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DATE News (chronologically)
03/17/09
f1
Ferrari boss blasts budget caps  
Luca di Montezemolo
Formula One stands on the brink of upheaval as the FIA have today been accused of potentially abandoning the sport's principles.  The strong words come from Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari president and chairman of the Formula One Teams' Association, the body who have adopted a positive stance in the face of the current climate.

"With regard to the decisions taken today by the FIA World Council, FOTA would like to express its disappointment and concern at the fact that these have been taken in a unilateral manner," said di Montezemolo.

"The framework of the regulations as defined by the FIA, to be applicable as from 2010, runs the risk of turning on its head the very essence of Formula One and the principles that make it one of the most popular and appealing sports.

"Given the timeframe and the way in which these modifications were decided upon, we feel it is necessary to study closely the new situation.

"We will do everything, especially in these difficult times, to maintain a stable framework for the regulations without continuous upheaval that can be perplexing and confusing for manufacturers, teams, the public and sponsors."

"Back in December when we met the teams in Monaco, we would have agreed all this was unnecessary," explained Mosley.

"However, the worldwide economic crisis has worsened significantly since then, and no-one can say the situation will not deteriorate further in the coming months.

"If this happens, we may lose other manufacturers or even independent teams, despite their best intentions.

"If we wait and things get worse, it will be too late. Conversely, if economic conditions suddenly improve, we will at least have some new blood in Formula One.

"It is obviously the FIA's duty to try to plan for the worst case rather than just hope for the best."

The £30million cap, currently around 33million euros or 42million dollars, will cover all expenditure of any kind, including drivers' salaries.

Anything subsidized or supplied free will be deemed to have cost its full commercial value, with rigorous auditing procedures to be applied.

"It has been carefully costed," insisted Mosley.

"The cars will be much less refined in detail, because the teams will not be able to spend huge sums on minute advantages.

"But from the grandstand or on television they won't look or sound any less 'Formula One' than the current, ultra-expensive cars.

"They will also be more interesting to the technically-minded because of the special features which will allow them to compete against teams with much bigger budgets.

"And don't forget that £30million is still a huge amount of money in the real world."

Mosley insists a budget-capped car will be able to win a grand prix, potentially even the title.

"There is no reason why cost-capped teams could not win races," confirmed Mosley.

"The massive and highly organized unlimited-expenditure teams are perhaps likely to do a better job of going racing.

"They will have the most expensive race engineers and tacticians, not to mention the top-earning drivers.

"However, racing is, and should be, unpredictable."

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