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FIA stands firm amid F1 quit threats
(GMM)  Officials of F1's governing body insist they have not been swayed by the threats of leading formula one teams.

The FIA wants to introduce budget caps next year, but key names including Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, BMW and Red Bull have objected stridently, particularly to Max Mosley's offer of 'two-tier' rules that would allow them to keep spending.

"Our position hasn't changed," a figure of the Paris based federation told London's The Times newspaper.  "The reasons for what we are doing are well documented."

In the German press, the FIA's message in the face of the quit threats was also clear.

"In principle there is nothing that is now in writing (from the teams) that wasn't already communicated to us verbally," a spokesman is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

As the threat of a breakaway championship rises again, some observers have pointed at Ferrari's involvement in the A1GP series.

Others believe the Italian team would not be so strident in its official line against the FIA's position if it did not have a serious alternative to F1.

"This is not a war of press releases," Piero Ferrari, the son of the Maranello team's founder Enzo, told the Guardian.  "We are not joking."

On the likelihood of a breakaway, he answered: "We cannot say as of now.  The situation is developing very fast.  Now we say the ball is in the field of Max.  We will see."

Interestingly, in the face of the apparent blackmail, Ferrari is finding support.  The Italian Olympic Committee has already backed the team's stance, and now the mayor of Modena - the local jurisdiction of Ferrari's headquarters - follows suit.

"I understand the Ferrari directors' reasons in the face of rules that are constantly changing and which don't help the company to do their job," said mayor Giorgio Pighi.

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