Brawn: ‘Formula 1’s partnership with Ferrari has its limits’

Formula 1’s sporting boss Ross Brawn is all for keeping Ferrari happy, but only to a certain point as the Italian manufacturer threatens to quit the sport.

As Brawn and his team devise Formula 1’s 2021 regulation platform and especially the power unit of the future, their initial draft proposal has generated a negative reaction from a several teams, with Ferrari in particular warning it could simply pull out of the sport if its interests were not properly served.

Brawn has taken notice and is currently in the process of dealing with the House of Maranello’s quit threat.

“I was pretty surprised by these reactions,” he told Auto Bild, also referring to Mercedes’ negative reaction to the proposed framework.

“I was in some of the meetings, and I thought the direction was clear. Everyone agreed unanimously on the new goals that the engines should achieve, and we based the new rules on that.”

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Despite the backlash, Brawn insisted the disagreements are not terminal.

“It’s like a restaurant where some like the appetiser but not the main course, and vice versa,” said the Briton.

“That’s why there are new discussions taking place now. If the manufacturers offer better solutions we are open, but staying with the current power units is not an option,” he insisted.

Taking into account what the fans of Formula 1 want to see, and hear, is paramount for Liberty Media, F1’s owners. And “60 to 70 per cent” of all F1 fans want louder and more spectacular engines, while new manufacturers will not enter the sport unless there is change.

As for Ferrari’s quit threat, Brawn said: “That’s a rhetorical question.

“Of course we do not want to lose Ferrari. Ferrari benefits from Formula 1 and Formula 1 benefits from Ferrari. But every partnership has limits.

“So it’s a matter of what Ferrari can accept, and what we can accept. We want to find solutions that keep everyone in formula one, and above all we don’t want to lose any iconic teams.

“They are an important part of Formula 1 and we must respect and listen to them,” Brawn added.

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