Sergio Marchionne has insisted he has not been bluffing about the threats to pull Scuderia Ferrari out of Formula 1 if future regulations are not favourable to the Maranello-based outfit.
The President of Ferrari has made it clear that the threats are serious, and those who doubt the legitimacy of those threats are ‘playing with fire’, and Marchionne will pull the plug on the Formula 1 programme should the regulations in Formula 1 not be to their liking.
“Some people say that our threat about the 2020/2021 regulations is a bluff, but they’re playing with fire,” said Marchionne at Ferrari’s pre-Christmas media dinner on Monday. “The situation has changed since 2015.
“Starting from that moment, everyone knows that if we threaten to do something, we do it. One of the greatest advantages is that the current Concorde Agreement [between teams and F1] is very different from previous ones and ensures a greater contractual freedom, even during the agreement with Liberty Media.
“The previous contract made it impossible for the team to evaluate an alternative outside of the circus. Now we can analyse the possibility to create something similar to Formula 1 in terms of a show.”
Marchionne has not ruled out the possibility of Ferrari joining or creating an alternative championship should things not go to plan, although he admits he would prefer to avoid this scenario as much as possible and continue in Formula 1.
“There is the possibility to create an alternative championship from 2020/2021,” said Marchionne. “We can’t ignore this possibility, but I prefer avoid it if we can.
“I would like to continue with Formula 1, but we have to find compromises that don’t leave Ferrari without the possibility of showing its DNA in every race.
“If we can’t find that, then Ferrari has to go away. If Ferrari can pull out other teams, we have to see it from an economical point of view, but I think that we are able to do it.”