Ferrari and Renault are saying they will pull out of Formula 1 next season if newly drafted regulations regarding budget capping are not revised. “We remain committed to the sport, however we cannot be involved in a championship operating with different sets of rules, and if such rules are put into effect, we will be forced to pull out at the end of this season,” Bernard Rey, president of the Renault F1 team, said in an e-mailed statement today (viewable below).
Ferrari and Renault are unhappy with the new regulation that gives teams a £40,000,000 ($61 million USD) budget and allows teams to be more liberal with car design and engine power. The teams say that regulations like these will result in a two-tier championship. Max Mosley, President of the FIA will meet with Ferrari and Renault Friday to discuss these matters. The new rules were set in place by the FIA as a way to lure in new teams and cut operating costs in the global economic recession.
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Ferrari Press Statement:
Maranello 12 May 2009 – Ferrari’s Board of Directors, chaired by Luca di Montezemolo, today analysed the first quarter results for 2009. Despite the current international economic climate, which has hit the automotive sector in particular, Ferrari’s figures were in line with the record levels reached in 2008. Turnover for the first three months was 441 million euro compared to 455.7 million euro over the same period in 2008. The first quarter closed with a trading profit of 54 million euro compared to last year’s 59 million euro.
These results reflect the introduction of new models, in particular the success of the Ferrari California and the Scuderia Spider 16M, the constant growth in activities linked to the brand (e-commerce, licensing, merchandising and retail) and the company’s continuing efforts to maximise efficiency.
The Board of Directors also examined 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. Although this meeting was originally called only to examine a disciplinary matter, the decisions taken mean that, for the first time ever in Formula One, 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 One 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.
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 One 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 One 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 One 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 One 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.
Renault Press Statement:
Renault and ING Renault F1 Team Statement
Renault and ING Renault F1 Team Statement
The decision of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to introduce two sets of Formula One technical regulations for the 2010 Formula One season has caused the Renault Group to reconsider its entry in next year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.
There is frustration that FOTA’s constructive proposals, including major cost saving measures to be adopted progressively between 2009 and 2012, which were carefully constructed by FOTA members, have been completely ignored without any form of consultation by the FIA with the teams.
It should be stressed that FOTA has set the same, if not lower, financial objective as the FIA, but Renault strongly believes that this must be introduced through a different procedure agreed by all parties.
Renault also believes that it is paramount that the governance of the sport is coordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties (FIA, FOM, FOTA) in order to achieve a better balance between the costs and the revenues. Renault is also of the firm view that all entrants in the World Championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations.
President of the ING Renault F1 Team, Bernard Rey, commented: “Renault has always considered Formula One as the pinnacle of motor sport and the perfect stage to demonstrate technical excellence. We remain committed to the sport, however we cannot be involved in a championship operating with different sets of rules, and if such rules are put into effect, we will be forced to pull out from next season.”
ING Renault F1 Team Managing Director, Flavio Briatore, commented: “Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market. We want to achieve this in a coordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA. If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April 2009 are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009.”
[Source: Sky News]