Absurd idea: Ferrari threaten to pull out

Andrew Hopkins

Auto manufacturers are proud of their technological advances, their spectacular cars and of course their engines. For Ferrari, it's always been the engines that mattered. They say that Commendatore Enzo Ferrari wasn't particularly interested in how good the car was. The main thing was that it had the best engine.

So the man with the dark sunglasses would probably be turning in his grave if FIA President Max Mosley were ever to get his way and impose a homologated engine on the F1 fraternity. Regardless of whether you were driving a red Ferrari, blue-and-white BMW or silver McLaren Mercedes, you would have the same engine under the bonnet!

Inconceivable for most F1 fans and certainly for Ferrari. "A change of this nature would detract from the actual point and purpose of a race series that Ferrari have given their uninterrupted support to since 1950, namely competition and technical progress," was the statement to emerge from the historic marque on Monday. "If this key element were to be abandoned, it would be necessary to consult with our partners to see whether our continued involvement in this sport made any sense at all."


Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi sees exactly where his ex-employer is coming from: "Homologated engines are an absolutely absurd idea," he says in the column of an Italian newspaper. "If the day ever comes when we have to use identical engines, it would be wholly understandable if Ferrari were to pull out altogether."

Sales figures from the third quarter of 2008 show that Ferrari are on the right track: the company increased its turnover to €450 million, i.e. up by 22.3% compared with the third quarter of 2007. Profits amounted to €79 million, a 41.1% increase on the third quarter of 2007.