I may be going out on a bit of limb, but I think that Ferrari’s reaction to the departure of Toyota from Formula 1 may end up having the bigger impact on the sport—far larger than the sudden disappearance of Japanese makers from the grid.
Ferrari undoubtedly is the big boy in F1 circles. And it has to like it there—after all, who doesn’t want to be king of the mountain, so to speak?
I think its statement is a preemptive shot against two threats to its dominance: 1) the growing influence of engine manufacturers, especially Mercedes; and 2) the strength of the FIA leadership, now under former Ferrari man Jean Todt.
Judging from the how much the media is picking up the story, and the way it is being spun, Ferrari has to be feeling like the shot hit its mark.
The BBC has this headline : “F1 ‘war’ on car makers – Ferrari”. The story is pretty straight-forward.
The Times of London headline has to have hearts pounding happily in Maranello: “Ferrari blame Max Mosley for departure of Toyota”.
The story follows that line: “Ferrari launched a new attack on the FIA last night, blaming Max Mosley, its former president, for Toyota’s decision to follow Honda, BMW and Bridgestone in quitting the sport.”
The Telegraph ramps up the rhetoric, as well: “Ferrari furious with Formula One’s rulers as Renault prepare to exit.” It goes on the refer to the statement as an “outburst.”
Amazingly, The Sun doesn’t seem to have figured out it has a real fight on its hands, and not one faked up for the pro wrestling ring.
I’ll be keeping an eye on what’s coming out of Maranello and subsequent reaction. I’m also waiting for a certain seven-time world champion to say something.