Mattia Binotto, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

More of Ferrari’s rivals speak out against their F1 rules veto

2019 F1 season

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Several of Ferrari’s rivals have said the team should lose its power to veto changes to the Formula 1 rules it does not approve of.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto defended the team’s controversial veto power, saying it serves to “protect” all the teams.

However Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was among those sceptical of Binotto’s claim. Horner described the veto as “outdated” when asked about it by RaceFans in today’s FIA press conference.

“You can say ‘OK, it’s a safety net for them representing the teams’. But ultimately they’re representing Ferrari. So probably if we’re going for a clean sheet of paper it would make sense for it not to be there and [have] the same rules for everyone.”

Mclaren Racing CEO Zak Brown jokingly said it was “very kind of him to offer to represent the teams’ interests.”

“But I think we all have varying interests. Formula 1 themselves want to do what’s in the best of interest in the sport which I think is ultimately in the best interest of all of us and so we’re best having our own individual negotiations when and if that is appropriate.”

“Ferrari bring a tremendous amount to the sport and that can be recognised in other ways,” Brown added.

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said the sport needs to be less beholden to the interests of all teams including Ferrari.

“I have a problem in our sport anyway: I think it’s far too democratic. I’ve been quite open about that. I feel that F1 and FIA should take more ownership of the regulations. We run it too much in a collegiate way which is detrimental when we all have our own agendas.

“We need to be looking at this sport and its sustainability into the future and protecting it and protecting the true DNA of that. Doing that by committee can be very difficult. I really don’t feel that one team should have a right of veto. That makes no sense to me at all.”

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Author information

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...
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...

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  • 28 comments on “More of Ferrari’s rivals speak out against their F1 rules veto”

    1. Fully agree with Claire, it’s far too democratic. It only lead to half-baked regulation. The regulatory board would make too many compromise to pleased certain demand. And the big teams demand would be weight more than the others.

      1. Wise words by Claire indeed, @ruliemaulana.
        Maybe she can head-up FOM and have Toto run/buy Williams.

      2. At the same time it is claire’s agenda to move the decision making power away from the teams as that would make williams more competitive in the negotiation table when merc, ferrari and red bull have smaller advantage. For the same reason clare wants this ferrari, merc and red bull are against it. I’d not call f1 democratic in any way. It is plutocracy. The people with money make the decisions. In democratic system all the teams would be equal and all have one vote. Which is nothing like f1 has now.

    2. Haha, that’s funny, of course they would say that.

      Point is, do they want to compete in Formula 1 with Ferrari? If they do, they know what it’ll take to keep them around.

      1. do they want to compete in Formula 1 with Ferrari? If they do, they know what it’ll take to keep them around.

        Surely not any cost, @proesterchen. Ferrari’s veto serving solely Ferrari might be a cost too high.
        Or as Brown said: “(Ferrari’s interests) can be recognised in other ways”.

        1. Any cost? No. Veto? Sure. They’ve had it for decades, keeping it doesn’t change the status quo that all other 9 teams have already signed up for. (even multiple times, except Haas of course, who are in their first contract period still)

          The only ones gaining from a removal of the rules veto would be the commercial rights holders, who desire to dominate the sport they’re already leaching roughly half of the revenues from for “their services.”

          1. @proesterchen, you are assuming that it benefits the commercial rights holders, but is that actually the case?

            Ferrari’s has veto rights, subject to limits, over technical and sporting regulations, but they have no veto rights over the commercial arrangements of the sport. As Dieter notes, the current commercial arrangements are bilateral treaties between individual teams and FOM – precisely because Bernie knew that meant that the individual teams could not work collaboratively to get better terms from him.

            If anything, Ferrari’s position has been more towards trying to maintain the status quo with regards to the commercial arrangements, given that the current commercial arrangements they have with FOM are more favourable for them than they are for other teams.

            1. These things obviously intertwine. It’s clear that the commercial rights holders and the FIA are currently trying to hash out a system that provides them with a stable majority in whatever rules-making body they want to introduce for the next commercial contract period, allowing them to unilaterally set the rules of the sport/show, while committing the participating teams to long-term commercial contracts that bind their hands from dropping out if they are unhappy with these changes.

              As such, the Ferrari veto is obviously a major obstacle to this domination, as it is both a lever to bring the rights holder & FIA alliance to the table to negotiate any future rules changes even if they manage to set up their one-sided rules-making body, as well as the last-ditch option to keep any rules package from coming into force while Ferrari is still contractually bound to compete in the sport.

              Quite frankly, instead of trying to reduce the influence of the one team strong enough to decide its own destiny in this sport, the three quoted leading team personnel should probably work to make the same options available to their stakeholders. Then again, that’s probably not realistic for McLaren and Williams as they stand today.

