1992 Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell believes that it is very important for F1 to keep Ferrari in the sport. The Italian manufacturer has threatened to quit following Liberty Media’s engine schemes for 2021.
The Maranello-based squad has stood firm on its threats, claiming it would not be worthwhile staying if it felt F1 wasn’t heading in the right direction. Mansell, who raced 31 Grands Prix with Ferrari, says it is vital they remain on the grid past 2020.
When questioned by Sky Sports if F1 could do without Ferrari, Mansell said: “Absolutely not. Formula 1 will have great challenges ahead if they let any manufacturer walk away.
“We only have 20 cars on the grid now. In the heyday there were 43 Formula 1 cars trying to qualify for 26 places. The fans worldwide are crying out to have 26 cars now. We need new drivers, new blood, new manufacturers to start competing on a level playing field.”
With cost-cutting measures being a primary focus of Liberty Media’s future for F1, Mansell hopes it will be enough to attract more manufacturers to the grid, claiming at least 26 cars are needed to compete in the field. 
“We’ve got a backlog of great drivers wanting to come into Formula 1 and we need more manufacturers with at least 26 cars on the grid.  Hopefully Liberty are going to get some new regulations that everyone will embrace and there will be a more level playing field where people can be competitive.
“There is something wrong with any sport when you have, as a good or bad example, an incredible team like McLaren who have won so many world championships and an incredible manufacturer of engines like Honda, they couldn’t get it together. It shouldn’t be that difficult.”

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