Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned Liberty Media to heed Ferrari’s latest Formula 1 quit threat, adding the sport needs the Italian squad more than the other way around. 

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne threatened to pull Ferrari from F1 in the wake of a blueprint of engine regulations for 2021, which were revealed late last year by FOM and the FIA. 

The proposal includes plans to cut costs in a bid to level the playing field and improve the show, a move which has angered Maranello’s hierarchy, with Marchionne claiming Ferrari “will not play” if its own conditions are not met. 

While quit threats from the Scuderia are nothing new in F1, Wolff believes Marchionne’s comments should be taken seriously. 

“My message is don't mess with Sergio Marchionne,” Wolff is quoted as saying by The Daily Mail. “F1 needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs F1.

“He's a business man, the bottom line matters and if he believes that F1 doesn't give Ferrari any benefit any more he will walk.

“He needs to be taken seriously and, if I were others, I wouldn't try to pose against him. That could be a bad outcome for F1 and all involved.”

F1 teams and manufacturers are currently in the process of negotiating the future landscape of the sport, with team principals and FIA president Jean Todt keen to get the next set of rules set in stone as soon as possible

When asked if Mercedes could follow Ferrari in walking away from F1, Wolff replied: “We will be racing post-2020.

“We will be racing in whatever is the most successful race series,” he added. “F1 is absolutely the pinnacle of motor-racing and it's a very resilient race series. 

“The new owners have been in the sport for a year, we have to give them support and we have to promote F1. It's our joint platform so we need to keep it great.

“For the next years we are part of the F1 show and we shall give it all to make it a good show, that's my first priority. What happens thereafter we will judge in 12 months whether we like what we get.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner recently claimed that Mercedes and Ferrari are working as one team to shape the the future of F1 for their own benefit. When told of Horner's comments, Wolff quipped: "Look, Christian can see, red car and silver car."
 

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