Ferrari Threatens to Pull out of Formula 1


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Since Formula 1’s inaugural season in 1950, Ferrari has won 227 races, 16 constructors’ championships, and 15 drivers’ titles. But if it can’t come to an agreement with the new owners, Liberty Media, it may pull out of the sport.

NBC Sports reports that CEO Sergio Marchionne said Tuesday that Ferrari will withdraw from F1 if it doesn’t like the changes Liberty Media makes to the rules for 2021. Most likely, the prancing horse brand wants to preserve the $100 million bonus it gets every year for staying in the sport. Since Liberty Media completed its takeover, rumors have been swirling that it would try to level the playing field by eliminating that Ferrari-specific payout.

“I understand that Liberty may have taken this into account in coming up with their views, but I think it needs to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand, and the marketplace, and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play,” said Marchionne.

That doesn’t mean he’s already decided to quit F1, though. According to Marchionne, he still intends to keep an open mind. “I don’t want to prejudge any of this,” he said. “We’re walking into this meeting next Tuesday with the best of intentions, we’ll see where it takes us.”

Marchionne also said that pulling out would be “totally beneficial to the profit and loss,” and that if he did so, the board would be “celebrating here until the cows come home.” When asked how he would feel being the CEO who pulled Ferrari out of F1 for the first time in 70 years, Marchionne said, “Like a million bucks, because I’d be working on an alternative strategy to try and replace it. A more rational one, too.” What that alternative strategy would be, however, isn’t entirely clear.

The financial implications of the wrong choice for the moment going forward are pretty significant to Ferrari,” he concluded. 

Source: NBC Sports

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