 is THE premier exponent in the field of motorsports.

Of course, if the wishes of many fans on this forum come to fruition, and we end up having F1 without Ferrari and Mercedes, then that dynamic could well change....

67
Richard Mortimer

Actually, I don't like this idea that F1 is Ferrari and vice versa! I agree Ferrari is important. But, F1 still had a history when Ferrari were transparent (almost as if they did not exist) - 1965-1973 and 1983-1995. There have been other great and valued teams - Lotus, McLaren and Williams, mainly. It's just that they have been around the whole time, and no other team is like that.

Of course, anyone sensible wants to see Ferrari in F1 (especially when they are winning, like now)! But, I would not be bribed by them and might even call their bluff! Radical? Yes. But, even if they left F1 (which would be a massive decision for them), it's not the end of the world! It would also give other teams a chance to catch up 'historically.'

Think of Mercedes. The perception of them is very high, yet, they have not competed in F1 for more than 10 years in total as a team (including 1954-5)!

68

Scrub Ferrari and Mercedes from next year's entry list, and what do you think the enterprise value of F1 would be, given that the Liberty Media deal valued it at around $8b...?

That is the leverage that they have, and it has nothing to do with historical participation.

69

1) Bernie isn't talking rubbish. You have no proof. He is saying Ferrari are ultra important and that cannot be classed as “hate” as you so childishly put.
2) I think JA is not reporting it for another reason, I don’t have proof but maybe litigation?
😶
It should be reported, it should be debated, as of now it looks like Ferrari are reliant on Mercedes which is actually feasible because of people leaving Mercedes.
It is embarrassing and actually throws everything Ferrari has achieved in the Moseley and Ecclestone years into doubt.
People talk about budget caps...
What’s the point when the Ferrari Mercedes can’t keep up with the Mercedes Mercedes...
It’s pathetic,
Makes Marchionne look really good 😆

70

Don't you mean moving in the other direction? The Ferrari is clearly a fundamentally different car to the Mercedes. You can see that from how the two cars favour very different conditions and circuits. They're not the same car.

71

Yes, to lose Ferrari AND Mercedes would be huge! But then, so it would be to lose Red Bull, McLaren or Renault. Plus, Williams even!

OK, point taken on Liberty Media's value of F1. I realise Ferrari's value to F1. But, Marchionne is taking a risk. My point is, Ferrari is not F1! History proves that. 2000-2004 was the most boring period of the sport, ever! 1974 and 1977 were some of the best. OK, Ferrari were winning then, but so were 6 other teams!

You mention Mercedes, who don't have the history of McLaren, Williams or Lotus, even. So, that bears out your point on historical participation, but, I still don't think they should hold F1 to ransom.

The big problem, at the moment, is the distance from the front to the mid-field! Fortunately, that has been somewhat reduced by Red Bull's upturn in form. But, what chance Force India or Williams joining that group?

72

@RM - Look, I think that one of the few things ALL fans can agree with is that we want to see a more competitive field. But that is really difficult to achieve given the differences between the teams. Even in football - where you essentially have resource parity on the field (11 vs 11) - you would never expect Bolton Wanderers to be the equal of Real Madrid, right? Show me any sport in which the playing field is consistently even, without artificial constructs....? Most sports that I am aware of have had cyclical domination by a hand-full of teams, and there is usually a strong correlation between history + results + fanbase and the team brand value.

The notion that Ferrari IS F1 is clearly nonsense, but likewise it's disingenuous to pretend that Ferrari AND the other top teams do not add that extra "special sauce" to the F1 recipe. Why should that not be recognised?

Marchionne is not holding F1 to ransom - and he was quite explicit that his statements were not to be construed as a threat. In any case he doesn't have the cards to do so. Ferrari have too much invested in F1 (their F1 related infrastructure, resources and know-how cannot easily be re-used in any other theatre, be it commercial or sporting). It would be a brave (reckless?) move to walk away from the sport and put his name to the associated financial write-down.

73

Keep engine performance at 1000bhp and reduce the weight of the cars if possible by at least 50kg.
Get more engine suppliers in.
Share out the money and stop treating Ferrari with special treatment.

74

This isn’t nothing new from Ferrari....they always threaten to leave when new negotiations are coming up.
I would say that Ferrari need F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari imho.
But of course, F1 wouldn’t be the same without Ferrari.

