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Chase Carey and Jean Todt, arguably the most powerful men in formula one, have played down Ferrari’s quit threat.

Amid Liberty Media’s plans for new engine and budget cap rules, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said the famous marque might not race beyond 2020.

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, who is normally in political lock-step with Marchionne, says that threat must be taken seriously.

“Everything Marchionne says must be taken seriously,” he insisted.

“F1 must remain the pinnacle of technology and the best competition, and if you dilute this message with standard specifications and false situations that penalise the best and help the weakest, I think that’s not our DNA.”

So when asked if he is currently happy with Liberty, Wolff told Corriere della Sera newspaper: “For now the answer is no.

“But let’s delay that (judgement) for a year. For now I don’t want to vote.”

Part of the dispute with Liberty is about F1’s commercial income this year, which has significantly dipped.

“As we say in the States, there is no such thing as a free lunch, particularly if you’re trying to develop and grow,” F1 chief executive Chase Carey told EFE news agency.

As for Ferrari’s quit threat, he answered: “The Ferrari brand is an incredibly important and valuable partner and our intention is to keep them here.”

According to Tuttosport, FIA president Jean Todt agreed: “I think it would be too painful for Ferrari not to be in formula one.”

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