Ferrari: No F1 in 2010 if the rules don?t change

Under chairmanship of Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari?s Board of Directors met today (Tuesday). On the agenda was analysis of developments related to recent decisions taken by the Federation Internationale de l?Automobile during an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on 29 April 2009.

Ferrari statement relating to this:

“Although this meeting was originally called only to examine a disciplinary matter, the decisions taken mean that, for the first time ever in Formula 1, the 2010 season will see the introduction of two different sets of regulations based on arbitrary technical rules and economic parameters.

The Board considers that if this is the regulatory framework for Formula 1 in the future, then the reasons underlying Ferrari?s uninterrupted participation in the World Championship over the last 60 years ? the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 ? would come to a close.

Wait and see what happens next?

The Board also expressed its disappointment about the methods adopted by the FIA in taking decisions of such a serious nature and its refusal to effectively reach an understanding with constructors and teams. The rules of governance that have contributed to the development of Formula 1 over the last 25 years have been disregarded, as have the binding contractual obligations between Ferrari and the FIA itself regarding the stability of the regulations. The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of the FOTA?s endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are the priorities for the future. If these indispensable principles are not respected and if the regulations adopted for 2010 will not change, then Ferrari does not intend to enter its cars in the next Formula 1 World Championship.

Ferrari trusts that its many fans worldwide will understand that this difficult decision is coherent with the Scuderia?s approach to motor sport and to Formula 1 in particular, always seeking to promote its sporting and technical values. The Chairman of the Board of Directors was mandated to evaluate the most suitable ways and methods to protect the company?s interests.”

Lauda criticises Ferrari

Meanwhile Niki Lauda, a former team owner and triple world champion, has sided robustly with FIA president Max Mosley over the budget caps row.

The off-track political situation is revving out of control, with the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone wanting a 40m pounds sterling limit, and big teams like Toyota and Red Bull threatening to leave the sport.

Lauda dismisses the teams’ stance against Mosley as “absolute rubbish”, accusing them of being so foolish as to found the FOTA alliance “rather than sign a new Concorde Agreement. Now just a piece of paper regulates the entire sport,” he said in an interview published by Germany’s Sport Bild.

Lauda called the 40m budget cap the “most sensible thing I have ever heard in my life”. “All the teams asked for this,” the great Austrian explained, “and now suddenly Ferrari is on the other side. It’s totally stupid. I see it as a blessing that Mosley and the FIA are so brutally and mercilessly implementing this. The measures are completely reasonable because the 40 million is just for the cars, purely for the technology. The drivers’ salaries and all the marketing activities are all to the side, so in the end the teams will still have budgets of between 80 to 100 million (euros),” added Lauda.

Moreover, the former Ferrari and McLaren driver claims that the ‘two-tier’ element of the rules, where teams are still free to spend vast sums but with less technical freedoms than their capped rivals, is simply a clever ploy by Mosley.

“Three years ago Ferrari signed an agreement with the FIA and Bernie, and Mosley is using this (two-tier) situation to be in the clear legally,” he said, suggesting that Ferrari was promised basic rules stability.