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Ferrari threatens to quit F1... again

NEWS STORY
23/04/2020

The titles might be a distant memory, the dominance a fading dream, but if there is one constant in Ferrari's long history in Formula One, it is the Italian marque's endless threats to quit should things not go its way.

At a time the sport is, according to Ross Brawn, facing "collapse", and the future of a number of teams in serious doubt, Ferrari is once again throwing its toys out of the prime, this time over the pending budget cap.

Though the Maranello-based outfit is fully aware that the sport as it is is not sustainable and spending has to be curbed - and that was before the coronavirus pandemic - it insists that a 'one size fits all' budget cap is neither fair nor workable.

Like Red Bull, Ferrari believes there should be a two-tier cap, one for the bigger teams as they often develop components for their rivals, and another for the smaller teams.

Using that old chestnut, the sport's DNA, Mattia Binotto has warned that if F1 persists with the current plan of imposing an across the board cap, and especially if it gives in to the likes of McLaren and reduces it to $100m - having initially planned a $175m cap - the Italian team will have to consider its future in the sport.

"The $145m level is already a new and demanding request compared to what was set out last June," he tells the Guardian. "It cannot be attained without further significant sacrifices, especially in terms of our human resources.

"If it was to get even lower, we would not want to be put in a position of having to look at other further options for deploying our racing DNA.

"In F1, we have all sorts of teams with different characteristics," he continued. "They operate in different countries, under different legislation and with their own ways of working. Therefore it is not simple and straightforward to make structural changes simply by cutting costs in a linear fashion.

"We are well aware that F1 and indeed the whole world right now is going through a particularly difficult time because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this is not the time to react in a hurry as there's a risk of making decisions on the back of this emergency without clearly evaluating all the consequences.

"F1 has to be the pinnacle of motor sport in terms of technology and performance," he insists. "It must be attractive for the car manufacturers and the sponsors who want to be linked to this most prestigious category. If we restrict costs excessively then we run the risk of reducing the level considerably, bringing it ever closer to the lower formulae.

At a time it has been revealed that in the UK alone, the cap could lead to almost 1,600 lost jobs, Binotto says Ferrari has an "ethical duty" to avoid significant job losses. "One should not forget that companies play a role in the social fabric of a nation," he says. "They are not just there to make a profit."

Despite Ferrari's fears over the sport's DNA however, Binotto is supportive of Christian Horner's proposal that the likes of the Italian team, Red Bull and Mercedes - which has been uncharacteristically quiet of late - should supply customer cars to its smaller rivals.

"If the current emergency really put the existence of some of our competitors in this sport in doubt and made it necessary to revise certain cornerstones, then Ferrari would be open to it," he says. "It's not even sacrilegious, given it's happened before in F1 and happens today in series such as MotoGP."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Cobra Driver, 25/04/2020 16:20

"Formula One "needs" Ferrari like the world needs another pandemic. Talk about self-important claptrap."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by The Canadian, 24/04/2020 15:17

"I would hate to break this to Ferrari, BUT... the E-races held online lately with F-1 drivers and evenly matched cars have been MUCH more entertaining than almost every F1 race I can recall in the last 10 years at least.
I say, Show Ferrari the door if that's what they want, introduce rules to level the playing field and let's have fun. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Jezzer, 23/04/2020 17:44

"Bye then.....don’t slam the door on the way out "

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Tardis40, 23/04/2020 17:35

"The sport has become ridiculously expensive because of the rules. Go back to a simple formula and do away with these silly power units.
"

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5. Posted by Lakota, 23/04/2020 13:00

"Quit touting that your the grandest did of all. With the K
" Keystone Cop" blunders you've made the last few years . You need to sit back and chill "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Italian Job, 23/04/2020 11:44

"Maybe it's time for F1 and FIA (?) to call Ferrari's bluff.
Yes, Ferrari are a grandee team with many years of history;
yes, they would forfeit their automatic bung each year;
yes, they supply components to other teams;
yes, another concern (such as VW/Porsche/Audi, Cosworth, maybe even Ricardo?) could be persuaded (for less than the bung?) to design and produce alternatives to the Ferrari components which would then be used by those teams on commercial terms.
It's so simple that I must have missed something?"

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Steve W, 23/04/2020 11:09

"I don't know what the answer is, but I for one don't really want a global version of IndyCar..."

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8. Posted by Wokingchap, 23/04/2020 10:54

"With their extensive expertise and long running reputation for cheating, and the fact that the budget cap is 'self policing', what on earth are they moaning about? Absolutely no problem for a team of such experts."

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9. Posted by Fambank, 23/04/2020 10:49

"A team that is a repeat offender regarding cheating, speaking about an "ethical duty"

Does it get any richer than this ? "

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10. Posted by yakker, 23/04/2020 9:10

"Let me get this right Binotto says Ferrari has an "ethical duty" to avoid significant job losses.
Then using this argument to not have a financial cap that he says would cost jobs, but if there was a cap introduced Ferrari would quit F1. Would this not cost even more jobs?

"

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11. Posted by nnails, 23/04/2020 8:45

"DNA of f1 as already been damaged with drs and tyres designed to last 15 laps"

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