Ferrari has failed in its endeavour to get an injunction granted against the FIA's unpopular £40 million budget cap for Formula 1, with a French high court today (Wednesday) dismissing the Scuderia's
Late last week, Ferrari took the ongoing dispute between teams and the FIA to a new level in seeking assistance from the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris, in a dramatic attempt to prevent the sport's governing body from pushing ahead with its contentious new initiative.
The legendary Italian manufacturer's case was argued by three lawyers on Tuesday, but when the ruling was subsequently handed down, magistrate Jacques Gondran de Robert deemed that 'there is no risk of any imminent damage which should be prevented or obviously illegal trouble which should be stopped'.
The Maranello-based outfit – in company with F1 rivals Renault, Toyota and Red Bull – threatened to sensationally quit the top flight following more than half a century of uninterrupted competition stretching all the way back to the official inception of the world championship in 1950, after locking horns with FIA President Max Mosley over the controversial cost cap.
Competitors fear it will engender an unfair 'two-tier' championship of haves and have-nots, with – according to the published regulations as they stand – teams choosing to adhere to the cap due to benefit from greater technical freedoms than their unlimited-budget rivals.
Further crisis talks are set to be held between the FIA, commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) in Monte Carlo ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. Whilst Mosley has been forced to abandon the 'optional' nature of the cap, he is adamant that the limit itself will remain – and will apply to all.
The Englishman has acknowledged the possibility of a number of existing entrants walking away, but insists he is unperturbed as he claims there are just as many if not more interested parties ready to take their places, with a David Richards-led Prodrive/Aston Martin/UAE-branded bid, iconic British marque Lola and American operation US GPE understood to be the most serious contenders. In a statement on its website, however, Ferrari has poured scorn upon the calibre of the potential F1 newcomers.
'Wirth Research, Lola, US GPE, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport – these are the names of the teams which would compete in the two-tier Formula 1 wanted by Mosley,' the statement reads.
'Can a world championship with teams like them – with due respect – have the same value as today's Formula 1, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams who created the history of this sport compete? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?'
The stipulated deadline for all 2010 entries to be made is 29 May.