Ferrari to look beyond Formula One after 2020

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Ferrari

Bengaluru, November 3: Ferrari, which is invariably the heart and soul of Formula One has reportedly threatened to quit the sport if the sport's new owners have their own which will contradict the Italian sportscar maker's interests.

F1 has been under new ownership since January with US-based Liberty Media taking over the commercial rights and ousting the former supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Liberty has been pushing for a level-playing field and rebalance revenues once the current agreement with teams expires at the end of 2020.

Proposals for a new, cheaper and simpler engine were presented in Paris last week and there is another meeting of the sport's Strategy Group on November 7 to discuss other changes.

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said that while he supported cost-cutting, there were other strategic issues under discussion that could force Ferrari to consider racing elsewhere.

"F1 has been part of our DNA since the day we were born," he said.

"But if we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognizable sandbox, I don't want to play anymore."

Asked how he would feel about being the chief executive who led Ferrari away from F1, Marchionne replied, "Like a million bucks because I'll be working on an alternative strategy to try and replace it. More rational one, too," he added.

Marchionne said Ferrari and Liberty appeared to be "somewhat at odds in terms of the strategic development" after 2020.

"I think you need to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances, the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand in the marketplace and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play," he said.

Marchionne said, however, that he would not pre-judge anything.

"We're walking into this meeting next Tuesday with the best of intentions, we'll see where it takes us," he said.

"I'm attending those meetings on strategy because it's important, because it matters a lot to this business," added Marchionne.

Story first published: Friday, November 3, 2017, 15:56 [IST]
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