Earlier today, Ferrari held their aforementioned meeting to discuss their future in F1. What you see in the classic film poster to the left is pretty much what happened. All that remains unclear is who’s who: Luca di Montezemolo, Max Mosley, and Bernie Ecclestone. Well, no, Bernie’s surely depicted all the way to the right on that poster.
Their statement was very simple, direct, and clear: with the rules for 2010 as they are currently, Ferrari will definitely quit Formula One. No “might,” no “maybe,” no pussyfooting around: that’s it. Mosley and di Montezemolo are squinting at each other across the table, arms crossed, and daring each other to blink first. Meanwhile Bernie Ecclestone is busy playing referee, saying things like, “Ferrari are not stupid, they don’t want to leave Formula One and we don’t want to lose them, so we’ll get to grips with it.”
What’s somewhat mind-blowing about such staunch heel-dragging on Ferrari’s part is the fact that they’re having this argument while regularly being thrashed as the 2009 season progresses. And who by? Comparatively young upstart teams Brawn GP and Red Bull Racing, who both have far smaller budgets than Ferrari. While it’s obviously true that money can do a lot for a team, it’s not the only thing they’ve got going for them…surely? True, not everyone can be Ross Brawn or Adrian Newey, but obviously it is possible to be fantastic at F1 while on a somewhat constrained budget. With both Ferrari and McLaren regularly warming the places at the back of the grid alongside Force India during this 2009 season, it is this writer’s opinion that they might want to look a little more closely at what, exactly, all that extra cash is buying them.