Interview: Ferrari boss on quitting F1, car prices and trade wars

by Rachel Burgess, Autocar UK 07 Mar 2018

Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne has again warned that the firm could quit Formula 1 if it does not agree with future rule changes in the sport.

The outspoken president of the Italian manufacturer has previously said that Ferrari is “at odds” with future engine plans outlined by Liberty Media, which owns F1. 

That was just one topic he addressed in a typically candid interview session during the Geneva motor show. Here are his views on F1, Ferrari’s pricing and trade wars.

On Formula 1:

“I did not say we were leaving Formula 1 in 2020, but that if we cannot reconcile our differences then we will leave.

“We’ve raced in Formula the longest of anyone. We understand the sport. It’s definitely hard to imagine F1 without Ferrari, so I sincerely hope we can go through.”

"We have been in dialogue with Liberty Media and I’m hopeful we will find a way and go forward by the end of this year. If it doesn’t you will hear about it!”

On the future pricing of Ferrari cars:

“I don’t know how we should price the fastest V8 in our history [the new 488 Pista]. We always go through a discovery process with customers and ask them what they think they should pay for a car. We try to be fair. But I don’t think we’ve identified an upper limit on pricing yet.”

That suggests prices of future models could go above the £215,000 expected for the Pista.

On the potential trade war between the USA and the European Union:

“I don’t like the thought of a trade war. I’m hopeful reason will prevail. We need to cool our jets instead of making a lot of noise. The reaction from the EU, targeting iconic brands such as Levi’s and Harley Davidson seems an unnecessarily childish reaction to the threat. 

“Everybody should be quiet for a few days. The trade policy was put into place with the previous White House administration, so they’re understandably reviewing it. We need to sit down and hammer it out.”