75

It's the annual "Ferrari Crying Wolf" season. Yawn, we've heard it all before. For decades Ferrari have had their pie and huge slices out of the other teams income too. If that wasn't enough, they had the secret Veto, that ensured F1 lost many of the innovations the other teams came up with.

F1 won't miss Ferrari, because Ferrari can't live with F1. LM have to show strength and tell Ferrari to take a hike, we need a new F1 with none of the skullduggery of the previous owner.

76

F1 without ferrari will be all the richer for it. History should not decree you have an unfair financial advantage due to the length of your stay in the sport.... going by this method Notts County would be the richest club in English football! F1 is continually being held to random by these threats from ferrari to quit the sport... call their bluff! Ferrari need f1 more than f1 needs ferrari!

77

Ferrari and Mercedes do bring more to the table. Engine modes not available to their customers

78

Ferrari cant leave F1. They need it and they know it. What else do they do?

79

No, they don't. Their car business is doing amazing and the majority of people buying ferrari road cars don't really give a damn about their F1 success or failure.

80

"Some top teams have a working assumption that the cost cap will be $150 without driver and senior management salaries of marketing, with a glidepath down to that figure over three years."

From three or four hundred million a season to $150 - Somebody better get the bungee cord because that's quite a drop 🙂

81

Yawn....Ferrari threaten to leave the sport if they don't get their own way yet again.....zzzzzzz

82

All those saying that 100M for Ferrari is way too much make me laugh. It is not that Ferrari gets 100M and all the others teams get 0. A part from Haas all the teams get their slice of the pie. Teams like Mercedes, Mc Laren RBR get in the region of 30 to 50 M. So even if they were going to lower Ferrari fee, they will never give them less than 60/70 M. What difference would it makes if those 30/40 millions will be shared by 3/4 teams? not much. For sure Force India or Sauber will not became title contenders with 10 millions more per season.

83

Yes you can yawn because it is not you money on the line, but Liberty Media will stay well awake and listen.

84

I enjoy articles on this site but love the comments.... Where are they?

85

This is all just code for don’t mess with our $100M, or we are out. I’d call him on his bluff. Where is Ferrari going to go? Formula E? What a joke.

86

If it was me, I'd call Ferrari's bluff. Honestly I think F1 would survive (and still thrive) without them. They are the biggest stumbling block to parity in this sport.

I also think manufacturers like Mercedes are a pain too. If they aren't winning then they will just leave the sport.

We need proper teams who have a bit more pure racing spirit, where winning or losing just means that, and not a loss of fizzy drink sales / hyrbid car sales.

87

End cry baby Ferrari's stipend and if they bolt, entice another high end manufacturer to enter; Lamborghini, Aston-Martin, Bugatti, etc.

88

$100 million? Adios, Sergio. Don't let the doorknob hit ya...

89

Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. Sure, Ferrari fanboys will lose interest, but more parity in the sport will attract a new audience.

As a brand and as a part of F1 history I prefer them to stay, but I would not lose interest if they left. I would rather watch a field of Sauber level cars battling it out in intense fights that the current system where only two teams have a shot at the championships.

90

Pretty sure that if Ferrari left F1, a new race series would be developed very quickly by Ferrari. Im sure that would make a lot of current F1 teams think about swapping. They have a draw the other teams just don't have.

91

Please. That's so old hat it stinks. Who would want to join a series started by Ferrari, in which we can be sure, the rules would be designed to guarantee only Ferrari winning it. And besides, Ferrari, rules, Italians, do not usually work well together in any sentence.

92

Good luck to Liberty fighting the piranha club!

93

Liberty/FIA should include $given / point tables to show how effective the teams are. It would be nice to see how much RBR/Merc are given per point vs how much extra Ferrari get for less performance..

And all 3 could look on in awe at Force India at the top of the Fiscal eFficiency Statistics table, ffs

Marchioness's message is clear, despite his cheap swipe at commercialism, 'give us preferential treatment or we won't play'. Same old Ferrari - where will they go I wonder, or will they be offered a 'Ferrari special' glideslope of their own.

94

Super excited for the engine announcement now. I still remember when the V6's were first announced and the comments on this blog were overwhelmingly negative!

