Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned Formula 1 and its owners Liberty Media to take Ferrari’s quit threats seriously and is seeking improvements to the current sport rather than wholesale changes.

During Ferrari’s pre-Christmas media lunch where it revealed the launch date of its 2018 F1 car, President Sergio Marchionne repeated his quit threat if Liberty implements new rules and regulations which go against the Italian manufacturer’s ideals. Marchionne also took aim at ex-Ferrari chief Ross Brawn, now in charge of F1’s sporting decisions, and suggested Ferrari could start its own series away from F1.

Wolff is eager for stability and therefore isn’t keen to see Ferrari leave the sport and while Marchionne’s threats have fallen on deaf ears the Mercedes boss has warned about ignoring the calls.

“I'm not afraid, but Marchionne is to be taken seriously,” Wolff is quoted in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "I'm relaxed, because Ferrari is Formula 1, and Formula 1 is Ferrari. But if I were Liberty Media's new Formula 1 promoter, I would not continue provoking Marchionne with unacceptable suggestions or demands or nonsensical changes.”

Having overseen the Mercedes domination of the V6 hybrid era with four consecutive F1 drivers’ and constructors’ world titles, Wolff is naturally urging the sport to retain its engine rules with focus on the hybrid elements and warned against returns to V8 or V10 ‘archaic engines’.

“We currently have a powertrain that is the most powerful and efficient racing engine ever," he explained. “With new engine regulations, there are possibilities to optimise this. But to develop a new engine that does not meet the high-tech aspects of electrification, efficiency and power – that  is some archaic engine – is not what we want.”

Liberty has outlined its future plans for F1 to all teams and key stakeholders this month while the majority of existing deals in the sport expire at the end of the 2020 season, including the existing engine regulations which can be altered from 2021. Both Mercedes and Ferrari are eager to retain the basic V6 hybrid theory while teams like Red Bull has pushed for rule changes having complained about the complexity, costs and sounds of the current engines.

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"Ferrari could start its own series away from F1." Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Whats that going to be then, two Ferrari's racing round a track so they could win every race. That would be worth watching, not. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

If Ferrari goes and the suggested engine changes are made Mercedes will follow. You might want another race series of cars with identical engines but I see F1 as the pinnacle of motor sport using the best technology available. There are plenty of historic events where you can watch v8 and v12 cars moving slowly making lots of noise

F1 stopped being the pinnacle of motor racing along time ago.  Pretty much as soon as they started creating specs for the chassis and engine they gave up on being the pinnacle.  Think back to the innovation that once was and was quickly banned, a active suspension, continuous variable transmissions, fans to suck the cars down, engines with much more power than the ones they have today... Nope pinnacle of motorsport is just a marketing phrase, nothing more. 

Yirmin simply saying that it is not the pinnacle isn't enough.  You need to state which series is the pinnacle of motor racing.  

I don't agree with Wolff that F1 is Ferrari, and I don't believe that one manufacturer should be in a position to dictate the technical regulations for a formula. I hope that the new Concorde agreement doesn't include a huge bung to Ferrari for being Ferrari, or a special Ferrari veto.

"If i were LM i would not continue to provoke Marchionne" Looks like the "poacher gamekeeper" legs have been already cut off at the knees. starting with grid girls and ending with his laest aero dicoveries and with a new engine plug and play system in between, he's made a mess of things so far. But the best one is that his boss says it's his ideas and not mine. 

1958: What? No more Maserati? So goes Maserati, so goes F1.