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Marchionne "encouraged by engine talks

NEWS STORY
04/05/2018

In reaction to F1's initials proposals for the engine formula from 2021, the Ferrari president's reaction was swift, threatening to take the Italian team out of the sport.

Unhappy with plans to use more standard parts, Marchionne also made it clear that Ferrari, which remains the only manufacturer still in the sport since it began in 1950, would not tolerate plans to simplify engines claiming that this was interfering with the sport's DNA. He subsequently made the threat to take Ferrari out of F1 to a breakaway series.

However, further proposals put to the teams in Bahrain appear to have gone down well, and while Marchionne's first reaction was to insist that his treat to take the company out of F1 remained, talking to analysts in a post-results conference call yesterday, he admitted to being encouraged.

"I'm encouraged by the change in the attitude that we are seeing from Liberty in terms of the extent of the changes that they're forecasting in 2021," he said.

"Probably the biggest indication has been the recognition of the fact that the engine regulations need to reflect sort of the nature of the sport. And we can't really dumb down engine development just to accommodate new entries, right?

"So the stuff that's on the table now is potentially workable as a system. The economics are not," he added, a reference to the main stumbling block, money. "I think that's something that we need to go back to Liberty with."

Aside from the engine rules, from 2021, in its bid to level the playing field, F1 is seeking to impose a budget cap of around $150m. At the same time the prize pot will be divided more evenly and Ferrari's historic bonus would be slashed by 50%.

Admitting that the budget cap discussions are "more encompassing in nature than just dealing with engine development", Marchionne said he did see the sense in reviewing some of the spending, particularly that related to aerodynamics.

"The important thing for us is that we don't touch the nature of the technical development of the powertrains because that is at the heart of what Ferrari does for a living," he said.

"We need to continue to work with Liberty with the commercial rights holders and with the FIA to try and bring about a sensible equilibrium. If we can't, as I said before, we'll just pull out.

"But we're not there today. We owe the sport a phenomenal effort to try and bring about closure of these items. We'll try and get that done before the end of this year."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Lapps, 04/05/2018 14:22

"Ferrari, Merc, Red Bull, Williams please set up a new series anyway. We need to get our Sport back from these marketing/showbiz focused philistines. Please!"

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2. Posted by bfairey, 04/05/2018 12:48

"So what are the engine rules for 2021?"

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