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Marchionne: "Liberty doesn't understand F1 technology"

  • Published on 07 Mar 2018 14:17
  • comments 6
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Sergio Marchionne has told Liberty Media to back off and let Ferrari get on with the business of making F1 cars. Recently, the Ferrari president said he disagreed with Liberty's apparent post-2020 direction for F1 and threatened to quit after 2020.

But Marchionne said at the Geneva motor show that he believes a compromise will be found. "We want a clear protection of the DNA of this sport. We do not want it to be diluted by commercial and entertainment factors," he is quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

"We are engaged in the technical side, while I believe Liberty does not understand a thing about this. So let us work. If one competitor cannot be distinguished from the next - if Ferrari cannot stand out from Mercedes - then we'll do something else," Marchionne said.

When asked if the Bernie Ecclestone era was better, the Italian-Canadian said: "I saw Bernie this morning. I don't know. Liberty's commercial commitment is very serious, but Bernie had a unique strength -- he was not going to interfere in the technical choice," he said.

As for Ferrari's chances of winning the title in 2018, Marchionne said he is feeling "relaxed". "It's definitely the quietest season I've faced since arriving in 2014," he revealed. "The boys are in control more than before. We have all the conditions we need and I think the car can be a winner at 51 per cent of the races this season."

Marchionne ruled out moving Ferrari into Formula E, saying the category is "too funny to watch on TV with all those car changes". "For Alfa Romeo, we thought about it but we're not ready to talk about it. I do not think the technology is suitable."

As for the rumour about Maserati teaming up with Haas, Marchionne said: "We have thought about it and there is that possibility, but first I want to see how it goes with (Sauber and) Alfa." (GMM)

Replies (6)

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  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    Hmm Ross Brawn is employed by liberty so I'd say they have a pretty good understanding of the technology...

    • + 2
    • Mar 7 2018 - 15:12
  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    "employed by" are the key words.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2018 - 17:32
    • Carman

      Posts: 11

      As is Marchionne an employee so don't guite understand the point you're trying to make

      • + 0
      • Mar 8 2018 - 10:04
  • jtrikakis

    Posts: 2

    Ross understands and he knows that small teams will always struggle. Giving them more money seems nice, but unless they can have the proper staffing, nothing will change in the peeking order. McLearn has a staff that seems to have problems with any engine they use. Toro Rosso does appear to have such issues so far this year. I bet Toro Rosso budget is less than McLarens.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2018 - 19:33
  • Major Tom

    Posts: 152

    It will surprise Ross Brawn to know that Liberty don't understand F1 technology. I would have thought that Ferrari's relative lack of success since Ross left would point to the exact opposite.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2018 - 19:33
  • This is just Sergio playing politics. Everyone knows the only real concern here is Ferrari losing their unfair competitive advantage (both technically, and monetarily). Ferrari is and has always been interested in Ferrari, even if it's at the expense of the sport as a whole. Perhaps other teams would do the same, but only Ferrari has ever had that much power. I am so glad Liberty seems determined to fix some of the generational problems in F1.

    • + 3
    • Mar 7 2018 - 19:56

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