Formula 1 and the FIA announced on April 20th that they had assembled a vision of what the regulations could look like regarding the engine formula for 2021. You’ll recall that Ferrari boss, Sergio Marchionne, had said previously that he was not in favor of standardization and a reverse in powertrain technology. If F1 headed down that road, to appeal to potential entrants, Ferrari would leave the sport.
It seems those announcements on the 20th were met with s modicum of optimism from Marchionne as he said:
“I’m encouraged by the change in the attitude that we are seeing from Liberty in terms of the extent of the changes that they’re forecasting in 2021,” he said.
“Probably the biggest indication has been the recognition of the fact that the engine regulations need to reflect sort of the nature of the sport. And we can’t really dumb down engine development just to accommodate new entries, right?
“So the stuff that’s on the table now is potentially workable as a system. The economics are not,” he added. “I think that’s something that we need to go back to Liberty with.”
Agreeing to an engine format is one thing but the budget cap is something altogether different and Marchionne believes there is a lot of discussion to take place around that topic. Capping costs would make the sport more appealing to smaller teams who may want to enter F1 but just how they get to a lower cost is another matter.
In the end, Ferrari make engines that have been the anchor to their success and Sergio isn’t keen to mess with that technology innovation trajectory.
“The important thing for us… is that we don’t touch the nature of the technical development of the powertrains because that is at the heart of what Ferrari does for a living,” he emphasised.
“I think we need to continue to work with Liberty with the commercial rights holders and with the (governing) FIA to try and bring about a sensible equilibrium. If we can’t, as I said before, we’ll just pull out.
“But we’re not there today. I think we owe the sport a phenomenal effort to try and bring about closure of these items. We’ll try and get that done before the end of this year.”
Perhaps there is room to negotiate for 2021 and if some of the details get ironed out, Ferrari may be staying after all. If I’m honest, I felt like the biggest initial hurdle would be the powertrain but perhaps F1 and the FIA have arrived at a manageable solution with their proposed hybrid turbo V6 with no MGU-H.
The bigger question now is the cost of that engine and capping the amount teams spend on the sport. This is nothing new, it was the very thing that crumbled the Formula One Team’s Association (FOTA) several years ago. It is and has always been a sport of the “Have’s” and the “Have Yachts”.
Hat Tip: Eurosport
Up to this point in time so far. Those that were sitting around that table had their own folders in front of them containing the direction they preferred to take. According to the FERRARI boss there was a change in direction wanted, and according to him that change came from the new F1 direction pushers, of which made the FERRARI boss able to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I am 100% sure that if the FERRARI boss could still not see some light at the end of the tunnel, he would not be willing to venture… Read more »
If the report last month from Autoweek is to be believed, the softening of Ferrari’s position may well be that their Mercedes partner left the Bahrain meeting needing to regroup after they got caught out by their own proposals.
It will be interesting to see if they parrot Ferrari again in the next days or keep quiet.
Contrary to the 6 April Autoweek unlisted article writer I say it would be wise of Chase Carey not to under estimate Marchionne.
And I would also say vice versa… these two are both very smart and savvy in business matters.
Article has a by line credited to Joe Saward.
MR JOE! ok I see, no need to tell me more.
Interesting link SubC. I’m sure none of the characters involved in this negotiation are less than astute, and shouldn’t be under estimated.
It’s going to be a fascinating process getting to the 2021 regulations and structure, though if L.M get their way, we won’t know much about it until it comes out fully formed.
I’m not a negotiation guy, actually quite the opposite, but I’ve seen several negotiations go down where big money is on the line. Usual tactics are throw out the strongest guy on the other side in the negotiations to send a message and hopefully get a ‘weaker negotiator’ and then there is the when you see a coalition forming, drive a wedge or in some other way break up that coalition. As I have not seen this story elsewhere I still have a bit of skepticism that it is real, but I haven’t heard Mercedes supporting Ferrari since this supposedly… Read more »
Just keep day dreaming.
So far two of three items in my ‘dream’ have come true. Ferrari issue quite threat (check), Ferrari softens position (check), Ferrari stays for 2021 (lets see, I’m ‘dream’ing – check). There will be a bit more of threat and soften, but the same end result.
Nice dreams yours.
Stay tuned for the next episode of our favourite drama series!
It’s like Game of Thrones, without the compassion ;-)