Ferrari threatens to leave F1 in 2010

Ferrari has confirmed that it will not enter next year's world championship unless plans for a voluntary £40 million budget cap are changed

Ferrari threatens to leave F1 in 2010

Although the team had expressed private reservations about the rule changes and governing processes for 2010, it finally went public with its intentions in a statement issued following a board meeting at Maranello on Tuesday afternoon.

"The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of the FOTA's endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are the priorities for the future," said the statement.

"If these indispensable principles are not respected and if the regulations adopted for 2010 will not change, then Ferrari does not intend to enter its cars in the next Formula 1 world championship. "

Entries for the 2010 world championship close on May 29, with Toyota and Red Bull's two F1 teams having already announced in public that they will not enter if the rules remain unchanged.

It is thought likely that the other manufacturer teams will also join a 'boycott' of lodging an entry by the deadline - with only the current independents Brawn GP, Williams and Force India outfits set to apply.

As with other teams, Ferrari's main cause of concern is the possibility of a two-tier F1 - which would come into force should some teams adopt to run under budget cap restrictions next year while others choose unrestricted finances.

Regarding the FIA's World Motor Sport Council meeting on April 29 that ratified the 2010 regulations, the Ferrari statement said: "Although this meeting was originally called only to examine a disciplinary matter, the decisions taken mean that, for the first time ever in Formula 1, the 2010 season will see the introduction of two different sets of regulations based on arbitrary technical rules and economic parameters.

"The Board considers that if this is the regulatory framework for Formula 1 in the future, then the reasons underlying Ferrari's uninterrupted participation in the world championship over the last 60 years - the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 - would come to a close."

Although Ferrari is totally opposed to a two-tier F1 system, and has questioned whether or not it is possible for a £40 million budget cap to be introduced next year, the Italian outfit is also concerned about governance of the sport.

As well as being unhappy about the way the rules were pushed through last year, Ferrari thinks there has not been enough consultation with the teams.

"The Board also expressed its disappointment about the methods adopted by the FIA in taking decisions of such a serious nature and its refusal to effectively reach an understanding with constructors and teams," added the statement.

"The rules of governance that have contributed to the development of Formula 1 over the last 25 years have been disregarded, as have the binding contractual obligations between Ferrari and the FIA itself regarding the stability of the regulations."

In light of the developments regarding next year's entry, Ferrari said its president Luca di Montezemolo had been told to look at alternative activities for the racing team.

"Ferrari trusts that its many fans worldwide will understand that this difficult decision is coherent with the Scuderia's approach to motor sport and to Formula 1 in particular, always seeking to promote its sporting and technical values," said the statement.

"The Chairman of the Board of Directors was mandated to evaluate the most suitable ways and methods to protect the company's interests."

Despite Ferrari's strong stance, the FIA said earlier today that it was optimistic a solution to the matter could be found soon. Di Montezemolo is expected to meet with FIA president Max Mosley in the next few days to discuss the situation.

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