Last week it came to light that Ferrari was the only team in Formula 1 to write a letter opposing a mandate for change that was granted to FIA president Jean Todt and Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. The mandate gave both Todt and Ecclestone the authority to change multiple aspects of the sport and came after teams like Ferrari and Mercedes opposed previous proposals for change.
At Ferrari’s annual Christmas press conference in Maranello, Ferrari made it just how strongly they felt about Todt’s and Ecclestone’s mandate for change, saying they would rather quit Formula 1 than race with rules they didn’t like. The automaker says they were against the mandate as it believes technical regulations should be decided on by the teams and manufacturers as a whole, not by just two men.
“It’s a choice that we obviously do not share, because we believe that the development of the regulations should be done in a coordinated manner,” said Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne.
Ecclestone was interested in introducing an independent engine that would cost teams much less than the current hybrid units powering the cars, however teams with strong engines like Mercedes and Ferrari were firmly against this idea. Ferrari argues such an engine would take away from the achievements manufacturers have made in development – which is why they go racing to begin with.
“The problem is that in trying to create a power unit that is more affordable for smaller teams, we are in a way taking away from those organisations that are able to develop. And that is the reason why we go racing,” said Marchionne.
“We go to the track to prove to ourselves and to everyone our ability to manage the power unit. If we begin to undermine this advantage, Ferrari has no intention of racing.
“If we make Formula 1 like NASCAR (with universal engines/cars), we would lose the advantage of experience in track solutions, which can then have an impact on production.”