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Wolff warns breakaway series is a 'realistic' possibility

NEWS STORY
20/03/2018

While the sport's new owners are anticipating their first full season at the helm, heading to Melbourne with a new logo, new graphics and even a new theme tune, some of the old issues still remain.

Though the pecking order, certainly in the midfield, has yet to be established, off track it is clearly a case of Mercedes and Ferrari versus Red Bull and McLaren.

Though fans are eagerly anticipating the battle for the 2018 title, it is the fight to establish what happens post-2020, when the current Concorde Agreement runs out, that could well dominate the headlines over the months (and years) ahead.

Other than the need to agree on a new engine formula, with Ferrari and Mercedes having already dismissed the initial proposal, F1's new owners are seeking to restructure the way the prize pot is divided, doing away with the bonuses paid to some teams and also seeking to introduce a budget cap.

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has made no secret of his contempt for Liberty's plans, threatening to take the legendary Italian team out of F1, now Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had warned that the Silver Arrows might also seek an alternative.

"The perspective of doing something else is a realistic one," he told the Press Association, "and it could happen if we don't achieve to align our vision.

"Marchionne has a clear vision of what Formula One should represent for Ferrari, which is a purist sport that isn't a shopping channel," he added. "I would strongly encourage all of the sport's stakeholders not to try and provoke him.

"I agree with most of the things Sergio says," admits the Austrian, "because Formula One has a certain DNA and it is a sport that needs to stick to its roots.

"So, don't mess with Sergio Marchionne," he warned. "Formula One needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs Formula One.

"I will give it everything to align the vision among us by seeking consensus and accepting compromise," he concluded.

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1. Posted by bfairey, 25/03/2018 23:11

"Lets talk about a "break away" series. England have two tracks ready to go, Holland needs to do some work as will France where there are several tracks.Germany has two and there is Sweden, Portugal and Spain.Even the Yanks could use Watkins Glenn although at the beginning the break away may like to stay close to home."

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2. Posted by rtw1951, 21/03/2018 16:15

"Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

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3. Posted by nonickname, 21/03/2018 13:06

"Da frog (large tadpole) is da boss!"

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4. Posted by Mugmug, 21/03/2018 10:49

""Formula 1 needs Ferrari more than Ferrari needs Formula 1" says Toto . I believe "The Frog" said the exact opposite just last week. Who Ya gonna believe? "

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5. Posted by nonickname, 21/03/2018 5:33

"Morning Chris, I think that Dietrich Mateschitz would be overjoyed.He could run upfront with less costs and market like crazy. "

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6. Posted by Spindoctor, 20/03/2018 21:59

"I commend Wolfe's sentiments, and I am behind Marchionne's desire to give Lliberty a damn good kick up the ****, but there is a strong whiff of All Mouth & No Trousers about it all.

Formula One has been managed as a cash-generator for at least the last 10 years, allowing a small clique to become very wealthy. On track only the richest teams have any chance of success. In the stands enthusiasm for the "show" diminishes with every half-baked "Branewave" intoduced by this coterie of multimillionaire marketeers.

Respectable Sporting organisations [insert names here] with reputations to protect, and potentially to enhance are losing faith. It's clear to car-makers that an illustriious F1 history was once good for business, but that continuing success (or failure) has little impact if the Road-going product is good enough.

Non-auto-maker teams make-up the numbers, but whilst association with the big boys might add a bit of glamour, it comes at a stunning cost.

In rational, cold, hard economic terms nobody with half a brain would even contemplate participating in F1; but of course they do, and for much the same irrational reasons will likely continue to do so until the corpse finally stops twitching."

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7. Posted by -ape-, 20/03/2018 19:57

"Marchionne is just a puppet with blah blah . Only John Elkann will decide if Ferrari leaves F1"

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8. Posted by Editor, 20/03/2018 19:08

"@ nonickname

Bernie told me a couple of years back that he was convinced that Mercedes wouldn't be around by 2021, and while might not lament Ferrari's departure, one has to wonder how Dietrich Mateschitz would react.

Could F1 stand losing four teams? "

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9. Posted by nonickname, 20/03/2018 19:00

"If both left F1 no one would notice after the hype went away. Ferrari is only a sacred cow to the older generation anyway and Mercedes will leave when their marketing objectives are completed,or the lose. Which ever comes first.
The mid field which would be left gives the closest to 'racing' that we see with the current rules."

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10. Posted by TedS, 20/03/2018 15:42

"It isn't very sporting giving one team more money than others simply due to a name. Prize per result is pure... not what we have now."

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11. Posted by GrahamG, 20/03/2018 15:03

"Some vague signs of sense for the first time in ages. Particularly liked the line about F1 being a sport not a shopping channel, just about sums up the Liberty approach."

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