x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Ferrari chief seeks cash injection

Amid talk of a takeover, Stefano Domenicali could lead a breakaway if teams do not receive a greater slice of the revenue the sport generates.

Stefano Domenicali is reportedly upset at the distribution of Formula One revenue.
Stefano Domenicali is reportedly upset at the distribution of Formula One revenue.

Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team principal, has urged Formula One's commercial rights holders CVC to start investing in the sport to guarantee his team's future interest.

The direction of F1 has hit the headlines this week, notably with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and investment giant Exor — which is run by the powerful Agnelli family — declaring an interest in forming a consortium that could lead to a takeover.

As part of the backdrop, discussions are due to begin in earnest on a new Concorde Agreement, the commercial arrangement which binds the teams, world governing body the FIA and CVC together.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has made clear in the past his unhappiness that CVC rake in half of F1's annual profits of around £600 million (Dh3.6 billion), yet do not invest.

It is understood Di Montezemolo, supported by the teams, will want a greater return from the future Concorde Agreement, otherwise the threat of a breakaway series could again return, as was the case in 2009 when discussions last took place.

The waters are further muddied by the fact the Agnellis have a 30 per cent stake in Fiat, which in turn runs Ferrari.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Domenicali said: "At the moment everything is calm, but soon something will happen.

"From the commercial point of view we need to clarify the following points: who will be involved in the talks?

"I mean which teams and constructors want to stay and which want to enter F1? And who is responsible for the show? A marketing partner is needed.

"It can be CVC once more, but it must invest in F1 and develop, and we must make sure our sport becomes interesting for young people.

"F1 must speak their language, use their technologies, internet, tablets, social forums, and remain comprehensible for the audience.

"F1 is interesting for Ferrari only if these points are taken into consideration, and we must avoid changing the rules too often.

"We need stability, on top of having grands prix in important countries for our sales, first of all in the USA."

In a statement in light of all the talk surrounding the Agnellis and Ferrari, the team have made it clear that stability is paramount.

"All we can do is repeat what has already been said so often in the past: Ferrari stresses the importance of ensuring the long term stability and development of Formula One."