Following Ferrari's declaration that Formula 1 may not be 'a never-ending story' for the Scuderia, BMW has become the second major manufacturer to suggest that it could walk away from the sport in the event of a 'two-class' hierarchy being engendered within the top flight.

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has blasted Max Mosley and the FIA World Motor Sport Council's ?40 million optional budget cap for 2010 and beyond as being 'fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased' [see separate story - click here], and liable to create a two-tier system amongst teams. BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen has since hinted that the new initiative is not to the liking of the Munich-based outfit either.

The BMW board ratified the continuation of the BMW-Sauber F1 presence back in February, but Theissen has now warned that should the sporting landscape change dramatically, that would likely have 'the same impact on the project'.

"A two-class Formula 1 is not attractive to BMW," the German said at a media event in Munich. "In one go you cannot just evaporate by a factor of three. A moving path, for example over two or three years, would be possible."

Commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has conceded that the cap could be introduced at a compromise level of ?60 million in its first year. The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is due to meet in London today (Wednesday) to discuss the new regulation, already viewed as antithesis to the very raison d'?tre of F1's big-spending manufacturer-backed operations.

BMW-Sauber is currently languishing woefully off the pace in 2009 - a season in which it had anticipated challenging for title glory - as it grapples with its uncompetitive F1.09 and boasts a scant four points on the board from the opening four 'flyaway' races, all courtesy of Nick Heidfeld's somewhat fortuitous if opportunistic second place in the rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang last month.


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