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Ferrari president Marchionne slams Ecclestone 'hogwash'

  • Published on 30 Oct 2017 14:51
  • comments 7
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has hit back at Bernie Ecclestone following the former F1 supremo's controversial comments of last week. Marchionne said the newly 87-year-old Ecclestone's claim that Ferrari received help to be more competitive from the former F1 boss, the FIA and even Mercedes is "hogwash". "I think it's called pure hogwash," said the Italian-Canadian.

Ecclestone had claimed Ferrari got help from several parties over the years to succeed, but Marchionne hit back: "I think Bernie has to thank Ferrari for giving him the chance to run formula one and, thanks to our assistance, become a billionaire. God bless him. He has done so much for this sport, but also Ferrari did so much for formula one," he added.

Marchionne's comments come as Ecclestone's accusations of Ferrari-Mercedes collusion deepen. Forbes' F1 business journalist Christian Sylt has now published a 2016 statement from Ecclestone that quotes the diminutive Briton as saying: "Ferrari, with help from Mercedes, have caught up. Between them ... they control the championship. The only competition is between Mercedes and Ferrari," Ecclestone added. "Who knows what agreement there was or is for now to help Ferrari."

Marchionne has also hit out at Chase Carey, who is Ecclestone's successor. The Ferrari president warns that Maranello will not automatically sign up for Liberty Media's post-2020 vision of formula one. "If we do things well, I'm willing to talk about anything," he said. "But if we start making formula one just a cheap business deal, I'm not interested," added Marchionne.

"One must be rational -- F1 is still part of Ferrari's history and I have every intention of protecting its involvement in the sport. But not at any cost or purely for commercial reasons. There is a noble aspect to formula one -- it's a sport unlike the others so it cannot be commercialised like everything else," Marchionne added.

Finally, the Ferrari chief referred to Sebastian Vettel losing the 2017 world championship and said heads at Maranello "are already in 2018". "The important thing now is to have learned the maximum possible from what we did wrong this year," said Marchionne. "Last night I spoke with (Mercedes CEO) Dieter Zetsche and despite being ruthless competitors on the track, we are friends. He acknowledged that we had bad luck this year and there would be different results if what happened in Asia didn't happen." (GMM)

Replies (7)

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  • Another lost year at Ferrari. Fernando Alonso was right. Although, I am pretty certain if Alonso had been driving this Ferrari he would have gotten the championship. But really the only loser here is Vettel. Ferrari came out looking better as a team. Mercedes got a hard earned win. Lewis got a few fights to make the championship interesting. However, Vettel made the same mistakes that should have cost him championships in the past, except back then he had a ridiculously dominant car. This loss was self-inflicted. He would have been ok even with one retirement given the advantage he had earlier in the year. The Singapore crash? The wasted Baku victory over utter stupidity? At the very least this championship would have gone to the last race.

    • + 0
    • Oct 30 2017 - 17:15
    • I sort of dont see your points. Vettel has over all had a good season. What broke it for him was a few lumps of misfortune. And we all pretty much saw that Ferrari was burning their candle on two sides. As for Vettel vs Ham in Baku... Well... Lets just agree on that we'll disagree on the subject.

      • + 0
      • Oct 30 2017 - 20:13
    • @calle.itw my point was that Vettel for good or for bad showed himself as the same driver of the past that could be exceptionally fast, but also volatile under pressure. Reliability did affect Vettel no doubt. But don't forget the advantage Vettel had for much of the season. Hamilton had several issues too. I still think Vettel let the team down at Baku. Maybe we can't agree on everything, but surely you agree that whether his anger was justified or not, it was utterly stupid for him to ram his car into someone, and that his was rather lucky to get points at that race, and that Lewis had his own issues.

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 21:32
    • True, he had an advantage in terms of points, and maybe when it came to the car, but it was always a race against time. Mercedes were sooner or later going to catch them, if not due to better reliability then with decent car upgrades. Vettel's bad luck didnt help him, and honestly no good composure could save him from things like that spark plug. I can certainly agree that it was a silly and pointless move, just stupid, but then again I found them both stupid then and there.

      • + 0
      • Nov 1 2017 - 16:55
  • f1ski

    Posts: 674

    The ferrari while fast was always a tad slower in quaili and the straight. Whenever Mercedes upped its game it resulted in wins . At the end the ferrari seemed to get better but with a price. tire wear burning plugs manifolds cracking. sounds like pushing the engine to 101% and taking too much downforce off the car.

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 10:37
  • "One must be rational -- F1 is still part of Ferrari's history and I have every intention of protecting its involvement in the sport. But not at any cost or purely for commercial reasons. There is a noble aspect to formula one -- it's a sport unlike the others so it cannot be commercialised like everything else," Marchionne added. Well spoken!! Just my thoughts. American only able destroy every traditions for make a profit. Should been sold to Europe company instead of Liberty.

    • + 0
    • Nov 1 2017 - 02:04
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      While not wishing to hate on America as a whole, that is my fear too..

      • + 0
      • Nov 1 2017 - 10:44

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