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Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 13:44 UK

Renault join F1 pull-out threat

Renault
Former world champion Fernando Alonso has had an inconsistent season so far

Renault are the latest high-profile team threatening to quit Formula 1 unless proposals to adopt a £40m budget cap in 2010 are shelved.

On Tuesday, Ferrari joined Toyota and Red Bull in declaring their intention to pull out of F1 because of the plans.

And Renault boss Flavio Briatore said: "If the decisions are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the world championship at the end of 2009."

Ferrari, meanwhile, say they will race in other series if they quit the sport.

"If it really was like that, then I have to say that our cars will race in other competitions, where - and I am absolutely convinced about that - they will find the enthusiasm and the passion of millions of fans," said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

"Racing is part of Ferrari's DNA and this is something that will never change."

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Reports have speculated that the Italian team might set up a rival series, compete in the United States, or enter cars in the Le Mans 24 hour race.

And Ferrari driver Felipe Massa insists the team would make a success of a change of series, saying: "Since I was a child, Ferrari has been the synonym for racing for me.

"That's why I'm convinced that even if the Scuderia is forced to leave F1, there will be other competitions where it will be possible to admire the Reds on the track.

"I understand why the company has got to this point. The idea of having a championship with two velocities, with cars, which for example are allowed to have flexible wings or an engine without a rev limiter, is absurd."

The FIA, the sport's governing body, want an optional £40m budget cap in order to encourage new teams to enter.

The plan would allow capped teams to operate with far greater technical freedom than those continuing with unlimited budgets.

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However, big teams fear the rules will effectively split F1 into two tiers, those that can live with the cap and enjoy the technical advantages and those that cannot.

It is understood a flexible rear wing alone, currently outlawed but available to a team next season working within the cap, could lead to a car being two seconds per lap quicker than those without.

"Renault has always considered Formula One as the pinnacle of motor sport and the perfect stage to demonstrate technical excellence," Renault F1 team president Bernard Rey said in a statement. "We remain committed to the sport.

"However, we cannot be involved in a championship operating with different sets of rules and, if such rules are put into effect, we will be forced to pull out at the end of this season."

The FIA refused to be drawn into a public discussion following Ferrari's threat to quit the sport.

Renault believes it is paramount that the governance of the sport is co-ordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties in order to achieve a better balance between the costs and the revenues

Renault statement

"We have nothing to add to the letter sent to Ferrari on 29 April," said an FIA spokesman, referring to a letter sent to Montezemolo in which FIA president Max Mosley rejected the team's complaints about the budget cap.

However, it is thought the teams will discuss the plans with Mosley in London on Friday.

And sure to also be on the agenda is the teams' apparent unhappiness at what they see as the FIA's failure to discuss the rule changes with all the teams.

The Renault statement continued: "There is frustration FOTA's (Formula One Teams' Association) constructive proposals, including major cost-saving measures to be adopted progressively between 2009 and 2012, which were carefully constructed by FOTA members, have been completely ignored without any form of consultation by the FIA with the teams.

"It should be stressed that Fota has set the same, if not lower, financial objective as the FIA but Renault strongly believes that this must be introduced through a different procedure agreed by all parties.

"Renault also believes it is paramount that the governance of the sport is co-ordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties in order to achieve a better balance between the costs and the revenues.

"Renault is also of the firm view that all entrants in the world championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations."

BBC F1 correspondent David Croft reports that Renault's announcement underlines the unhappiness felt by the teams surrounding the proposal.

"Whilst not on the scale of the Ferrari announcement yesterday, this is another indication of just how deep the dissatisfaction runs currently within the F1 teams - not just of the proposals but the way they've been introduced," he said.

"The entries for next season open on 22 May and lasts for seven days - as it stands, Renault, Ferrari, Red Bull and Toyota could all be missing when the season begins next March."



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see also
Ferrari issue F1 quit ultimatum
12 May 09 |  Formula 1
Toyota threaten pull-out from F1
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 drivers stand behind Ferrari
07 May 09 |  Formula 1
Alonso offers advice to Hamilton
07 May 09 |  Formula 1
Bold Button to push for Spain win
07 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 'can survive without Ferrari'
02 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 teams handed 40m budget cap
30 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Button backs F1 budget cap plan
30 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Angry Ferrari boss outlines blame
26 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Raikkonen rues Ferrari slowness
23 Apr 09 |  Formula 1


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