Todt: Ferrari can leave but I hope they do not

Jean Todt

FIA president Jean Todt accepts that Ferrari deserve higher appearance fees than some of their rival Formula 1 teams, but at the same time the former Ferrari team chief is adamant that the Italian team should decide whether they want to stay in the sport or not.

In an interview with the official F1 website, Todt said, “For me, is it normal that Leonardo DiCaprio gets more money than a TV series actor? Yes, it is normal. That is life. The better you are, the more money you should get.”

But money is not the only issue that perturbs Ferrari big boss Sergio Marchionne, he is more concerned on the direction Formula 1 takes with regards to regulations and the engine formula. Marchionne has threatened to pull his team out of F1 if they are not satisfied with the roadmap for the future.

To which Todt said, “They may leave. Honestly, that is their choice. They are free. I definitely hope they will not leave, but it can always happen. You’ve seen big competitors leaving [and] coming back. But again, it is their choice.”

The Frenchman also admitted that he is not in favour of Ferrari’s veto rule, “The veto was at the time of Enzo Ferrari, and he was isolated in Maranello. That was the only team supplying engines and chassis against other teams that were all powered by Ford.”

“So at this time, it was decided that being away from what is called the silicon valley of motorsport, they needed to have a protection. That is the story about the veto. But personally, I feel now I am not in favour of that. Times have changed.”

With regards to the dissent over the 2021 F1 engine rules, Todt gave insight into how F1 decision making works, “Unfortunately there is a very selective memory. A few months ago we all sat together and we all agreed unanimously on certain adaptations of the engine for the future. So I’m intending that they will respect what they agreed.”

The entire Formula 1 world is waiting for a decision on the way forward, a fact that does not escape Todt, “I’ve been talking with some potential new entrants. They are interested to come in but they want to know what the rules of the game are.”

“I think it’s a fair request and we need to give that as soon as possible. I am optimistic that we will be able to find a solution.”

Amid talk of a breakaway series and threats of a Ferrari pullout, Todt affirmed, “Clearly we don’t want to lose anybody.”