Ferrari and Liberty Media haven’t been seeing eye to eye ever since the American firm took over the sport from Bernie Ecclestone last year.
While owners should be concerned about the commercial aspects of the sport, Ferrari president, Sergio Marchionne, feels that Liberty should let the teams be with respect to the technical aspect of the sport.
Liberty wants the sport to present all teams with a level playing field by bringing in spending caps and slower cars, so as to make the sport more interesting for viewers, who maybe could get forced out of the sport if the same teams and drivers keep dominating title wins.
Ferrari refuses to bow down to Liberty’s vision of the sport and while Liberty is almost hell bent on keeping Ferrari in the mix, it says that it won’t aggressively pursue Ferrari, if they decide to leave the sport.
“We want a clear protection of the DNA of this sport,” he said. “We do not want it to be diluted by commercial and entertainment factors. We are engaged in the technical side, while I believe Liberty does not understand a thing about this. So let us work.
If one competitor cannot be distinguished from the next — if Ferrari cannot stand out from Mercedes — then we’ll do something else.” Marchionne said.
Marchionne spoke about how Bernie, who was a commercially oriented man himself did not any point interfere with the technical aspect of the sport, something that worked brilliantly for both the teams and the sport.
“Liberty’s commercial commitment is very serious, but Bernie had a unique strength — he was not going to interfere in the technical choice.” he said.
There has been some talk about teams moving to Formula E, if Liberty goes through with its ‘vision’ about the sport, but Marchionne has brushed aside that talk, at least from a Ferrari perspective, as Formula E is too funny to watch on TV.
“The category is too funny to watch on TV with all those car changes. For Alfa Romeo, we thought about it but we’re not ready to talk about it. I do not think the technology is suitable.” he concluded.
While the commercial aspect and fan engagement is a huge factor in the development of any sport, do you think F1 is too technical to actually make it a global and more competitive sport?