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Take Ferrari's threat to quit F1 seriously, says Ecclestone

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Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari's threat to quit F1 should be taken seriously, insisting the manufacturer will pull out of the sport if it doesn't like the new regulations.

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said last week he was unimpressed with The Formula One Group's plans for changes in 2021 which include new engine regulations, a probable budget cap and a revised redistribution of prize money.

The Fiat-Chrysler boss insisted that if F1 moves in a direction contrary to Ferrari's interests, it could turn its back on Grand Prix racing.

"If they can't win, they will put forward new regulations," Ecclestone told the Independent.

"If the regulations come out where Ferrari think it is going to be a struggle and they can’t support the money then they will leave."

Ferrari has struggled since F1 entered the era of the 2.4-litre V8 hybrid engine in 2014, although the Scuderia succeeded in breaking Mercedes' hegemony in the first half of this season, only to see its title bid collapse after a disastrous spell of races in Asia.

Further to its engine proposal which was presented last week, Formula 1 is expected to announce on Tuesday in another Startegy Group meeting additional details about the sport's future, with a proposed budget cap destined to reduce spending and level the playing field likely on the agenda.

"They don’t want budget caps and all that," Ecclestone added.

"They want to spend what they can afford to spend and I’ve always said the same thing. If people can’t spend they have to go.

"If there are then only three or four teams something would have to be done but until that actually happens nobody is going to do anything.

"All the teams that say they can’t afford it shouldn’t put an entry in."

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