Ferrari has reacted in outspoken manner to the news that yet another major manufacturer has elected to walk away from F1, accusing the FIA of conducting 'a war' against the car makers and suggesting the new independent outfits set to join the fray in 2010 may not see out the season – if they even make it to the grid at all.
Toyota's departure – confirmed yesterday [see separate story – click here
] – may not have taken the paddock by surprise in the way that the announcement by Honda did last December, or Bridgestone earlier this week, but Ferrari argues that it is just the latest costly indictment of the bitter FIA/FOTA dispute that made for a torrid summer in 2009.
Prior to the signing of the new commercial rights Concorde Agreement, the manufacturers and the governing body had disagreed on matters of importance – from cost-cutting measures to methods of leadership – to such an extent that the majority of the teams were threatening to launch their own 'breakaway series', free from Max Mosley's controversial jurisdiction.
Whilst barely concealing its conviction that rather than the global credit crunch it was indeed Mosley – who has since stepped down from the most powerful and influential post in international motor racing, in favour of former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt – who was 'the guilty person' whose actions forced Toyota out of the F1 exit door, the Scuderia
cast doubt upon the calibre of newcomers Lotus, Campos Meta, Manor and USF1 who are due to swell the 2010 field.
'It seems like a parody of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians
, published in England for the first time in the year 1939, but the reality is much more serious,' read the statement on Ferrari's official website. 'Formula 1 continues to lose major players; over the last twelve months Honda, BMW, Bridgestone and now Toyota have announced they are leaving the sport.
'In exchange, so to speak, we will now have Manor, Lotus (at least in name only, as this incarnation has little to do with the team that gave us Colin Chapman, Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna to name but a few,) USF1 and Campos Meta. Can we claim that it's a case of like-for-like, just because the numbers sitting around the table are the same? Hardly – and we must also wait and see just how many of them will really be there on the grid for the first race of next season in Bahrain, and how many will still be there at the end of 2010.
'In reality, the steady trickle of desertion has more to do with a war against the big car manufacturers by those who managed the sport over the past few years, than the result of any economic crisis. In Christie's detective novel the guilty person is only discovered when everybody else is dead, one after the other. Do we want to wait until this happens, or should we write Formula 1's book with a different closing chapter?'