Ferrari take a Liberty with veto demand over rules they don’t like

Ferrari take a Liberty with demand to retain veto over rules they don’t like

  • Liberty Media set to allow Ferrari to retain a veto over potential rule changes 
  • Ferrari to continue receiving bonus payment as only ever-present constructor
  • Renegotiation of the Concorde Agreement has failed to provide much reform 

Formula One owners Liberty Media appear likely to cave in to Ferrari’s demand to retain their veto over regulations.

Despite Liberty promising to put an end to old anomalies, it is understood the Italian team will still hold the whip hand when the sport’s post-2020 future is settled.

Ferrari will also retain their unique bonus payment as the only ever-present constructor since the world championship began in 1950, albeit reduced from its existing annual £55million.

Ferrari are determined to keep hold of their veto power over Formula 1 rules and regulations

The veto was originally agreed with Bernie Ecclestone prior to Liberty taking over at the start of 2017.

With the current Concorde Agreement due to expire at the end of next season, there was the chance to level the playing field.

But, despite the negotiations dragging on for months, there has been far less reform than intended under new chief executive Chase Carey.

New chief executive Chase Carey is having difficulties renegotiating the Concorde Agreement

So Ferrari will remain uniquely able to reject all regulation changes, sporting and technical. They are meant only to do so on the basis that any proposal is not in the best interests of Formula One, though what is best for the sport and what is best for the team is a blurred line.

A spokesman for Formula One was asked for his response to the suggestion that Ferrari would be allowed to keep their veto but he did not respond.

There are a host of capitulations in the post-2020 blueprint presented to the teams last week. 

For example, each team’s annual budgets were due to be capped at about £110m but that figure is believed to have risen by between £30m and 80m, depending on how the total is calculated. For example, driver salaries and race-weekend travel and accommodation costs are excluded from the cap.

The website has reported that Ferrari’s long-standing team (LST) bonus will be halved to about £27m.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team have agreed to take part in a new Netflix series, after being criticised for refusing to co-operate with the original 10-part documentary, Drive to Survive, last season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed his team will take part in filming for Drive to Survive

Netflix accused Mercedes and Ferrari — the only two of the eight teams to deny their cameras access — of letting the fans down. The producers had to skirt around the title battle involving Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Filming of the second series has already begun, with neither Mercedes nor Ferrari having taken part so far. Mercedes are yet to sign up officially but are understood to be willing to relent by allowing Netflix into their facilities at the German Grand Prix next month: a token gesture rather than total commitment. Ferrari are also in talks to take part.

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, said: ‘I watched the first series and didn’t like it. But everybody I spoke to who was not a hardcore race fan told me they loved it. So I watched it again and I realised that it showed stories that exist off track. It’s about characters. It showed me a new angle to attract a new audience.

‘That is why I decided to join and be part of Netflix 2019. But at one race only, and that will probably be at Hockenheim.’

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