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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Ferrari in threat to quit F1 over regulation changes plans

The Italian manufacturer is unhappy with where the sport's owners Liberty Media want to take the sport from 2021 onwards.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in action in the Mexican Grand Prix. The team are unhappy with regulation changes that are planned for the sport and have threatened to leave at the end of 2020. Rebecca Blackwell / AP Photo
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in action in the Mexican Grand Prix. The team are unhappy with regulation changes that are planned for the sport and have threatened to leave at the end of 2020. Rebecca Blackwell / AP Photo

Ferrari could quit Formula One at the end of 2020 if the team does not agree with the plans of the sports' new owners, the boss of the Italian carmaker has warned.

President Sergio Marchionne said F1 had been "part of our DNA since the day we were born" on a conference call discussing Ferrari's financial results on Thursday.

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"But if we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognisable sandbox, I don't want to play any more," he said.

"I don't want to play NASCAR globally, I just don't."

US-based Liberty Media took over F1 this year with big plans to add more razzmatazz, concerts and celebrities.

And Chase Carey, who became F1 chief executive after the long reign of flamboyant ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, has said he wants a "Super Bowl" build-up to each race.

"Liberty has got a couple of good intentions in all of this, one of which is to reduce the cost of execution for the team, which I think is good," Marchionne said.

"There are a couple of things we don't necessarily agree with," he added, including plans for a new engine design from 2021.

"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, and the marketplace, and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play," he said.

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