In hearing the news that Ferrari has threatened to withdraw from F1 if a proposal to have standardized engines is passed, one may wonder this: Without Ferrari, what is Formula 1?
The whole standardized engine proposal is, in my mind, absolutely preposterous. The manufacturers want to show what they can build their technology, not simply re-badge a foreign engine. Smaller teams may welcome this approach, but the manufacturers, the backbone of Formula 1, certainly aren't impressed.
Maybe a standard gearbox, which could be collaborated to the standard ECU, won't be all that bad (especially if you were part of Red Bull Racing's 2007 team). However, the engines are one of the most important parts of a car and teams want to show what they can do with them.
Along with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), Toyota and Ferrari have issued threats and spoken out about these proposals. Time will tell whether these threats will come to fruition.
But, can Formula 1 survive without the powerhouse of Ferrari? In my mind, Ferrari is the backbone of all Formula 1 teams. Formula 1 without Ferrari is not Formula 1.
Teams will only want to participate in the series Ferrari would be in. If we ever happen to have a breakaway series, teams will want to follow Ferrari. Whether it be called Formula 1 or something else, Ferrari will always be the force that Grand Prix racing will always need.