Ferrari threaten to quit F1 in 2021 over engine regulations

By @saihoops on
Scuderia Ferrari, Formula One
Formula One - F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 25, 2017. Ferrari's Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany getting back to the pit lane. Reuters / Ahmed Jadallah

Scuderia Ferrari has threatened to quit Formula One over the proposed technological changes starting 2020. Chairman Sergio Marchionne has said that the post-2020 "divorce" could result in Ferrari breaking away from the FIA and switching to a rival motorsport championship.

Ferrari has strongly opposed plans to simplify F1 engine technology and introduce standard parts from the 2021 Formula One season. “We are not bluffing and I would not try to test the theory. If they continue on the path of wanting to turn F1 into NASCAR, with cars all the same, there could be a divorce. If they decide to make us all the same we will go in three seconds, but that’s not what we want," Marchionne told the Italian media on Tuesday, via Sky Sports.

During his annual media Christmas lunch, Marchionne also criticised former Ferrari boss Ross Brawn for introducing new rules that go against the “DNA of Formula 1.” Brawn, who currently serves as Managing Director of Motorsports for F1, was part of Ferrari during Michael Schumacher's dominant years. 

Could Ferrari start alternative championship?

“The conditions for thinking about an alternative championship from 2021 would be there, but, I repeat, that’s not our goal. The thing that most annoys me is that there is an experienced man like Ross Brawn there who is looking for ways that go against the DNA of Formula 1,” the Ferrari chief added.

Ferrari F1, the only team to compete in the sport since the inaugural World Championship in 1950, has vehemently opposed engine proposals put forward by Liberty Media and the FIA. 

With Mercedes F1 and Renaul also expressing concerns over the proposed changes, Marchionne believes the FIA should try to improve the racing experience for viewers instead of cutting costs. “You could work more on the show, perhaps a better choice of circuits, using more DRS, generating more uncertainty, unpredictability and overtaking,” he said. 

The 2018 Formula One season will get underway with the Australian Grand Prix on March 25. Ferrari will launch its 2018 car on Feb. 22, four days ahead of the first pre-season test in Barcelona. During the 2017 Formula One season, Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel made a valiant run at the World Championship but finished second to Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.