Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone.

Bernie Ecclestone has reacted to Ferrari’s threat to leave Formula 1

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It’s very difficult to imagine Formula 1 without Ferrari.

In terms of constructors titles, the Italian manufacturer are streets ahead of their rivals.

Ferrari have been FA World Constructors Champions on 16 occasions since 1958 and many of the sport’s legends - including, of course, the great Michael Schumacher - have been on their books.

However, there are now very real fears that Ferrari could quit F1.

The team’s president, Sergio Marchionne, said Ferrari could pull out if they do not approve of the direction taken by new owners in Liberty Media.

Despite admitting that F1 had been "part of our DNA since the day we were born”, Marchionne added: "If we change the sandbox to the point it becomes unrecognisable, I don't want to play any more."

F1 Grand Prix of China

Brundle: Ferrari are bluffing

Former British driver and current commentator Martin Brundle isn’t convinced by Marchionne’s threat and said as much on Twitter on Friday.

“Ferrari bluffing about leaving F1,” Brundle tweeted. “Nowhere else with global reach. Aston Martin, McLaren, Lamborghini and Porsche would seize the initiative.”

However, Bernie Ecclestone, the former chief executive of the Formula One Group, believes Ferrari’s threat to leave F1 should be treated seriously.

Ecclestone reacts to Ferrari's quit threat

Speaking exclusively to the Independent, Ecclestone said: “If they can't win, they will put forward new regulations.

“If the regulations come out where Ferrari think it is going to be a struggle and they can’t support the money then they will leave.”

AUTO-PRIX-F1-AUT-QUALIFYING

Ecclestone: Ferrari don't want budgets caps

Speculation is also rife that Chase Carey, who replaced Ecclestone earlier this year, will announce to the teams on Tuesday that Liberty will introduce a budget cap and balance the prize money to level the playing field.

Ecclestone believes Ferrari, who currently receive around £160 million in prize money every year, will not react well to this, either.

“They don’t want budget caps and all that,” he continued. “They want to spend what they can afford to spend and I’ve always said the same thing. If people can’t spend they have to go.

AUTO-F1-PRIX-RUS

“If there are then only three or four teams something would have to be done but until that actually happens nobody is going to do anything. All the teams that say they can’t afford it shouldn’t put an entry in.”

Will Ferrari really quit F1? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Topics:
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren
Fernando Alonso
Formula 1
Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen
Felipe Massa

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