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.”