Ferrari has failed in a legal attempt to block the FIA's £40 million budget cap plans for F1 teams in 2010, and has re-affirmed its threat to walk away from the sport if a compromise plan cannot be reached.
Following the court ruling, Ferrari re-asserted its threat to walk away from F1 after 60 years of continuous participation. The point of principle at stake is whether or not teams who accept a voluntary £40m budget cap will benefit from a handicapping system that will offer potentially unfair advantages on the track.
Responding to the court judgement, Ferrari vowed to continue to seek a way forward, but re-asserted its threat to walk, saying: 'If it is not possible for all parties to reach agreement, then in line with the decision of the main board, taken on 12 May, Ferrari will not enter its cars in a competition that, with the planned scenario in place, would see a watering down of the characteristics that have endowed Formula 1 with the status of the most important motorsport series and that have specifically led to the Maranello marque's uninterrupted participation in the world championship since 1950. In this situation, Ferrari will continue to compete in races of a calibre worthy of the marque, matching its level of innovation and technological research.'
Ferrari is not alone in its rejection of the plan, as Toyota, Renault and Red Bull Racing have also threatened to withdraw from next year's competition if the two-tier system is implemented.
According to various media reports, an alternative plan to enforce the £40m cap on all teams is also meeting strong resistance from Ferrari and others, who would find it extremely difficult to whittle-down existing spending programs in time for 2010. Currently the top teams can spend as much as £200m a year, and have staffs of up to 700 people.
A meeting is scheduled between the teams and the FIA tomorrow (Friday), when an acceptable compromise must be reached if Ferrari and the others are not to miss the May 29 deadline for entries to the 2010 championship.