Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas recently blocked plans for an independent engine in Formula 1 that would provide a cheaper alternative to teams than the current formula. The move has ramped up tensions between the manufacturers and the always-outspoken Bernie Ecclestone, with Ecclestone laying the blame on Mercedes and Ferrari in a BBC interview.
The alternate independent engine was brought up as part of a mandate granted to Eccolestone and FIA president Jean Todt that also addressed pressing issues in the sport such as competitiveness and governance. Ferrari moved to block the mandate, writing the FIA legal letter claiming they did not have a legal right to implement a mandate as it interfered with Ferrari’s and other team’s contracts with F1, and was the only team to do so.
“So the only thing we could do is to ignore what Ferrari have said and carry on with it and say: ‘You’ve got a choice – you can leave or go to arbitration and see what the arbitrators think,” Ecclestone said of the situation.
“I think if we went to arbitration, we’d win easy,” he added.
Ecclestone argues that he is trying to fix the sport and make it more exciting for fans and less expensive for teams, but Mercedes and Ferrari are blocking him from doing so with only their best interests in mind. Ferrari noted their intention was to “simply to make sure that the governance principles,” agreed upon with the FIA are followed in sending the letter.
Creative Commons photo via Ryan Bayona on Flickr!