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Quit threat is no bluff - Ferrari

Piero Ferrari
Piero Ferrari says F1 could save money in other ways than a budget cap

Ferrari insist they are serious in their threat to pull out of Formula 1 at the end of the year over plans to introduce a budget cap.

Board member Piero Ferrari likened the situation to a threat by his father Enzo, the company's founder, to quit F1 for the Indianapolis 500 in the 1980s.

"He wasn't bluffing," Piero Ferrari told The Guardian newspaper. "He was serious. And so are we."

Ferrari are one of four major teams to be unhappy with new rules for 2010.

Red Bull, Toyota and Renault have also said they will not enter next year's F1 championship if the rules are not changed.

Governing body the FIA has plans to introduce a voluntary £40m budget cap, with greater technical freedom for the teams that choose to apply it.

These freedoms would give a car a performance advantage estimated at as much as three seconds a lap.

Piero Ferrari is the only surviving son of Enzo Ferrari and owns 10% of the company.

He was present in the board meeting on Tuesday when the company's directors decided to end their 60-year involvement in F1 if FIA president Max Mosley does not amend his new rules.


"Our first objection is to the budget cap, which we don't believe it's possible to control," he said.

"The second is that it is wrong that a team accepting the budget cap has more freedom and different technical regulations.

"If we are on the starting line of a grand prix, we have to stay within the same regulations, the same technical specifications.

Ferrari stated: "It's like soccer. In Italy we have ­Internazionale, who are winning, and they spend huge amounts of money for the best players.

"But in Serie A you also have a team like Catania, who have no money.

"So do you say to Catania, 'You can play with 12 players' and to Inter, 'You must play with nine'? It wouldn't be fair.

"But this is what the new Formula 1 rules are like. They're not acceptable at all. ­

"Everybody on the grid has to start with the same rules, otherwise there's no ­competition and it's somebody else ­deciding who's going to win."

Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix
Do Ferrari have a future in F1?

Mosley has said that the budget cap is necessary for F1 to survive the global financial crisis.

He says it is too expensive to run a winning car and believes the costs are discouraging new teams from entering.

However, Ferrari insisted: "This is not because we want to spend money. We want to save money. All the constructors are keen on reducing the F1 expenses.

"But you can reduce the expenditure without having a budget cap. And it's not enforceable, anyway.

"It's difficult enough to enforce the technical rules, as was proved recently by the business of the diffuser. So how can you enforce or control a budget cap?

"A better way is by controlling the expenses on the technical side.

"We are doing it on engines and it will be done next year on the gearbox. We can even introduce limits on material costs - carbon fibre, maybe.

"I have good friends racing in Nascar in the United States. They control the costs - the number of ­mechanics, for instance - and the teams are racing with the same rules for everybody. We could do something like that."

We want racing with clear rules and starting from the same point - the same rules for everybody

Piero Ferrari

Ferrari believe Mosley has ignored the correct procedure of consultation that is required for changing the F1 rules - as well as those dictating technical stability.

There is also the possibility that he has broken an agreement defining Ferrari's rights signed in 2005.

Mosley counters this by saying Ferrari can continue to race under the current rules if they want to.

Board member Ferrari claimed: "He forgot any way of consulting what you might say are the actors of the show.

"I know that the economy is a problem for the world but this kind of attitude and changing rules in this way is not going to save the economy."

He revealed that Ferrari could race in another category if Mosley did not back down.

"Why not?" he said. "I strongly believe that if you look at the past of Ferrari, today's image is born from victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and sports and GT racing. Racing is in the DNA of Ferrari.

"My father started the business making and selling racing cars. We cannot forget our beginnings and the passion of my father is still in the company. ­Everybody in the company loves racing but we want racing with clear rules and starting from the same point. The same rules for everybody."

The teams are due to meet Mosley in London on Friday to discuss the issue.

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see also
Renault join F1 pull-out threat
13 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari issue F1 quit ultimatum
12 May 09 |  Formula 1
Toyota threaten pull-out from F1
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Wary Raikkonen ponders F1 future
09 May 09 |  Formula 1

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