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Ferrari hopes to retain right of veto

NEWS STORY
11/05/2019

Earlier this week, amidst claims that Toto Wolff is being lined up to replace Chase Carey as F1 supremo when the American's contract comes to an end next year, it was helpfully pointed out that in addition to the various rights and bonuses given to it over the years, Ferrari has the right of veto over a number of aspects of the sport, including the appointment of a chief executive officer.

Indeed, the prospectus for the planned flotation of F1 on the Singapore stock market in 2012 reveals that F1 "must obtain the written consent of Ferrari prior to the appointment of any person as our chief executive officer if within the past five years, he or she has held a senior executive office or an ownership interest of 5% or more in any Team or automobile manufacturer which either owns more than a 5% interest in a Team or is a supplier of engines to a Team".

Naturally, the appointment of Wolff, boss of Mercedes, which has dominated the hybrid formula since it was introduced in 2014, and could well have secured a run of seven consecutive driver and team titles by the time he replaces Carey, is likely to have Ferrari crying "foul".

Along with the right to veto the appointment, Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri has a seat on the board of the sport's parent company Formula One Topco, along with the right "to sit on the Audit and Ethics and Nomination Committees and any standing or ad hoc committees of the Company established to monitor the strategic development of the Group's business. The Longest Standing Team's Team Director will also have influence in relation to the removal or appointment of the Group's chief executive by virtue of him being a member of the Nomination Committee."

The nomination committee has at least three members and decisions are decided by a majority of votes, which gives Camilleri a significant amount of influence.

In addition, other than the hugely favourable financial package which guarantees Ferrari $100m a year before even turning a wheel, there is the right to "veto any change to the regulations already announced or introduced (subject to certain exceptions)."

As negotiations over the new rules and regulations for the sport post-2020 continue, it has already been made clear that along with a budget cap and a more equal division of the prize pot, F1 is seeking to scrap some of the various bonuses agreed with the teams, and while this might 'only' see Ferrari guaranteed around $50m a year, there is also the question of the team's mighty right of veto.

With the admission that the 2021 regulation talks still witness a number of sizeable elephants in the room, it is clear that Ferrari, which has already made clear its stance on the proposed changes to the financial side of things, along with moves which might compromise F1's DNA, will not give up its right of veto easily.

Asked in Barcelona how important is it to Ferrari to retain this veto right after 2020, and whether it is a sticking point in negotiations or whether the Italian team was willing to forfeit it, team boss Mattia Binotto was in no doubt.

"The veto right is something important for Ferrari," he said, "but I believe it's something important for F1 overall as well because somehow it's not only protecting us but it's protecting all the teams maybe against some decisions which could be against the spirit or the interest of the teams themselves, something that we are starting discussing with both the FIA and F1.

"I think we are doing well in that respect," he added, "and hopefully we can keep the same rights.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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1. Posted by bfairey, 11/05/2019 11:28

"WHY????"

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