Ferrari threaten to quit Formula One

Ferrari have indicated they could re-evaluate their commitment to Formula One if plans to standardise engines for all teams competing in the world championship become reality.

FORMULA 1 2008 Chinese GP Ferrari Massa Räikkönen - 0

Formula One has seen many teams taken over by car-makers in recent years with Renault, BMW, Toyota and Honda joining Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz in using the sport as a showcase for their brands and cars.

However faced with rising costs and calls for major reforms to help boost the sport the FIA announced last week plans to cut costs and standardise engines.

The FIA said it will be open to tenders for the standardised engine and transmission to be used from 2010.

Ferrari, in a statement released following a board meeting on Monday, said they “fully agreed with the need for a substantial and necessary reduction of costs”.

But the Italian firm said it had “major reservations” over any proposals that would lead to teams using the same engines: “it would deprive Formula One of its whole reason for existing, which is based on competition and technological development.”

The statement added: “It is thanks to these elements that Ferrari has been a continual and integral part of Formula One since 1950.

“If these elements were to become obsolete, our Administrative Council (board) reserves the right, after consultation with its partners, to evaluate whether we remain committed to the discipline (of Formula One).”

Following the FIA calls last week Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone played down fears that major manufacturers would quit the sport over the standard engine issue.

Ecclestone said he “can’t see any reason” why car-makers might leave over the plans, which he said would help them save money as the global economy stalls.

“I don’t see why they should leave. We are saving them an awful lot of money, I hope. I don’t see why they should,” he said.

“Why should someone pull out because they are going to save a lot of money? All the technical things will still be there so they can show all their talents.

“What we want is to reduce the necessity to spend to be competitive. That is the simplest thing.”

AFP

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