Ferrari defends veto over price ceiling

Ferrari has defended use of a veto to block plans for a price ceiling for Formula One engines and gearboxes, according to team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.

“We just exercised our commercial right as a powertrain manufacturer,” said Arrivabene, when asked about the veto during a news conference at the Mexican Grand Prix.

“If someone is asking you to produce a specification, you produce that specification. If then someone says ‘OK, we want you to reduce the price’, what are we going to do?

“It’s not a position against the other teams, it’s a position defending commercial principle. We’re open to find any other solution.”

Ferrari’s use of their unique historic veto was exercised at an F1 Strategy Group meeting against a proposal from the sport’s ruling body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), to introduce a budget engine as an alternative to the 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines currently in use.

It was suggested at that meeting that Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault should cut the prices of their engine for the ‘privateer’ independent customer teams in F1.

Arrivabene said that it was unreasonable to ask manufacturers to lower their prices after they had committed to development costs.

“If you are a public company, as we are, or a company as Mercedes is, you have research and development costs which is something you have to recover.

“I don’t know any commercial entity giving produce out for free, or at cost. This is a principle.

“We are not applying the veto at every single meeting. If we do it, we think a lot about it.

“We do it if, in our opinion, it is necessary to do it. The last one was applied by Jean Todt – many years ago.”

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff said, “This is a controversial topic and as many things, black and white is not the answer.

“There is a set of rules which were implemented in F1 two years ago. We started developing those engines three, four, five years ago based on that set of rules.

“You have to calculate how much you can charge for those engines, how much [money] you can recover for those engines.

“I understand Ferrari’s standpoint and also understand that it’s a difficult situation for some of the smaller teams.”

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