Mattia Binotto, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Ferrari hopes to keep F1 rules veto: “It protects all the teams”

2019 F1 season

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Ferrari intends to keep its power to veto changes to the Formula 1 rules if it remains in the sport beyond 2020, team principal Mattia Binotto has said.

In response to a question from RaceFans in today’s FIA press conference, Binotto said the power serves to “protect” all the teams, not just Ferrari.

The existence of Ferrari’s decades-old veto has been controversial. In 2015 the FIA claimed Ferrari, under Binotto’s predecessor Maurizio Arrivabene, used it to block changes to the engine regulations intended to reduce the cost of power units.

FIA president Jean Todt, himself a former Ferrari team principal, said the team’s veto will be discussed within the negotiations surrounding whether Ferrari commits to the sport beyond the 2020 F1 season, after which its current commercial agreement expires.

Binotto confirmed they are beginning these discussions and Ferrari’s preference is to retain its veto.

“Certainly the veto right is something important for Ferrari,” said Binotto when asked by RaceFans today. “But I believe it’s something important for F1 overall as well because somehow it’s not only protecting Ferrari but is protecting all the teams maybe against some decisions that could be against the interest of the teams themselves.

“[It’s] something that we are starting discussing with both FIA and F1 and I think that we are doing well in that respect and hopefully we can keep the same rights.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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50 comments on “Ferrari hopes to keep F1 rules veto: “It protects all the teams””

  1. Binotto said the power serves to “protect” all the teams, not just Ferrari.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    (wipes tears)

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    1. Move over Toto, let’s hear a real politician speak.

    2. I read “binotto” as “benitto” and I was not confused.

    3. Same reaction. Give that man a prize or something.

    4. I was going to write a post expressing my opinion on this but you’ve summed it up perfectly there.

      1. @phylyp and @petebaldwin, I don’t see what’s so funny. A perfect example of how Ferrari were acting in everyone’s interest the last time they used their veto is given in the article.

        Cheaper engines for smaller teams would be of no benefit to them. Cheaper=worse. They need better engines to go faster.

        They’re lucky they’ve got the benevolent Ferrari keeping watch.

        1. Yep, I mean what would happen to Marrussia, Lotus etc if it were not for the angels at Ferrari? I mean they would be gone due to lack of a fair prize pot… oh wait…

          1. Yeah. Sure. Blame Ferrari for marrussia and lotus been badly run teams. Also how dare Ferrari not agree to see their engines at a huge loss.

        2. @gongtong – I would rather have all teams have an equal voice (along the lines of FOTA), than have a gentleman’s agreement/pinky swear that “we’ll only use this power for good”.

          1. @phylyp last time I used sarcasm, I was chastised for not using the correct tags. I thought today it would be unnecessary because surely nobody other than a Ferrari employee could actually try to seriously defend the veto…

            I’ll give up on sarcasm. I’ve heard it’s the lowest form of wit anyway =(

          2. @gongtong – LOL, I’m sorry, my friend. It was my turn today to be dense and wear the dunce cap. 😊

    5. @phylyp

      I laughed my rear end off for a good few minutes as well.

      What Ferrari is essentially saying is that they are protectors of all the teams. Kind of like a saviour or guardian. At no point in time will their veto ever be used for personal gain or an unfair advantage.

      I’ve heard all kinds of BS in F1…from Toto Wolff, the Red bull garage, etc.. But nothing ever comes close to this statement by Binotto.

      Take a bow Mr.Binotto… Take a bow… along with an award for the team with the most honest and noble intentions.

    6. @phylyp Binotto clearly has comic talent anyway. Ferrari looking after the interests of the other teams even if they don’t realize it when Ferrari block their decisions. Genius.

  2. Veto and Ferrari bonus must be culled as they only help ferrari and no one else on grid. That bonus is the poison that is slowly killing smaller F1 teams.

    1. But surely the infinitely kind and sporting Ferrari would only ever use their veto for the good of their competitors? They would absolutely never use it for evil… ;-)

  3. Robert McKay
    10th May 2019, 13:23

    If it protects all the teams, they can all have one then, right? Right?

