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Brawn confident of Ferrari deal

NEWS STORY
08/03/2019

When Formula One celebrates the 1,000th round of its world championship next month in China, other than the fact that many still feel the 11 rounds of the Indianapolis 500 that were included between 1950 and 1960 don't really count and that therefore the 1,000th race should actually be marked in Italy at Monza, there is also the little matter of the 16 races that Ferrari has 'missed' over the years.

While some of these no-shows have been attributed to strikes or whatever, the fact is that the majority were down to team founder, Enzo Ferrari, either showing his unhappiness at something or merely flexing his muscles at the thought of something that might be.

Though it is many, many years since the Scuderia last failed to turn up for a race, the Italian team remains as feisty as ever, and on numerous occasions has threatened not merely to miss a race but to walk away from the sport.

Such a threat is currently hanging over the sport, with the Maranello outfit having made its unease clear in terms of a number of factors.

At a time the sport is clearly looking to standardise more parts, in terms of the cars and engines, a subject on which the team has already made its feelings clear, there is the plan to do away, or certainly seriously reduce, the so-called historic bonuses as well as a more equal redistribution of the prize pot.

Certainly, changes are needed, for it cannot be right that the current system sees Ferrari walk away with more in prize money than the world champions.

Speaking at the screening of the Netflix F1 documentary, the sport's technical boss, Ross Brawn, who was technical boss at Maranello during its last golden era, said he remains confident that his former team will see the light.

"There is too much disparity between the top two or three teams and the rest of the grid," he said. "You have a group of teams that could finish last and still earn more than the team that has won the world championship.

"We have to recognise the importance and history of Ferrari and the unique place it has in the sport," he admitted, "but we also have to find a balance between that recognition and an equitable position for the rest.

"We know that the ones that have got it all want to keep it and the ones that haven't got it want more," he continued. "It's finding a fair balance in how we distribute the revenue. We know that if we have a more equitable distribution of revenue we will have a better F1.

"You are never going to attract new teams when you have such unfair distribution and Ferrari recognise that. They will fight tooth and nail for the best they can but logic will have a fair part in trying to find a solution.

"I'm optimistic, particularly with the management there at Ferrari now," he concluded, a reference to the fact that following the passing of its hard-nosed chairman, Sergio Marchionne, who made the most recent threat to take Ferrari out of F1 following Liberty Media's initial proposals for the restructuring of the rules and prize money, the Italian company is led by the more "approachable" Louis Camilleri.

Asked about Ferrari's championship hopes this year, following a strong performance in pre-season testing, he said: "Sebastian is more than capable of winning the world championship.

"With the calmness the team now have, the car looks good," he continued, "they have every chance this year.

"The team was in a little bit of disarray last year with Sergio passing away and clearly there was friction in the team between Maurizio and Mattia," he added, referring to (then) team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and his successor Mattia Binotto. "It was not an easy environment. If you are going to beat Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes you need to be on top of everything. I feel that this year will be stronger for them."

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1. Posted by GarH, 08/03/2019 15:09

"Ferrari are not a special team. In no other sport do teams who've hung around for a long time receive special treatment, especially a team with a history of blackmail. It's time to tell them to put up or shut up. It's payment by results in future, with a basic and identical payment to every team that races in F1, which is how every other sport works. The Bernie deals need to be ripped up, they have no part in sport or business."

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