Following a meeting of its board at Maranello, Ferrari has announced that it won't lodge an entry into the 2010 Formula One World Championship unless plans for an optional £40 million budget cap are changed.
A statement issued by the Scuderia
following the meeting revealed its objection to the plans put forward by FIA president Max Mosley, and stated that it will join Toyota and Red Bull in withdrawing from the sport if the budget cap is pushed through.
All three teams have expressed concern over the possibility of F1 becoming a two-tier championship if the budget cap is enforced, with teams adhering to the cap being given greater technical freedom compared to those that elect to spend an unrestricted amount.
“The decisions taken [during the World Motor Sport Council meeting on 29 April] 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 statement read. “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.
“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. 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.”
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who also leads FOTA, has openly criticised the proposed plans, with FIA chief Mosley responding by stating that Formula One would go on without Ferrari – although it would be 'sad' to lose the team from the sport.
The statement from Ferrari further criticised Mosley and the FIA for the way in which the budget cap proposal has been handled, arguing that there should have been greater 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,” it read. “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.”
Di Montezemelo has now been instructed to look at alternative options for Ferrari's racing activities if quitting Formula One becomes a reality.
“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,” the statement concluded. “The Chairman of the Board of Directors was mandated to evaluate the most suitable ways and methods to protect the company's interests.”