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Sergio Marchionne, Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone: Ferrari quit threat very real

Sergio Marchionne, Bernie Ecclestone

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone no longer attends all the grand prix races, but it has not stopped him from lobbing a grenade for arguments sake into the paddock – the most recent one being that Ferrari have received preferential treatment over the years.

Now in response to Sergio Marchionne’s threats to leave the sport, if engine rules dilute the sport and do not meet the Italian team’s vision, Ecclestone warns that the new bout of threats should be taken seriously.

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Ecclestone told The Independent, “If they can’t win, they will put forward new regulations. If the regulations come out where Ferrari think it is going to be a struggle and they can’t support the money then they will leave.”

“They don’t want budget caps and all that. They want to spend what they can afford to spend and I’ve always said the same thing. If people can’t spend they have to go. If there are then only three or four teams something would have to be done but until that actually happens nobody is going to do anything. All the teams that say they can’t afford it shouldn’t put an entry in,” added Ecclestone.

Recently Marchionne declared, “Formula 1 has been part of our DNA since the day we were born but if we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognisable sandbox, I don’t want to play anymore.”

Asked how he would feel to be remembered as the man who pulled the plug on Ferrari in F1, he replied, “Like a million bucks because I’ll be working on an alternative strategy to try and replace it. More rational one, too.”

Big Question: Will Ferrari leave Formula 1 any time soon?