Record-breaking Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher has warned Max Mosley against forcing through his controversial and unpopular budget cap in the top flight in 2010, urging that the FIA President 'cannot expect drastic changes to be accepted by such important manufacturers' – and stressing that 'you cannot turn the world around in one day'.
With just two days now remaining before the governing body publishes the list of the 13 successful applicants to have gained a place on the starting grid next season, the stand-off between the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) remains unresolved – with both sides resolutely refusing to make any further concessions or compromises. As things stand, only two of the 2009 incumbents – Williams and Force India – have lodged unconditional entries for next year.
Mosley's argument is that in the absence of his radical cost-cutting initiative, no new competitors would be willing to make the graduation and F1 would not ultimately survive with the global economic climate as it is – but on the teams' side, BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen has underlined that 'in one go you cannot just evaporate by three', alluding to the fact that many of the current outfits regularly spend three times' the new £40 million stipulated limit if not even more, making it unviable for them to reduce their expenditure so dramatically in such a short space of time.
That is a view with which Schumacher clearly agrees, echoing the belief that whilst Mosley's proposals go in the right direction, they are too much, too soon – and insisting that such changes cannot be made overnight, as they would likely damage the image of what is at present the pinnacle of international motor racing.
Along with Renault, Toyota and Red Bull, Ferrari – with whom the 91-time grand prix-winning German claimed five of his seven drivers' crowns between 2000 and 2004 – has vowed to walk away from the sport after six decades of uninterrupted participation as its longest-standing and most loyal entrant should the cap not be shelved for 2010 and an alternative solution be found that is mutually acceptable to all.
“It is not a very exciting situation that we are facing,” the 40-year-old told the Ferrari website, “especially [being] the sport that I have participated in for most of my life and that I really love. To see what is going on there, it is not very great.
“At the end of the day, if you think Ferrari, the name is so important, it is so big in this sport. It became big due to the sport, but it actually grew the sport at the same time. Considering what Ferrari means for Formula 1, you can't seriously imagine that they can exist without each other – or [without] the other manufacturers who have participated for so long. I really believe that somehow they must find a solution – and the solution can only be that it suits those teams that have built up F1 to the state that it is now.
“You cannot expect drastic changes to be accepted by such important manufacturers. Yes, you have a target, yes, you want to reduce costs, but you have to do it step-by-step. You have to sit down together and find a compromise — and I believe that they can find this compromise. You can't expect those big top teams to adhere to rules which overturn everything from one day to another. Change has to be a process, not a heave-ho action. You cannot turn the world around in one day – that is impossible.”