The current PU's were a great idea but they've taken a lot of excitement away from the sport. The horsepower to weight ratio of the cars, especially in race trim, is way down on the V8's and much below the V10's and when you combine that with the lack of noise, it's super disappointing. I read a quote in AMuS back in March/April were Toto Wolff claimed that they wanted to match the V10/Moto GP levels of performance vs weight, and that the current ICE's would need about 300 more horsepower to do that, which is quite telling.

The most obvious way of solving the issues behind this PU is to up the fuel flow. More fuel, more rev's and much more power. I want to see drivers like Lewis and Max frightened when they put their foot down on the throttle and the current PU's don't do this. I would expect more fuel flow to lead to much more reliability though? It will be interesting to see how many engines will be used each year, although costs could still be kept low with simplified electrical components.

95

I think the longevity of the engines has been quite a technical feat, especially the Mercedes ones!

However, we do have this silly situation where we have guys who are nursing older engines and running down on power to avoid a penalty. That's not really good for the show...

96

As stated, Ferrari should get a bit extra.
NOT $100 million.
And let's assume for a moment that Ferrari did leave.......really.......where else are they going to advertise their product with F1 's level of exposure.
I suspect FOM know this and Ferrari know they know this and are just scare mongering.
Clearly Sergio seems to think he's still dealing with Bernie.

97

To me the apposite comment in this article was the comparison of future F1 to a 'shopping channel'. We have already witnessed the embarrassing debacle at the opening of events in Austin. The 'razzamatazzification' of F1.
The endless shots of braying fans shaking banners and flags apparently cued by the camera crew are artificial and tedious in the extreme. F1 is losing its mystery and in danger of becoming a reality TV programme populated drivers who appear to only be valued for their 'celebrity' status.
The future under Liberty scares me. But then again perhaps the World turns and the old gits get left behind. I for one am constantly on the cusp of walking away from F1 and no longer plan my weekends around races and after thirty years of never missing a race there are now gaps in my viewing. In fact I have deserted some races before they have even reached half way.
One possible way to cure the current ills is to loosen the reigns a little and move away from the overbearing rules and control so as to allow individuals in design, technological developments and driving skill to rise to the top. Innovation is being stifled by a 'one size fits all' mentality. The cars are almost identical and indeed it has been said that without the individual colour schemes it would be almost impossible to tell them apart.
Perhaps Liberty should reinstate in season testing, do away with the engine/gearbox penalties or at least apply them to the team and not the driver, and bring back some excitement. I am no longer in awe of the drivers wrestling a bucking unpredictable fire breathing thouroughbred machine, but I am bored with the computer game pilots pushing buttons.
Comparisons are regularly made to MotoGP and that along with BSB and WSB is where I go to be impressed by skill and heroism, not F1.
Just my opinion of course.

98

I agree with most of your post, some good points here.
One thing I don't get is your assessment that we are experiencing "The 'razzamatazzification' of F1.".
I would agree with you and find it bothering if it would happen on more places, but _if_done_correctly_, adding to selected few circuits a bit of local flavor, it would only enhance the specific feeling those circuits leave to the fans.
The trouble is for organizers overdoing it and fans overreacting when something is not exactly perfect (as an example they would do well to shorten the driver presentation and to stop using derogatory remarks such as "the torpedo").

99

I find myself on Sergio's side and I did not expect to be saying that. He does not trust Liberty and neither do I. He probably does not believe that a bunch of Johnny-come-latelys should be involved in rule making given that they have goals that will conflict with F1 tradition though some things have already changed beyond what Chapman and Tyrell would recognize. Ironic that Ferrari might now wish to preserve the legacy of the 'Garagistas' as Enzo called them! If I am interpreting his comment about "management of the sport" correctly I don't think that he has a very high opinion of the FIA either and I would be with him on that too! I know he wants to preserver Ferrari's 'special status' and Liberty want to remove it but I think his wider concerns are valid.

100

I think that for the first time since 1950 Ferrari is not the most important consideration for the future prosperity of F1... that honour now lies with the quiet electric cars increasingly prolific in the world's major cities via FE.

