Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has reignited talk regarding a potential breakaway series following the rumoured joint-bid from News Corporation and Exor.
Exor are owned by the Agnelli family who have a 30% stake in FIAT – the parent company of Ferrari.
All teams are currently bound to the Concorde Agreement which, among many things, states the sport must remain on free-to-air television. Should Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp takeover it would likely see broadcasting rights move to his Sky company.
But the deal expires at the end of next year and has led to a lot of media speculation as to the sport’s future.
Certainly Di Montezemolo’s words today, in an interview with CNN, merely add fuel to the fire as the 63-year-old sees no reason why the teams have to commit themselves to the current F1 model.
“I think we have to be very pragmatic,” said Di Montezemolo. “At the end of 2012, the contracts of every single team with CVC will expire. So, we have three alternatives.
“We renew with CVC, or we theoretically, as the basketball teams did in the US with great success, we create our own company like the NBA to run the races, the TV rights and so, and third, we find a different partner.
“Bernie Ecclestone has done a very good job, but he’s already sold out three times, so he doesn’t own the business any more. It is CVC that will sell.
“At the end of 2012 the contract will expire, so theoretically CVC doesn’t own anything.
“I think it is important to have alternatives. We will see. We have time to do it.”
Ferrari are well-known to be unhappy with some of the rule changes to be introduced in the next two years – especially the proposed to four-cylinder turbo-charged engines.
Of primary concern to Di Montezemolo is the current state of F1. He is said to be irritated by the new changes, in particular with the introduction of the DRS (drag reduction system) and re-introduction of KERS.
“We have gone too far with artificial elements,” added Di Montezemolo.
“I want to see competition, cars on the track. I don’t want to see competition in the pits.
“In the last race there were 80 pitstops. Come on, it’s too much, and the people don’t understand anymore because when you come out of the pits you don’t know what position you’re in.
“I think we have gone too far with the machines, too many buttons. The driver is focusing on them to give him authorisation to overtake. We have gone too far.
“Ferrari will push a lot with the authority (the FIA), with the respect we have to the Federation and the other teams, to avoid going too far with F1 because I think it can create problems for the television people and on the racetrack,” he said.