Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne has sounded out the potential of the Italian manufacturer leaving Formula 1 if the 2021 engine direction does not meet its satisfaction.

While a joint release from Liberty Media and the FIA outlined a potential engine blueprint from 2021 on Tuesday, with the key changes seen as the dropping of the MGU-H unit while making the control electronics and energy store standardised and increasing engine revs to improve noise, Ferrari CEO and President Marchionne says the Italian manufacturer could pull out of the sport if its demands are not met by the new owners.

While Marchionne supports Liberty’s plan to cut costs behind running F1 teams, it appears in an analysts’ call he could threaten to withdraw the Italian marque from the sport.  

“Liberty has got a couple of good intentions, one of which is to reduce the cost of execution of the team which I think is good,” Marchionne said. “A couple of things we don’t necessarily agree with, one of which is the powertrain direction, I think that’s something Ferrari would not countenance going forward.

“The fact is we now appear to be at odds in terms of the strategic development. We see 2021 taking on a different air which is going to force some decisions on Ferrari.

“I think it needs to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand, the market place and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play. That’s got a whole lot of implications, apart from the cost relief from the structure of Ferrari, which is not inconsequential.”

Ferrari is the only manufacturer which has taken part in every Formula 1 world championship and also the most successful in the sport’s history with 16 world constructors’ titles, 15 drivers' titles and 227 race wins.

Ferrari receives an estimated $60-70million in earnings as a historical team – more than any other constructor – but has endured recent struggles with its last world constructors’ title coming in 2008. This year Ferrari recently missed out on the teams’ and drivers’ title to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

Marchionne has hinted Ferrari could look into alternative motorsport with Formula E an option but he said in August it would be via Ferrair’s sister FCA brands Maserati or Alfa Romeo.

“[If Ferrari left F1] It opens up a whole lot of alternatives about what Ferrari could be doing with itself going forward beyond 2021. I don’t want to prejudge any of this. We’re walking into this meeting next Tuesday with the best of intentions, we’ll see where it takes us.”


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