Max Mosley has again sought to defend the introduction of his controversial budget cap into Formula 1, rubbishing Ferrari's fears of a drop in the calibre of teams participating and insisting that without the arrival of new entrants and with 'just a lot of old men running it', the sport 'will die'.
Though each and every one of the present incumbents has now lodged an entry for the 2010 campaign following the long FIA-FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association) stand-off, it is understood that all save for Williams have done so on the strict condition that the cap – designed to entice more competitors to swell the grid numbers – is deferred until 2011 at the earliest, thereby buying the teams more time to negotiate.
FOTA's line is that for organisations currently spending in the region of £150 million to £200 million, such a significant reduction in such a short space of time is simply unworkable – and a compromise is believed to have been agreed in principle whereby the upper limit will be brought down gradually, rather than in one fell swoop.
Ferrari in particular has been stringently opposed to the cost-cutting initiative, caustically suggesting that a paddock populated by names like Lola, Team USF1, Campos Meta 1 and Litespeed GP – all of whom have submitted bids for a slot on next season's starting grid – cannot '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', adding: 'Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?'
Mosley, however, argues that the Scuderia's
brusque dismissal of the capabilities of the potential newcomers is both misguided and short-sighted – and contends that without fresh blood in the top flight, F1 would fade away.
“No sport is healthy without new people coming in,” the 69-year-old Englishman told the Deutsche Presse Agentur
. “Ferrari forget that the current BMW team started as Sauber, the current Williams team started with Williams buying a March [and] Tyrrell started a little team at the end of the sixties that was Honda and is now Brawn.
“Even Enzo Ferrari himself came along in 1948 and started from nothing. If you stopped those new entrepreneurs coming in, Formula 1 will die. You can't have just a lot of old men running it.”