Ferrari set to withdraw from Formula One
May 13, 2009 In an announcement that shocked the motor racing world yesterday, Ferrari has signalled its intentions to withdraw from Formula One next year. Ferrari’s Board of Directors announced a EUR 54 million Q1, 2009 trading profit, only slightly down compared to EUR 59 million last year. At the same time it criticised the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile for its decision to introduce “two different sets of regulations based on arbitrary technical rules and economic parameters.” The Board announced that unless the regulatory framework for Formula 1 is changed, then “the reasons underlying Ferrari’s uninterrupted participation in the World Championship over the last 60 years – the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 – would come to a close.”
The Ferrari press announcement reads as follows: Maranello 12 May 2009 – Ferrari’s Board of Directors, chaired by Luca di Montezemolo, today analysed the first quarter results for 2009. Despite the current international economic climate, which has hit the automotive sector in particular, Ferrari’s figures were in line with the record levels reached in 2008.
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Turnover for the first three months was 441 million euro compared to 455.7 million euro over the same period in 2008. The first quarter closed with a trading profit of 54 million euro compared to last year’s 59 million euro.
These results reflect the introduction of new models, in particular the success of the Ferrari California and the Scuderia Spider 16M, the constant growth in activities linked to the brand (e-commerce, licensing, merchandising and retail) and the company’s continuing efforts to maximise efficiency.
The Board of Directors also examined developments related to recent decisions taken by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile during an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on 29 April 2009. Although this meeting was originally called only to examine a disciplinary matter, the decisions taken mean that, for the first time ever in Formula 1, the 2010 season will see the introduction of two different sets of regulations based on arbitrary technical rules and economic parameters.
The Board considers that if this is the regulatory framework for Formula 1 in the future, then the reasons underlying Ferrari’s uninterrupted participation in the World Championship over the last 60 years – the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 – would come to a close.
The Board also expressed its disappointment about the methods adopted by the FIA in taking decisions of such a serious nature and its refusal to effectively reach an understanding with constructors and teams. The rules of governance that have contributed to the development of Formula 1 over the last 25 years have been disregarded, as have the binding contractual obligations between Ferrari and the FIA itself regarding the stability of the regulations. The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of the FOTA’s endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are the priorities for the future. If these indispensable principles are not respected and if the regulations adopted for 2010 will not change, then Ferrari does not intend to enter its cars in the next Formula 1 World Championship.
Ferrari trusts that its many fans worldwide will understand that this difficult decision is coherent with the Scuderia’s approach to motor sport and to Formula 1 in particular, always seeking to promote its sporting and technical values. The Chairman of the Board of Directors was mandated to evaluate the most suitable ways and methods to protect the company’s interests.