No plans for F1 to become Nascar

Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel (centre), Kimi Raikkonen (right) and test driver Marc Gene participate in an event at the Interlagos racetrack ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel (centre), Kimi Raikkonen (right) and test driver Marc Gene participate in an event at the Interlagos racetrack ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

F1 boss Carey refutes Ferrari's claims, says he does not intend to standardise the cars either

LONDON • Formula One has no desire to emulate US stock car racing, chairman Chase Carey said in response to criticism from Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne about increasing standardisation in the sport.

Marchionne had warned last week, after manufacturers were presented with proposals for a new engine from 2021, that Ferrari could walk away if the team did not like the sport's direction.

"I don't want to play Nascar globally," the Ferrari chairman declared.

Carey, speaking on a Liberty Media third-quarter earnings conference call, suggested Ferrari and Formula One's new US-based owners were on the same page.

"Actually I don't think we have a differing view to Ferrari," he said.

"I'm not trying to be derogatory towards Nascar, but we don't plan to be Nascar either.

"We don't want to standardise the cars. We don't want 20 identical cars going round the track, and the only difference is the driver.

"We want all the teams to have the ability to do what they do to create cars that are unique to them."

The new engine envisaged for 2021 aims to be simpler, cheaper and louder to satisfy fans who yearn for more noise than provided by the current V6 turbo hybrid power units.

Carey, who replaced former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in January when Liberty took control, said Formula One wanted to reduce the cost of competing with some sort of spending limit imposed on all teams.

The aim, he added, was to make success dependent more on how well teams utilised their resources rather than how much they spent.

The sport is also braced for a much thornier subject - that of a more equal distribution of revenues between teams.

Ferrari currently receive far more than others, due mainly to their historic contribution to the sport and other special payments.

While Ferrari spend in excess of US$300 million (S$408.3 million) a year, smaller independent outfits compete on budgets of around a third of that.

However, despite having a higher budget and all the tools to be successful this season, Ferrari's mistakes and mechanical issues thwarted the team's title ambitions, according to their driver Kimi Raikkonen.

"As a team, we've come a long way from year to year and also from last year, made a good step, but obviously not enough for what we want," Raikkonen said.

"I think we had all the tools this year, we just need to tidy up things and not make mistakes nor have issues on any side, not from our side as drivers or from the team side.

"These are just small things which played a big part this year... but I think we have all the people and we have a great car."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'No plans for F1 to become Nascar'. Print Edition | Subscribe