Ferrari have struggled to match their rivals in 2009
Formula 1 drivers have hit back at FIA chief Max Mosley's claims that the sport could live without Ferrari.
The FIA, which governs F1, announced a £40m budget cap for teams from 2010, aspects of which Ferrari labelled as "fundamentally unfair".
World champion Lewis Hamilton said he "could not imagine" F1 without Ferrari while Renault's Fernando Alonso said it was "impossible" for it to happen.
Mosley said Ferrari would have to obey the new rules or leave the sport.
However, BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld was left bemused by Mosley's comments.
"It was a bit strange hearing that from him," he said.
"I thought that people were looking and listening to the fans worldwide and Ferrari is obviously the biggest name in F1 with many supporters and has been there since the very beginning, so they belong in F1 for sure."
Force India's Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella added: "Without Ferrari I don't think it would be Formula 1 anymore."
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who heads the Formula 1 Teams Association (Fota), wrote to Mosley last week to express concerns about the cost cap which he said could lead to a two-tier F1.
Fota issued a statement after a meeting in London on Wednesday calling for talks with the FIA about the 2010 regulations.
BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen said it was important not to "destroy" the mix of manufacturer teams and independent teams.
"What has made Formula 1 so strong is that there are teams with a great heritage, which have been around for many years and in the case of Ferrari for 60 years, teams who have contributed a lot to where we are now," he said.
"I think the current mix of manufacturer teams and independent teams is quite a healthy one. We should be careful not to destroy this."