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Ferrari to exit F1 for Le Mans?

2014-06-17 08:01

F1 DAYS NUMBERED? Will Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo pull his struggling team out of F1 to join Le Mans? Image:AFP/Tom Gandolfini

MARANELLO, Italy - Hot on the heels of Ferrari's latest quit threat, Ferrari team president Luca di Montezemolo has called for a meeting to discuss its future in F1.

Montezemolo said the team could turn to Le Mans  by 2020: "Of course, we cannot do sports-car racing and F1. It's not possible."

Ferrari backtracked and posted a statement on its official website that suggested the team was going to quit F1 for Le Mans "takes Montezemolo's words to extremes".

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO F1?

Ferrari is giving the impression of being successfully wooed by Le Mans, where automakers such as Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan already compete.

The Le Mans 24 Hours on (14 June 2014) was flagged off by Ferrari Fernando Alonso, who said: "I often speak with Montezemolo and, while the priority remains winning again in F1, an interesting format like Le Mans is worth keeping an eye on too."

At the same time reports began to emerge that Montezemolo is inviting F1's major stakeholders to a meeting at Maranello before the Italian GP in September 2014.

Italy's Corriere della Sera sports newspaper said the invitation was sent in writing to F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and CVC's (an F1 stakeholder) Donald Mackenzie outlining his "worries" about the current face of F1.

Interestingly with F1 appearing to resist the modern era of the internet, Montezemolo said Google and Apple should also be invited, as well as representatives of "new media" and "social networks".

Confirming the letter, Ferrari said on its official website that it is "not an ultimatum nor a threat", but rather a way to come up with "new ideas" so that F1 remains "the benchmark in motor sport".

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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