FIA president Jean Todt says even F1’s wealthiest teams such as Ferrari should appreciate the need to bring costs down.
Todt told journalists including RaceFans yesterday that the majority of the grid is under severe financial pressure.
“At the moment there’s about six to seven teams struggling in Formula One,” said Todt. “It is not acceptable to have the pinnacle of motor sport where 60 to 70% of the grid are struggling to survive.”
Last year Ferrari responded to proposed F1 rules changes aimed at reducing costs by threatening to leave the championship. Asked how important F1’s longest-running team is to the sport, Todt said “we are very happy to have Ferrari as a strong, key player in motor racing.”
“But I do not think Ferrari would be what they are if they would not have also enjoyed the benefit of being involved in motor racing.”
“Each competitor is important to Formula One,” Todt added.
“But we know historically that it has been a big turnover amongst certain manufacturers and amongst the smallest teams. We’ve had from the beginning Ferrari, you have McLaren, you have Williams, you have in a way Sauber. These are the longest [running] in motor racing.
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“Clearly I’ve had some working relation with Ferrari. But before having that, for me, Ferrari was an iconic brand. When I was 10 years old, I was dreaming in front of a Ferrari. Then I got the position in Ferrari where I was still attracted but it’s a different position.
“I believe in tradition and I do realise the effect of Ferrari. All that Ferrari has got through amazing success in motor racing. Not only in Formula One, sportscars also.”
Todt believes Ferrari should also appreciate the business case for reducing costs.
“I definitely hope they will not leave,” he said. “But we have seen big competitors leaving [and] coming back.
“It is their choice but knowing those people who are smart business people, who are rational people. In a way now that’s why we want to reduce the costs because I feel that for a company like Ferrari racing should not be spending. [It] should be at least equal and even should be business revenue.
“That would be much more healthy than what it has been over the years where it is too much spending and it very often puts teams under difficulty.”
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