FIA president Jean Todt does not believe that Ferrari threats of leaving the sport are realistic, insisting that Formula 1 means too much for the legendary Italian team while maintaining that the target of the new rules is to create a sport that benefits all teams equally.
Speaking to reporters in Barcelona during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Todt said, “Ferrari is an iconic brand and there are several reasons for this, one of them is because motorsport is very important to them.”
He pointed out, “Ferrari profits from racing and racing profits from them, therefore I am convinced that if we deliver a good formula, they will continue to stay interested.”
“We have to create something that is good for ten teams, not just one. More than 50 percent of the teams have difficulties. That’s not good for the ultimate future of motorsport. That’s why we have to do something about the discrepancy between the teams.”
Over two decades ago Todt engineered Ferrari’s revival, turning it into the championship winning machine it became during the Michael Schumacher glory years.
The Frenchman was F1 general manager at Maranello from 1994 to 2007, but the current management team headed by Sergio Marchionne is a far different beast to the one Todt was familiar with during his tenure at the helm.
The future rules of the sport are currently a hot potato, with two camps emerging – Liberty Media and their supporters in one corner with the Ferrari-Mercedes cabal in the other – posturing and squaring up for an unlikely war, but signalling that some tough negotiations lie ahead.
Todt, who knows what is at stake, explained, “We have to write the rules in such a way that we keep the entertainment high, but above all minimize many of the unnecessary costs. We want to make things simpler. With the engine regulations, we are already well on the way.”
The FIA chief concluded by confirming that arousing the interest of new manufacturers and attracting them to compete in Formula 1 remains a top priority.
Big Question: How important is Formula 1 for Ferrari and vice-versa?