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FIA boss Todt compares Ferrari veto to ‘having a gun’


MEXICO CITY (AP) The president of Formula One’s governing body called Ferrari’s veto power over regulations changes “like having a gun” and said he was disappointed the Italian team recently blocked a cost cap for customer engines.

“It is necessary we look after the interests of the small teams,” FIA President Jean Todt said Saturday at the Mexican Grand Prix.

To help small teams cut costs and compete, Todt wants to introduce in 2017 a cheaper engine than those supplied by Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.

Formula One switched in 2014 from V8 engines to very complicated and expensive V6 turbo power units. Mercedes has dominated ever since, with two championships by Lewis Hamilton.

Todt tried to fend off future Ferrari vetoes, even if the move is in the carmaker’s historic right under F1 rules.

“A veto is like having a gun in your pocket, and you have to be careful when you use a gun,” Todt said. “It has to be determined that there is something that goes against their interests. Trying to suggest a customer engine is not against their interests.”

Ferrari was the only team to block the cost cap proposal and this week defended the move. The team has dramatically improved its performance in 2015 with three victories and Sebastian Vettel sitting in second place in the driver’s standings.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene on Friday said the veto was a business decision to protect commercial property.

“Why do we have to justify it more?” Arrivabene said. “You have research and development costs that somehow you have to recover. I don’t find any commercial entity all around the world that is giving their product out to the market or free.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”