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Senin, 04 Mei 2009

Ferrari warns budget cap may hurt F1

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By Pablo Elizalde

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has warned FIA president Max Mosley that the introduction of a budget cap in 2010 could lead to an "unfair" and "biased" championship that could damage the sport.

In a letter written to the governing body on Thursday, a copy of which has been seen by AUTOSPORT, di Montezemolo wrote that the sport could be seriously damaged by the introduction of the new rules.

Mosley told the team principals in a letter of his own, however, that he remained steadfastly convinced the sport must respond to the global economic crisis or face an uncertain future.

The governing body confirmed on Thursday that teams will be able to adhere to a £40 million budget from the 2010 season. In exchange for the limited budget, those teams would be allowed more technical freedom, including movable wings or engines without a rev limit.

The move has not been well received by some teams who believe a two-tier series is not good for the future of Formula 1.

Although Ferrari refused to make any comments on Thursday following the confirmation of the rules, it has been revealed that di Montezemolo wrote a letter to Mosley expressing his concerns about the budget caps.

"All aspects of the new regulations should be carefully reviewed," di Montezemolo wrote. "Limiting, for the time being, my comments to the cost cap issue, as you know I have always been concerned about the introduction, mainly because I consider that there are serious technical difficulties in making sure that any cap can be
realistically monitored.

"Additionally, any controversy on the actual respect of the cost cap would undermine the image of Formula 1 and could seriously damage any involved team.

"There are on the other hand doubts as to whether or not two categories of teams should be created which will inevitably mean that one category will have an advantage over the other and that the championship will be fundamentally unfair and, perhaps, even biased.

"In any event this would create confusion in the public's mind which would seriously lower the value of Formula 1. I do not think that this is appropriate knowing what Formula 1 represents for its players and for the public."

The Ferrari president also expressed concern about the timing and the way the rules have been introduced, as he believes there is "no extreme urgency" for the move.
Di Montezemolo also points out that, according to the Concorde Agreement, the FIA cannot pass any rules without the approval of the F1 commission.

Mosley, replying in another letter also seen by AUTOSPORT, told di Montezemolo that the sport must act urgently in order continue in its current form given the world's financial crunch.

The FIA president also wrote that teams have been aware of the introduction of the budget cap for quite some time, adding that Ferrari has "chosen not to engage with us on cost-cap rules during the past six weeks."

"The car industry and financial services are the two main sources of Formula 1 income. Both are in serious difficulty. We cannot just sit and wait, hoping nothing bad will happen. We have already lost one manufacturer," wrote Mosley

"Despite my repeated requests, not a single manufacturer has given us a legally-binding undertaking that it will continue in Formula 1. We may also lose another manufacturer team at any moment.

"We already know that current levels of expenditure are unsustainable for the independent teams. If we are to reduce the risk of the Formula One World Championship collapsing, we have to allow new teams in. We also have to reduce costs drastically.

"The matter is therefore extremely urgent, because a new team needs to know if it is to be ready to compete in 2010. It is already a very late start."

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