Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne says the legendary Italian brand could leave the world of Formula 1 racing after 2020 if Liberty Media imposes too many unfavorable changes on the sport. Ferrari is obligated to race through the 2020 season through the 2013 Concorde Agreement – the contract between F1 teams and the FIA. Liberty Media purchased a controlling stake in the Formula One Group three years after the signing of the agreement, in late-2016.
Among the changes that Liberty Media has proposed are rebalancing the distribution of income to teams to level the playing field, and changing the engine regulations to remove the small motor/generator on the turbo and raise the max rev limit by 3,000 rpm, reports NBC Sports.
“Liberty has got a couple of good intentions in all of this, one of which is to reduce the cost of execution of the team which I think is good,” Marchionne told investors on Thursday. [But there are] a couple of things we don’t necessarily agree with. The fact that we now appear to be at odds in terms of the strategic development of this thing, and we see the sport in 2021 taking on a different air, is going to force some decisions on the part of Ferrari.”
Marchionne went on to say, “I think it needs to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand, and the marketplace, and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play.”
It’s hard to imagine Formula 1 without Ferrari, of course; the Italian carmaker has been an integral part of the sport since its inception in 1950, taking home 16 constructors’ championships and 15 drivers’ titles in that time. Nonetheless, Marchionne says that “if we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognizable sandbox, I don’t want to play anymore.”