The sport's oldest and most successful team will quit Formula One at the end of this season if the International Automobile Federation does not abandon plans for a 2010 budget cap. Ferrari's absence would be seen as a major blow to the sport.
“Ferrari does not intend to register cars for the 2010 F1 world championships (…) if the rules do not change," reads the Italian team statement published on Tuesday.
Ferrari’s bosses have been at loggerheads with the International Automobile Federation over its plan to introduce a 45 m euros budget cap next year.
The sports body intends to encourage new teams to enter Formula 1 by reducing the costs, especially in this time of global crisis.
The teams respecting that financial cap would then have greater technical freedom when they build their cars.
"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," reads the Ferrari statement. "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."
Ferrari is by far motorsport's biggest name, with millions of fans around the world, and has participated in every single Formula 1 championships since their debut in 1950.
Their absence would be seen as a major blow to the sport; defending world champion Lewis Hamilton said he “could not imagine” F1 without Ferrari.
But the FIA chairman Max Mosley earlier said that “the sport could live without Ferrari." He is supposed to meet Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo in the next few days to try and find a compromise, meaning that we could just be at the start of long negotiations.
Date created : 2009-05-12