F1: MercedesAMG Urges F1 to take Ferrari’s ‘quit threat’ Seriously
The Big Q: Does F1 need Ferrari more than the Maranello outfit needs F1?
The Big A: It’s difficult to imagine a F1 without Ferrari.
MercedesAMG’s boss Toto Wolff says F1 risks playing with fire if it does not take Ferrari’s threat to quit the sport seriously.
Ferrari is unimpressed with the blueprint for the post-2021 engine regulations put forward by F1. And it said it would leave the sport if the proposal remained unchanged.
Since then, Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne has insisted he is serious, although FIA president Jean Todt last week said F1 should not stand in the way if his former team was serious about leaving.
Despite being rivals on the race track, Mr. Wolff says MercedesAMG and F1 would be worse off if Ferrari was not on the Grid.
“My message is do not mess with Sergio Marchionne,” Mr. Wolff is quoted as saying . “F1 needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs F1.
“He’s a business man, the bottom line matters and if he believes that F1 does not give Ferrari any benefit any more he will walk. He needs to be taken seriously and, if I were others, I would not try to pose against him. That could be a bad outcome for F1 and all involved.”
The future of MercedesAMG in F1 is also not certain.
The German manufacturer is entering Formula E for the 2019/20 season and has also voiced concerns over the regulations F1 bosses want to introduce for the next cycle.
Mr. Wolff says the next 12 months of negotiations will be crucial in determining whether his team, which is going for a 5th consecutive world title in Y 2018, will still be a competitor in the next decade.
“We will be racing in whatever is the most successful race series. “F1 is absolutely the pinnacle of motor-racing and it’s a very resilient race series.
“The new owners have been in the sport for a year, we have to give them support and we have to promote F1. It’s our joint platform so we need to keep it great.
“For the next years we are part of the F1 show and we shall give it all to make it a good show, that’s my first priority. What happens thereafter we will judge in 12 months whether we like what we get.”
Coverage of F1 in the US will return to ESPN this year and begins at Melbourne’s Albert Park with the Australian Grand Prix.
Full programming details below
Note: All times Eastern Daylight Time
Rolex Australian Grand Prix
Practice 1 – Thursday, 22 March, 9:00p – ESPN3
Practice 2 – Friday, 23 March, 1:00p – ESPN3
Practice 3 – Friday, 23 March, 10:00p – ESPNEWS
Qualifying – Saturday, 24 March, 2:00a – ESPN2
Race – Sunday, 25 March, 1:00a – ESPN2
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