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Ecclestone: Ferrari isn't bluffing

NEWS STORY
25/02/2018

Bernie Ecclestone 'fears' Sergio Marchionne could follow through on his threat and take Ferrari out of F1 for breakaway series.

In fact, that line is somewhat misleading, for in many ways the thought of Ferrari quitting the sport and heading off to a rival series would have Bernie as eager and enthusiastic as Harvey Weinstein ahead of an audition.

Having spent years trying to hold F1 together, with the Maranello outfit usually at the core of whatever issue threatened the sport, few doubt the former supremo would find it hard to conceal his delight should it fall apart under its new ownership.

In the wake of Sergio Marchionne's threat to take Ferrari out of F1 and head to a breakaway series in a row that is superficially about the (2021) engine rules but actually more about Liberty's plans for a radical overhaul of the prize money allocation, Ecclestone warns that the company's president isn't bluffing.

"Some people have a new series in mind," he said. "Sergio has spoken to people about it. If he decided to leave, he would leave. If the FIA don’t do what he thinks is right, and what would benefit Ferrari, he would go.

"No promoter would be happy to see Ferrari leave," he continued. "They would join Ferrari immediately if a new series started with the same elements as now but was cheaper for the racetracks.

"The bottom line is simple," he insists, "Formula One is Ferrari and Ferrari is Formula One. Go anywhere in the world and they don’t think about Ferrari road cars; it is Formula One. I would hate to see Formula One without Ferrari."

However, as we state elsewhere, it would never occur to Bernie to start his own series, far less would he have the nous to effectively use the media to send out an invite to other potential entrants and race promoters.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 05/03/2018 15:58

"The teams that could join Bernie/Ferrari could run both series and then decide what they want to do after a season or two. V10's, refueling, more distinctive cars, more sex appeal... Would be easy to make something that is more fan-centric than where F1 is headed. FIA have been a thorn for F1 for a long time."

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2. Posted by Toffeecup0, 04/03/2018 10:35

"I agree with nick saint definitely anyway who needs Ferrari lots of other great teams I would not miss them."

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3. Posted by V10s4Me, 26/02/2018 12:12

"If they start a new series then they can run the V10's again :)"

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4. Posted by george, 26/02/2018 10:33

"Mr Ecclestone has also enough pull over Williams and McLaren to follow the new series, where of course, he will play his role. "

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5. Posted by george, 26/02/2018 10:31

"Gentlemen,
First Mr Ecclestone has never been the same Mr Ecclestone than he is now. And a breakaway f1 series would take us back to real F1 racing. For one, Sauber would go along, Mr Marchionne would bring back Alfa Romeo, and with some promises probably Force India and Red Bull /Toro Rosso would follow, Liberty Media would not have anything left, so Haas might join as well and Mercedes would redraw all together for FE. The only way we are going to get racing back is for the breakaway series to happen."

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6. Posted by bfairey, 25/02/2018 21:45

"A breakway series of what? Ferrari??"

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7. Posted by GrahamG, 25/02/2018 19:58

"Easy way out for Ferrari - full house return to sports car racing. More credible and more interesting by far than the F1 circus act and much more relevant to their product. I would guess that far more Ferrari customers are interested in sports car racing than are interested in (or bored by) F1"

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8. Posted by NickSaint, 25/02/2018 16:15

"Bernie has turned into an annoying gnat!"

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