FIA boss says Ferrari should lose F1 rules veto
The president of motorsport’s world governing body believes Ferrari should lose its right to veto Formula 1 regulations it doesn’t agree with.
FIA boss Jean Todt believes the veto right, which only Ferrari possesses, is no longer relevant and should therefore be removed.
Ferrari was handed the ability to veto regulations during a time when F1 was dominated by, predominantly, English teams using customer Ford engines.
It left the Italian squad isolated as the only team building its own chassis and engine.
“At that time it was decided that being away from what is called the silicon valley of motorsport they needed to have a protection. That is the story of the veto,” explained Todt.
“But personally, I feel now I am not in favour of that. Times have changed.”
Todt, who was team principal at Ferrari during the 1990s and 2000s, said he wanted to remove the veto right during the last round of commercial contracts, but nobody else was interested in supporting the move.
“I was the only one against. The only one,” he said.
“I remember it was a meeting in Paris at the Place de la Concorde, in the FIA headquarters. It was the commercial rights holder. All the teams were there.
“I said what is the position of the veto for Ferrari? They said ‘it was fine for us’. So it would have been inappropriate for me alone to say that I am against the veto right to Ferrari. The only thing is we modified the wording of it.”
The modified wording slightly restricted the veto power, with Ferrari now required to demonstrate that a rule goes against its best interests before it can be blocked.
However, Todt did defend the fact Ferrari receives more prize money than any other team, likening F1’s oldest participant to a movie star.
“Is it normal that Leonardo DiCaprio gets more money than a TV series actor? Yes, it is normal. So, again that is life. The better you are, the more money you should get.
“In this kind of activity, I feel it is normal they get more money. It used to be they were getting more money with worse results.
“Now they get more money with among the best results, so it makes sense.”
The Frenchman however was less concerned over Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne’s threat to quit the sport if the 2021 rules aren’t in its favour.
“They may leave. And honestly, that is their choice,” Todt said.
“Definitely I hope they will not leave, but it can always happen. You have seen big competitors leaving, coming back, but again, it is their choice.
“Knowing those people who are smart business people, who are rational people, in a way, now, that is why we also we want to reduce the costs,” he added.
“I feel that a company like Ferrari, racing should not be spending. It should be at least equal and even should be revenue – business revenue.
“That would be much more healthy than what it has been over the years, where it is too much of spending and that is why it puts very often teams under difficulties.
“At the moment I am sure now – it is about six to seven teams who are struggling in F1. So it is not acceptable to have the pinnacle of motor sport where 60-70 percent of the field are struggling to survive.”
Ferrari finished second in the Constructors’ Championship last season, while it’s been more than a decade since Kimi Raikkonen won the team’s last drivers’ title.