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F1 chiefs: Ferrari 'idiots' and not 'indispensable'

Though they may not see entirely eye-to-eye on the controversial new budget cap that has provoked so much debate within Formula 1 in recent weeks, Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone have nonetheless united to round upon the top flight's oldest and arguably most famous team Ferrari – with one dismissing notions that the Scuderia is indispensable as 'nonsense' and the other claiming the way they have gone about opposing the initiative has been idiotic.

There is set to be a further meeting between the teams in the guise of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) and FIA President Mosley in Monaco today (19 May) in a bid to reach an agreement that satisfies everybody, and averts the threat both of a 'two-tier' F1 – with some competitors subscribing to the optional £40 million limit and others not – and of current entrants walking away.

Thus far Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and Red Bull have all vowed to pull the plug should the unpopular rules not be changed in time for the 2010 campaign, with the former taking the dispute up a notch by seeking a legal injunction against the cap in a French court. Mosley is expected to permit the teams until 22 May (Friday) to come up with an alternative solution to the escalating expenditure in what is the world's most expensive sport, leaving them just a week to then sign up for next season – but he is adamant that despite the enduring stalemate as the clock ticks down, there is no 'crisis'.

“I don't think it will happen,” the 68-year-old contended of the pull-out threats. “There is this suggestion that there is some sort of crisis, but I don't think there is a crisis. We were absolutely up against the deadline for new teams, and if a new team is going to come into F1 they have got to know they have got an entry and they are in. We've already left it very late, and that is why it was necessary to have an absolute deadline.

“Now that has been done, they will apply to enter and we will look at the applications and take a decision. Then there will probably be some vacancies, and other teams may decide to enter later or not as the case may be. There won't be a crisis of any kind, if indeed a crisis at all, until March 2010 when we go to Melbourne. There is plenty of time.

“The people who are up against it time-wise are new teams, because you cannot nowadays just start an F1 team at short notice. That is all underway – and we will see how the new teams look. There are a very large number of people who have expressed an interest, and a significant number of them are serious. The difficulty is that there are going to be more serious teams than the potential three places if all the existing teams enter, so we are going to have to take a view on that.”

Having already engaged in a bitter war of words with Ferrari and FOTA President Luca di Montezemolo, Mosley re-iterated his prior assertion that F1 'could survive' without the only team that has competed in every campaign since the official inception of the world championship all the way back in 1950 – but both he and Ecclestone are equally confident that it will not come to that, with the head of the governing body even going so far as to accuse the scarlet brigade of being afraid of taking on their rivals on a level playing field.

Moreover, it has been reported that Stefano Domenicali only found out about the injunction by text message during last Friday's FOTA-FIA meeting – a situation Mosley described as almost laughable, with Ecclestone telling British newspaper The Times that Ferrari 'should have [taken the injunction out] before now – idiots'.

“I thought that was quite original,” Mosley remarked, “to send a team principal in without informing him of his team's intentions. I think he was slightly embarrassed. The idea that they are indispensable is nonsense. It's a little bit like poor [Ayrton] Senna; he was the most important driver in 1994, but when he very sadly got killed Formula 1 went on. Lotus were very important once too; so were Brabham.



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XWNI - Unregistered

May 19, 2009 1:06 PM

Maybe so, but we can't let FIA - yes, that means you Mr.Mosley, dictate the rules either. No one organisation/person can be allowed to dictate the rulebook. The teams *are* F1. FOTA should make the rules by 70% majority vote. FIA and FOM could have a permanent seat, and single vote at the rulemaking table. Voting should be structured such that the teams can force through, or block rule changes even against the combined will of FIA/FOM.

JJ - Unregistered

May 19, 2009 12:25 PM

We certainly can't have Mad Max dictate F1. Ever since he started actually actively doing things, things have been a mess. Bernie needs to cut him loose now or go down with him. I don't really care for Bernie either, I just hope there will be F1 or something similar in the future. If Bernie is still there fine, if he's not, better.



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