Formula 1

Ecclestone should fund ‘budget’ engine in F1 – Marchionne

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Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne believes manufacturers of Formula 1 engines would be prepared to develop a power unit for rivals, but insists Bernie Ecclestone‘s Formula One Management (FOM) organisation should finance it.

Manufacturers have until this Friday to come up with a range of proposals to address engine concerns and submit them to the FIA. Following the decision to find an alternative, most cost effective engine for independent teams to ease their financial burden.

“If you go to Mercedes and you tell them ‘please give us a group of engineers to develop in a parallel mode a different engine, different to that of Mercedes that is compliant with the F1 rules and that costs a certain amount’ then I think FOM should cover that amount of money,” said Marchionne during Ferrari’s Christmas media briefing.

“Ferrari is available to join a project where we could develop power units. We would also consider sharing our technology but we should not be the only one. The development commitments should be shared with the other teams having the power units and of course that should be done in economic terms.”

Marchionne believes it would be “inappropriate” to ask engine manufacturers to spend money developing a new engine formula then to dictate how much they can charge; previously they have been asked to reduce the price of customer engines.

“Ferrari spends a lot of money in F1 and this has a great impact on the brands and development on a lot of our commercial activities that do not have a lot to do with F1,” he said. “It costs a lot of money. This is also expensive for Mercedes. It seems the only winner is Bernie.

“Those who are managing the commercial rights should take their responsibility. We also have a responsibility but it’s different. A change in the rules, imposing obligations on Ferrari or Mercedes, is absolutely inappropriate.”

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