Ferrari in quit threat over standard engine
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, October 27th 2008, 19:16 GMT|
Ferrari have issued a bombshell warning that they will reconsider their participation in Formula One if the FIA presses ahead with the introduction of a standard engine.
On a day when the FIA confirmed it was still pushing on with its plans to introduce standard engines in F1, Ferrari became the second team to publicly threaten to withdraw from the sport if the concept goes ahead.
In a statement issued following a board meeting at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters, the team made it clear that they did not believe the move to standard powerplants was right for F1.
"Whilst reiterating its wholehearted commitment to a substantial and needed reduction in costs in Formula One, starting with propulsion, the Ferrari Board of Directors expressed strong concerns regarding plans to standardise engines as it felt that such a move would detract from the entire raison of a sport with which Ferrari has been involved continuously since 1950, a raison d'etre based principally on competition and technological development," said the statement.
"The Board of Directors expressed the opinion that should these key elements be diminished, it would have to re-evaluate, with its partners the viability of continuing its presence in the sport."
Ferrari's statement came less than an hour after Toyota team president John Howett told autosport.com that the Japanese manufacturer would almost certainly be out of F1 if the standard engine idea went ahead.
Howett also suggested that other manufacturers would follow suit.
"I think you will see manufacturers potentially leaving F1 if there is a standard engine," Howett told autosport.com. "I don't think any of the manufacturers want a homogenized engine.
"I think the outcome depends partially on the FIA and the World Motor Sport Council, and whether they have a mind to press through with the idea."
The FIA has already opened the tender for the supply of standard engines from 2010 to 2012, with the governing body claiming several 'parties' had expressed an interest in applying for the deal.
Although it has widely been talked about that manufacturers would withdraw from F1 if the standard engine idea went through, Ferrari's decision to go public with their quit threat is a major development - as the Italian manufacturer have previously shied away from such dramatic statements.
It comes with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo heading the Formula One Teams' Association's (FOTA) effort to coordinate with the FIA a package of rules changes.