  4. How about: Allow the teams to have a majority vote to see if they want to veto a rule change. Instead of giving only Ferrari the option.

    1. This is the only way if 2/3 teams then the rule is vetoed. Not 1 team

  5. I miss Arrivabene.

  6. If the intention is to save/protect teams, all teams can come forward to say no to a certain proposal. The concept of having a veto is useless if you speak for all when all can speak.
    Grilling Binotto further on this would have been interesting…

  7. Ferrari intends to keep its power to veto changes to the Formula 1 rules if it remains in the sport beyond 2020, team principal Mattia Binotto has said.

    Ferrari shares are well up, Rd car sales are booming. F1 is the best advertisement Ferrari could possibly have…call their bluff.

    1. Agreed.

  8. Yeah right.

  9. This negotiation is a great litmus test to see ‘who need who’ the most.
    I believed FIA will retain Ferrari veto power. Ferrari is like permanent members of the UN Security Council.

  10. Easy question for everyone. Please name everytime Ferrari have used the veto? The last one i was aware of was the cost limit placed on the supply of engines to independent teams. This was used because the proposed cost of the engines supplied would have been cheaper than the engines cost to build. Mercedes and Renault at the time backed the veto because they would have been affected to. The veto could be maintained but can only be held by 1 team each season or over a period of time like a presidentship. There are far to many people who assume that Ferrari use this veto on every single rule in F1 rather than how they do use it currently which is very sparingly.

    1. I’d wager that its actual use is outstripped by the threat of using it to kill a proposal in the early stages. Such a veto is a sword of Damocles.

      1. @phylyp, it depends, because in turn there are restrictions on what Ferrari can veto.

        Whilst it appears that Ferrari have a veto “in respect of the introduction/modification of any technical or sporting regulations (except for safety requirements)”, it is constrained by clauses such as “The exercise of the right of veto is not prejudicial to the traditional values of the Championship and/or the image of the FIA” and “Ferrari reasonably considers that the new regulations are likely to have a substantial impact on its legitimate interest”.

        It therefore creates a situation where Ferrari seem to have been wary of threatening to use their veto rights, since the arguments over what constitutes “traditional values”, for example, could potentially bring them into a major conflict with the FIA.

        Now, the rights and wrongs of that veto power have been, and will be, debated for a long time, but it does seem that the debates over the use of the veto power do seem to outstrip the times when its use has been threatened, let alone actually invoked.

        1. Thanks for pointing out that nuance in the usage of the veto. Having looked into it a little more, it appears that Todt introduced that clause during the 2013 contract signing.

          I sincerely hope the wording of those terms is a little more cast-iron than “traditional values and image”, though from your comment it seems to be the case that it is vaguely defined. Such subjectively interpretable statements are the bane of contracts :)

          it does seem that the debates over the use of the veto power do seem to outstrip the times when its use has been threatened, let alone actually invoked.

          LOL, I’m not going to disagree with that. It doesn’t mean its not a discussion that needs to be had. Better we have a thousand instances of debating the veto than just once instance of a threat to use the veto for unfair advantage, or worse still, an actual use.

    2. Ed… SURELY you cannot be in agreement that any 1 team can have this power. I chuffing hate Ferrari but this isnt about that. Anyone that is not a die hard Tifosi can surely see this veto nonsense is a mild brand of communism? There is no other sport in the world, that I’m aware of, that allows 1 team to over rule the governing body. Its just wrong on every level and we haven’t even started on the distribution of funds!

    3. If Ferrari were forced to sell their engines at below cost, I’m sure it would be possible to give them a larger share of the F1 pot. Oh, I forgot, they already have an extra $40m a year, over and above any winnings they earn. And still they sell their engines at a profit.