101

James, I thought Formula One Management was established because the EU Commission decided that for the FIA to control both the rules and regulations of Formula One and the commercial side was a corrupt structure contrary to EU competition law. Now you and all the other commentators write as though Liberty controls the rules and regulations as well as the commercial side, and your article doesn't mention the FIA, it's just Liberty revealing 'their' plans.
The FIA has many failings, but it isn't as bad as it was under previous leadership and at least it isn't set up with no other aim than to siphon off as much money as possible out of the sport. I don't think F1 supporters should accept Liberty's total control as happily as you seem to be doing.

102

Sorry maybe I missed spelling out a presumed step here - Ross and FIA have been in close discussion all along on this.

Any set of rules will be framed by FIA and they will regulate it.

103

Anyone going to run out and purchase a Renault hybrid after yesterday's debacle? This business of giving F1 cars the technology of the passenger cars of tomorrow is rubbish. What's next from Todt and Liberty - driverless Formula E cars?

104

the question is what will Ferrari be without F1?

Their significance is a bit overstated. What will they do when they don't get their 100 million dollar slice? Go to Le Mans? Which features 1 single main annual event on the calendar?

F1 gives Ferrari week in- week out exposure.

Liberty is in a stronger position. F1 will always be the pinnacle of motor racing, with or without Ferrari.

Formula E is a bigger threat to F1 than Marchionne's words

105

Correct, Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. Ferrari is nothing without F1. If they leave, most of the fans won't care.

106

I agree. I even think Red Bull are much more important for the show, as they bring through exciting drivers.

107

Ferrari does their usual threatening to leave the sport. It's like clockwork. How many times have they done this? They have lost my sympathy over the years.
Furthermore, these statement are ultra vague. what does that mean, "turning F1 into a shopping channel?" What do Ferrari and Mercedes want vs Redbull. Very unclear to me.

108

I don't think F1 will sustain without Ferrari. I'm pretty sure 50% of whole f1 fan base support Ferrari. People either support a specific driver or Ferrari. There is no Merc supporter, fans love Hamilton, and possibly hate Merc. I'm certain, without Ferrari, f1 will die and formula E will gain popularity.

109

Formula E won't gain popularity until it's a good spectacle. It's a nice little gimmicky gateway into the future.

We've had enough negativity based on the sound of the V6's, I think the whirring of electric motors isn't going to stir the passion of most motorsport fans like F1 does.

110

Believe it or not F1 did O.K. even before Ferrari started being a team of interest and, surprisingly, Ferrari managed to win races even before receiving 100m$/year only for showing up.
For this sport to have a stable foundation and Future it is important to make it immune to threats from manufacturers and big teams, as Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull - if we skew the advantages to only a couple of teams those will control the sport and the smaller teams will never have a FAIR chance of competing or winning.
Formula E is a marketing exercise, it has limited future to be a successful sport - for now.

111

Have said it before, but I'll say it again - go back to 1982 spec - 1000 hp engines, sticky tyres , wide body chassis , and the ONLY aero allowed is a single plane front wing ( for advertising space) and a double plane rear wing with nothing allowed on the chassis in between the wheels . Boom Boom.

112

I think all parties need to look at horse racing as an example for the future. The hero horse like American Pharoh ( sp?) for instance. Being able within the confines of a very demanding sport to somehow achieve the impossible goal.
That type of elite spirit will help sustain the sport, going forward.

113

Surely Ferrari race in F1 for FREE: several 100's of $m in prize funds and 'the bonus', + big sponsorships from Marlboro etc. + merch sales.
So leaving F1 ain't going to happen: all those free 100's of $m not washing around senior managers bank accounts accounts and supporting Ferrari-town? It's too good a gravy-train to jump off.

114

James can you please do a survey of your readers and find out how many of them truly feel that the Ferrari mystique is strong enough that they are willing to cave in to Ferrari demands and lose the opportunity to make new rules that will create more competition in F1. I really believe that this whole premise that Ferrari is essential to F1 is outdated. I think many of your readers will say good riddance to Ferrari if the trade off is we will have more exciting engines, have better competition throughout the field, and attract new manufacturers such as Porsche and keep RBR and Torro Rosso in F1.

115

Thanks for the suggestion

116

Someone please dress Sergio. Head of Ferrari in the same scrappy sweater all the time ? Almost as bad as the oversized suites of Chase.

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