      2. It could be the other way around, too.
        Does Ferrari want to keep competing in F1, the very pinnacle of motorsport, with global appeal and top-notch competitors?
        Ferrari’s prestige all around the world is largely based on their constant presence in Formula 1, if they withdraws from it, where would they possibly compete?
        WEC? Indycar? Sportscar?
        Not by far comparable to F1.
        And let’s not forget the crazy amount of money ferrari earn each season just to be an “historical team”.

        1. I’m sure the commercial rights holders are fully aware of the value that having Ferrari in the sport brings to the table.

          Some team principals might forget that value occasionally, but I’m quite sure they’ll all be made aware of it in due time.

          1. I am also sure many fans forget the value Formula 1 brings to Ferrari.
            I’m just glad team principals are getting sick and tired of the veto power.
            If Ferrari wants to leave, go with it. Their stakes would drop 30% on the first day.

      3. @proesterchen

        I think Ferrari needs F1 as much as F1 needs Ferrari. But what’s really sad is that Ferrari needs an advantage over all its rivals just to compete.

        I think F1 should call Ferraris bluff. If Ferrari leave, they’ll be coined as cowards… I’m sure that will help in building the Ferrari brand for the years to come.

        1. The commercial rights holder cannot afford to play games of chicken with a significant part of the value of the company. How big a part you ask? IIRC about 1/3rd of Formula 1 fans had Ferrari as their favoured team the last time the question was asked.

          There’s no bluff, Ferrari is simply in a very strong negotiating position, which will be reflected in the eventual outcome.

          1. I like ferrari the best, too, but i dont care if they leave.

            1. Which tells us that 2/3 also known as a large majority aren’t Ferrari fans. It would be interesting to see how the figures vary according to which drivers ferrari have. I imagine the % of f1 supporters identifying as ferrari fans was higher when Schumacher was in the car! Ferrari are like my wife, better off with her but would survive without her! ;-)

    3. Harry Potter Sr. did not see that Aveto Kedavra coming.

      1. @phylyp Indeed. I wonder what Mercedes AMG Expecto-Petronas has to say about the matter…

        1. @ninjenius – very nice :) A silver-coloured, arrow-shaped Patronus.

    4. It is very funny how English “journalists” try by all means to discredit Ferrari. But whatever they say, in the rest of the world Formula 1 is synonymous with Ferrari.
      Without Ferrari, formula 1 would be just one more category than there is in abundance around the world.
      With Ferrari, it is the top of all categories.

      1. It goes both ways though. What is Ferrari without F1? Where would they go that has anything like what F1 has? They have threatened to quit before knowing they never would. Remember the Indy car they built? Call their bluff.

        1. It goes both ways though. What is Ferrari without F1?

          A reasonably successful manufacturer of about 10k high-margin cars per year.

          Formula 1 without Ferrari is the question what Mercedes-Benz would gain from competing with their partners Renault, how many fewer people would buy tickets to the events and subscriptions to TV services or F1TV, and how much of the current revenue pool would evaporate when the rights holders have to negotiate fresh race contracts or carrying fees.

      2. Neil (@neilosjames)
        23rd May 2019, 19:15

        Equally amusing how you think you can speak for the ‘rest of the world’ and apply your own inflated opinion of Ferrari’s worth to so many people in such a wide variety of countries…

    5. No team should ever be bigger than a sport. If they don’t like it, nobody is or should be stopping them from leaving.

      1. Thing is, no team is currently in the position to leave the sport if they don’t like the rules, they are all bound by the commercial agreements with the rights holders that bind them to compete regardless of rules or face significant fines.

        Ferrari is in the unique position of being able to veto changes to the sport they have committed themselves to compete in through 2020.

        1. Haven’t most if not all teams committed themselves to F1s future?

          With Ferrari it always seems like a manipulated relationship with F1 – I love you, but do as I say or else!

          1. Not that I know of.

            It’s not clear to me for how long Renault and Haas are currently committed for Formula 1, but the other teams should all be signed through the end of next season.

            Hence the whole pressure to get things sorted, as most teams want to know the sporting rules and the way future rule changes are to be decided (as well as the commercial arrangements, obviously) before signing on for 2021 and beyond.

    6. Wonder if Binotto would find Mercedes or Red Bull having this unique veto power “serving to protect all the teams”? Doubtful.

      Also wondering anyone if anyone is going to speak up about the continued Ferrari tobacco sponsorship? 26, that is Twenty-Six instances of the Marlboro-Philip Morris-MW-MissionWinnow logos adorning the red and white rolling ad for tobacco ferrari F1 car. What other F1 team has 26 logos for a single sponsor, let alone a tobacco sponsor, plastered all over their F1 car? I cannot find a single one. Maybe if someone objected to their tobacco sponsorship, Ferrari could just use their veto power.

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