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Marchionne hits back at Ecclestone

NEWS STORY
16/12/2015

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne hits back at F1 supremo after his claim that the manufacturer is intent on destroying the sport.

Whilst Ecclestone says he is intent on pushing ahead with plans for an independent engine, and warned of a possible legal challenge to Ferrari's right of veto, the Italian manufacturer has responded - not for the first time - by threatening to leave the sport.

Last week, Ecclestone accused Ferrari and Mercedes of seeking to destroy the sport, the Briton fearful that the engine manufacturers now have too much power.

Having warned of a possible legal battle, throwing down the gauntlet by saying the legendary Italian marque could "leave or go to arbitration" - adding that "if we went to arbitration, we'd win easy" - company president Marchionne has responded.

"Ferrari cannot be put in a corner on its knees and say nothing," he warned, according to BBC Sport.

Referring to the mandate given to Ecclestone and (FIA president) Jean Todt "to make recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in Formula One such as governance, power units and cost reduction", Marchionne admitted that his company has written to the FIA pointing out that it has no legal right to grant the pair such power and that rule-making procedures must be followed.

"It's a choice that we obviously do not share, because we believe that the development of the regulations should be done in a coordinated manner," said the Italian. "This view is also shared by Mercedes and Renault. We spend hundreds of millions of Euros, so we are talking about decisions that should not be taken lightly.

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

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

Whilst he understands the financial issues facing some rival teams, Marchionne insists that "this is something that FOM has to solve; it is not something Ferrari has to solve".

Of the controversial decision to veto plans to cap the price of customer engines, a move described by Max Mosley as "small minded", he said: "We used the veto because the proposal was out of place. The problem of this sport is that the regulator cannot impose conditions on the economic management of the team.

"When we are told that we must make the engine and then sell it for two pounds, from the economic point of view this argument does not stand - because it is going to change the dynamic business that we are managing. The economic conditions by which the Ferrari engine is provided to a customer cannot be established by the F1 Commission."

Finally, clearly going for the 'full house', Marchionne referred to Ecclestone's desire to a V8 naturally aspirated engine formula as "an insult".

"The climate summit in Paris has shown all of us where the path leads," he said. "We cannot ignore a technology that is relevant to production vehicles. In five to 10 years, the majority of all vehicles will be equipped on the road with hybrid technology."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by petes, 18/12/2015 1:17

"@ Ro. You got it right, it is completely ridiculous.......that if what you suggested, Ferrari and Mercedes withdraw, then the F1 race series comes down to three teams. Two with known lame dog power and one of completely unknown performance.
Way to go, can hardly wait......."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 16/12/2015 15:09

"The problem with F1 is Bernie.
More accurately it's that that CVC, incarnated in the ageing used car salesman, believes it should control every aspect of F1.
Bernie, loathe him or despise him, is morphing into an ever more unlovable Arthur Daley, his unquestioning self-belief totally at odds with the chaos and mayhem he creates around him.
The huff, puff and bluster he used to corral Formula 1 twenty years ago is inappropriate and damaging in the modern environment of highly sophisticated technology and Global Megacorps like Mercedes, Renault, Honda and FIAT\Chrysler.
The only "success" he has had recently is in cajoling a variety of undemocratic and largely despotic National Rulers to buy F1 races. He appears to get on well with people like him, whose only interest is self-interest, and whose autocratic tendencies aren't controlled by any wiser heads.

Returning to old-fashioned V engines won't change the fact that whatever is rotten in the state of F1 it isn't the technology. MotoGP, a contrastingly vibrant sport, is managed differently, without arbitrary diktat It is less authoritarian, and more consensual and it shows at the weekends...."

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3. Posted by ryanhellyer, 16/12/2015 10:55

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

Why not? Other series do that, and it usually seems to work perfectly. Engines for a complete Indycar season are around a million Euro's per year. That's insanely cheap in comparison to Formula 1 and they're still trying to drive the price down even further."

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4. Posted by Ro, 16/12/2015 9:10

"This is ridiculous! I am an ardent Ferrari fan, but I just cant fathom why the FIA is pussy-footing around. Who controls the rules??? To allow the competitors to rule is WRONG....F1 would survive without either Mercedes and Ferrari, they would both pull out at a moments notice if F1 wasn't for them. I just want RACING...not a procession and as the rules stand at the moment the engines are what is killing the show..Scalectrix springs to mind...."

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5. Posted by mike, 16/12/2015 5:35

"Who care's what MOST vehicles will have, THIS IS RACING!!!!!!..Do I care if the NHRA Nitro 10000 HP are hybrid? You don't get it, and for the first time I am supporting Ecclestone. We can figure out what manufacture's company has good Hybrids and understand the difference between road and racing engines....Hygrid doesn't belong in racing PERIOD!"

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