      There is no logical or legal reason to allow Ferrari to have a veto. If it was given to them honestly, why was it kept a secret for so long? Why aren’t we told when they use or threaten to use their veto? Having a veto in other sports would be regarded at corruption. Now FOM is owned by an American company, it’s possible the US authorities may decide to investigate how the sport is run, as they did with FIFA. That may put a stop to more, or any, GPs being held in the US.

  11. This is probably the only example of a participating team having this kind of influence on the championship, legally. There’s a reason for that… Federations claim fair play and equal chances to everyone, even if they sometimes aren’t true behind the scenes. But this is clear as water, it’s written in the rules, a team being able to veto, having the power to reject those things that prejudice them…

    It also means any win from Ferrari has an asterisk, if we dig deep… They are above the competition even before the season starts

    1. the only example of a participating team having this kind of influence on the championship in any sport, as far as I know

      That’s what I wanted to say.

    2. Agreed – Well said

  12. It would be incredibly funny if ferrari used their veto to veto a veto rule change that was aimed to remove the veto right from ferrari.

    1. Got it…I think.

  13. If I was Binotto I wouldn’t want to give up the veto either. Just look at how rubbish Ferrari are. They throw more money in this sport than any other competitor on the grid. Yet they fail to win year after year… And…. That is when they exercise a lot of advantages by right of veto and their political influence.

    Just imagine how rubbish Ferrari would be without their veto and political influence. They’d quickly become the laughing stock of the paddock.

  14. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    10th May 2019, 14:20

    How they use it isn’t really as relevant as the fact they have it in the first place. They should not have the capability to veto any rule change. I can’t think of another sport where one active participant has the capability to influence the rules openly and legally in the way they do. You could argue the distribution of wealth in F1 is disgusting – and it is, but Ferrari’s ‘veto’ ability is demonstrably worse.

    They last used it to stop ‘cheaper engines?’ Like really? THAT needed to be stopped? Get in the sea, the lot of you.

    It’s grimly amusing though despite having that veto, in addition the sheer amount of money they have they’ve still failed to consistently run at the front.

    1. @rocketpanda

      I can’t think of another sport where one active participant has the capability to influence the rules openly and legally in the way they do.

      I don’t understand it either. What absolutely baffles me, is how a team such as Ferrari has such a massive fanbase when they are afraid to go racing with others on equal terms.

      This sport was a joke under the Bernie era, and Ferrari’s right to veto is a perfect example of it. Liberty needs to correct this. Take away their right to veto. If they leave the sport… then let them leave. They’ll go down in history as the cowardly team that refused to compete without an unfair advantage. I’m sure Ferrari would love to add that to their legacy.

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        10th May 2019, 15:26

        Totally agree. I wouldn’t say I’m an enormous fan of theirs but I think it’s pretty gross they have the veto – it makes supporting them quite hard sometimes. The arrogance and self-importance it carries is offensive; I do hope Liberty calls their bluff and removes it. I think Ferrari’s importance to F1 is enormously overstated – it would survive without them. Not certain if they’d fair as well without F1 though.

      2. Sush Meerkat
        10th May 2019, 18:15

        Ferrari are great politicians, if only they stopped negotiating and built a racing car they might get somewhere

  15. Hahahahahahahahaha, I bet they really believe in it too.

  16. Well if the veto works so well for everybody then I suggest we also give a veto to Liverpool regarding any Premier League issues, to Roger Federer regarding tennis rules and to Tiger Woods regarding golf. This will make all these sports better for everyone!

  17. Only single team having perpetual veto power certainly is beneficial to all the teams…some more-so than others.

  18. Adub Smallblock
    10th May 2019, 16:07

    If Binotto believes that a single team’s veto is important for ALL teams, then perhaps he would support having a three team committee, made up of the previous year’s top three teams, having veto power with a 2 of 3 vote?

  19. Next up, how their historical bonus also helps all teams…….

    1. This one is easy – other teams don’t have these money to waste, so they have to increase efficiency!

  20. DAllein (@)
    11th May 2019, 8:49

    Red Knight on a black prancing horse…

    Nah, something is not right, smells like a scam.

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