F1 CEO Responds To Ferrari: ‘We Don’t Plan To Be NASCAR Either’

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Formula One’s new owners know that having a war of words with one of the sport’s most iconic brands isn’t going to accomplish anything.

F1 CEO Chase Carey has responded to Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne’s claim that Liberty Media’s post-2020 power unit regulations would cause the series to lose its identity, according to Motorsport.com.

Marchionne made headlines Nov. 2 when he threatened to pull Scuderia Ferrari out of the sport if the manufacturer didn’t like the 2021 rule package. Ferrari’s issue largely is with the fact that it might lose its exclusive bonus payment, but one of Marchionne’s more attention-grabbing comments was that the move toward more standardized parts would turn F1 into a “global NASCAR.”

“Actually I don’t think we have a differing view to Ferrari,” Carey said. “I’m not trying to be derogatory to NASCAR, but we don’t plan to be NASCAR either.”

NASCAR’s regulations are such that cars are nearly identical, and it’s very difficult to find a technical advantage, placing greater emphasis on driver talent. In F1, however, teams also compete on an engineering level, with the rule of thumb being that 70 percent of performance comes from the driver, with the other 30 percent coming from the equipment.

“F1 is unique, and it marries up competitive sport to state-of-the-art technology,” Carey said. “We want the teams to have the ability to do what they do to create cars that are unique to them — unique engines to them, unique bodies to them.”

Carey suggests that, although the proposed regulation changes are aimed at converging teams’ performance levels, they still retain F1’s spirit of innovation.

“It’s never going to be equal, there are going to be favorites that evolve, but we want the teams to feel that they all have a fighting chance,” the F1 CEO said. “Sports are built on the unexpected, and we do want a sport that can have the unexpected. If somebody wins every race every week, at the end of the day, the sport’s going to suffer.”

Thumbnail photo via Red Bull Racing

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