F1 power players Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt on Friday met with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo at the fabled Italian team’s Maranello headquarters.
Ferrari admitted the meeting was “cordial and productive”, but it comes at a fascinating and awkward time for formula one, as all three sides clash over key issues.
Ecclestone and Todt, for instance, are arguing over the FIA’s desire to make more money from the sport, while Montezemolo is being told by Todt to pay much more for entry fees next year. The Ferrari president, meanwhile, slammed as a “joke” Todt’s vision of electric cars on the grid. Montezemolo is not even ruling out Ferrari quitting the sport.
“If formula one is not any more an extreme technology competition, where the technology can be transferred to the road car, maybe we can see formula one without Ferrari,” he told CNN this week.
Todt, however, who revealed that Stefano Domenicali was also at the Maranello meeting, is putting his mind to attracting new manufacturers to F1, whilst ensuring that Mercedes’ argument with Ecclestone does not cause the German carmaker to quit.
“I don’t think that will happen, but we must do everything to keep them in formula one,” he told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
And: “Maybe I can get some manufacturers who are involved in long-distance races – Audi, Toyota, Porsche and the Koreans – to produce engines for F1,” said Todt.
The key, he said, is cutting costs.
“Since 2005 we have reduced the cost by 30 per cent, but in the next three years we need another 30 per cent or we risk losing some teams,” said Todt.