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Marchionne remains hopeful of agreement with Liberty

NEWS STORY
07/03/2018

Having already warned that Ferrari would look outside F1 for its main racing fix should a compromise not be reached in terms of the engine rules post-2020, the big row over money has yet to come.

Attending the Geneva Motor Show, at a time his team is preparing to go head-to-head with Mercedes and Red Bull once again, Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne was asked if he is still considering taking the Italian team out of F1.

"I went to law school," he told the assembled media, according to Road & Track. "Somebody taught me there are some questions you should never answer, like 'did you stop beating your spouse?' Whether you say 'yes I have' or 'no I haven't,' you just can't win the argument.

"I don't know how to answer your question," he continued. "I never announced I was quitting. I said if we cannot reconcile our differences, we will leave.

"We're not in a position today to say that we have exhausted all discussions," he admitted. "We have been in a dialog with Liberty. I am hopeful that, by the end of this year, we will have found a way to go forward beyond 2020. If not, you'll know by 2019. By then, the clock will have run out, and we will have been looking at alternative ways of satisfying Ferrari's racing instincts. I hope it doesn't get there."

Asked what he feels Liberty can bring to the table, he said: "We want a clear protection of the DNA of this sport. We do not want it to be diluted by commercial and entertainment factors.

"We are engaged in the technical side, while I believe Liberty does not understand a thing about this. So let us work. But if one competitor cannot be distinguished from the next, if Ferrari cannot stand out from Mercedes, then we'll do something else."

Asked if he felt the sport was better under the 'previous management', he smiled and said: "Liberty's commercial commitment is very serious, but Bernie had a unique strength, he was not going to interfere in the technical choice."

Should Ferrari not be able to reach agreement, the Italian team would not be following Mercedes to Formula E any time soon: "It's too funny to watch on TV with all those car changes," said Marchionne. "For Alfa Romeo, we thought about it but we're not ready to talk about it. I do not think the technology is suitable."

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1. Posted by Anthony, 07/03/2018 18:01

"“Too funny to watch with all those car changes” but hasn’t the battery technology moved on so that the cars will now last the full distance? Future developments will improve things further. It’s only a matter of time before Formula e moves away from street circuits to “proper circuits” and then it could well start to challenge F1, particularly of Liberty decide to put more street circuits on the calendar. "

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