Ferrari to Quit F1?
Formula One’s off-track happenings continued to rival its race-days in terms of drama as the sport’s longest running and most successful team issued a stunning ultimatum, threatening to end its involvement if proposed budget cap rules are implemented next season.
FIA chief Max Mosley has proposed a system that would allow teams remaining within a £40 million budget cap to operate with fewer technological restrictions than those that chose not to. Ferrari argues that this would create a two-tier championship stating, “The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of… endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are priorities for the future. If these indispensable principles are not respected, and if the regulations decided for 2010 will not change, Ferrari does not intend to enter its cars.”
The Italian motorsport giant’s rocket appears not to have cowed F1 head Bernie Ecclestone or the aforementioned Mosley, who claimed that, “The sport could survive without Ferrari”, adding that the team’s departure would be “very sad”. Meanwhile Ecclestone dismissed the threat outright in an interview with The Times: “Ferrari are not stupid. They don’t want to leave Formula 1 and we don’t want to lose them, so we’ll get to grips with it.” In addition to Ferrari, Toyota and Red Bull have also threatened to end their involvement, should the rule-change come to pass.
The plan to introduce a budget cap is designed to attract new teams to the sport by reducing the cost of starting up, yet it seems to have alienated the sport’s biggest name.