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DATE News (chronologically)
05/17/09
racing news
Quotes of the Week
"The idea that they [Ferrari] are indispensable is nonsense.  It's a little bit like poor Senna.  He was the most important driver in 1994 but when he very sadly got killed, formula one went on.  Lotus were very important once, so were Brabham.  I think the chances of a breakaway are smaller this time.  After all, we are giving them a chance to race and spend less money."  Max Mosley, President FIA

"I'm optimistic.  Whenever change has been required the teams have cried Armageddon -- engine freeze, V10s to V8 and so on.  On each occasion there were those who claimed F1 would fall apart.  These experiences tend to make the FIA more resilient to all the hysteria." 
Tony Purnell, FIA Technical Advisor, commenting on Ferrari's threats to quit Formula 1 in 2010 because they are enraged by the concept of low budget capping, and unimpressed by the sport's governance processes.

"It's good [legal action by Ferrari], it keeps it in the bloody newspaper.  They should have done it before (now) -- idiots." Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association

"Whoever has 20 or 25 million euros should not be able to operate a Formula One team.  If we make that possible, the brand will be worth nothing.  It would be like seeing discount stores suddenly established on an exclusive shopping street.  Without big, important names - and Ferrari is one of them - Formula One is worth much less.  I could imagine that FOTA - not in 2010, but starting from 2011 - agrees with the FIA on a minimum sum per year, that is obligatory for all the teams.  A brutal solution, that is before us at the moment, doesn't have a chance." 
Flavio Briatore, Team Principal, Renault, has made clear his opposition to a 40m pounds sterling budget cap.

"Formula One used to need Ferrari, I think now it's got so exciting with young teams coming through, I think Ferrari needs Formula One.  Overall I think this is a bit of posturing.  My guess is Ferrari will never go because they are linked to this, they are absolutely joined at the hip with Formula One. It is their only marketing program."
Eddie Jordan, former Formula 1 team owner

"Now just a piece of paper regulates the entire sport."  Lauda called the 40m budget cap the "most sensible thing I have ever heard in my life."  He said "All the teams asked for this, and now suddenly Ferrari is on the other side.  It's totally stupid.  I see it as a blessing that Mosley and the FIA are so brutally and mercilessly implementing this.  The measures are completely reasonable because the 40 million is just for the cars, purely for the technology.  The drivers' salaries and all the marketing activities are all to the side, so in the end the teams will still have budgets of between 80 to 100 million (euros).  Three years ago Ferrari signed an agreement with the FIA and Bernie, and Mosley is using this (two-tier) situation to be in the clear legally." 
Niki Lauda, 3 times F1 World Champion and former team owner has sided robustly with FIA president Max Mosley over the budget caps row.

"I want to thank you personally for the numerous messages of support we received from all over the world over the last hours on our website and via email.  It is important to know that we can count on the support of our fans all over the world and that our fans completely share the motivations, which brought us to take such a decision.  If we were forced to leave the Championship we were part of over the last 60 years of our history and where we set all the records in terms of victories, it is because they want to change the nature of its founding values.  I have to say that our cars will race in other competitions, where – and I am absolutely convinced about that – they will find the enthusiasm and the passion of millions of fans, following us in every corner of the world.  Racing is part of Ferrari's DNA and this is something that will never change."
Luca de Montezemolo, Ferrari President, wrote in a note of thanks on the company's website in response to fans responding to the controversial 'two-tier' system and other items put in place for the 2010 season by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council. 

"It's got to be a similar feeling to anyone who goes to jail but feels they shouldn't be behind bars.  That is the feeling I have had, although I know what happened in Australia was wrong.  I just feel knocked about by it all.  I want to be a driver -- I am not in the sport to be a politician.  It affects your life, it affects the way you are.  I used to enjoy formula one and part of that has been taken away from me.  Unfortunately, it is the way the formula one world works for some reason.  It's much nicer in the lower categories, where all the people are there just to race and the teams are there just to race.  Talking to the media and having interviews on television used to be great fun, but it has changed.  I have no doubts in my mind I can enjoy formula one just as much as I did before.  Just not now."
Lewis Hamilton, current Formula 1 World Champion, McLaren, has likened his current state of mind in Formula One to wrongful imprisonment.

"The politics that have crept into Formula One, and the way that things are handled now, is very, very disappointing.  There have been stages when I have thought 'I am going to give back my world championship' because I have felt so strongly about it.  Some of the regulations and some of the decisions that have been made by the FIA in the last years I think have been terrible.  I think the sport's going through a dictatorship that is going wrong, as most dictatorships go wrong sooner or later."
Jody Scheckter, former Formula 1 World Champion, is appalled by the sport's leadership as Formula One now grapples with the teams' major fight with the FIA over budget caps and governance methods.

"These are private enterprise companies that are run to make profit by building cars.  The FIA simply take money, they don't make money without the teams and yet they want to tell BMW, Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, Mercedes - these huge successful companies - how much they can afford in F1.  The sport is huge and it will continue no matter what.  It doesn't need being told what to do."
Sir Jackie Stewart, 3 times Formula 1 World Drivers Champion, has slammed the FIA president's efforts to set a budget cap for Formula One teams.

“I mean it was up and down, up and down all day.  Actually, not up.  There was no up’s about it.  We were doing what we had to do.  We trimmed out so much that we were getting to the point where the trim level was too much and we couldn’t do anything else with it.  We just couldn’t get the speed out of the car.  Hey, we’re here.  And considering how today went, that’s an accomplishment for us.  It was the hairiest day in my life.  We're running downforce as low as you wouldn't believe. Now, hopefully we can go make up all those spots in the race." 
Ryan Hunter-Reay, IndyCar driver, Vision Racing , last driver to qualify and bump his way back into the Indy 500 race.

“Oh, it's awesome.  I've got to thank our fans. They've been behind us all year. This is for two people and one group of people: That's Gene Haas and (team general manager) Joe Custer and then for all these fans.  I'll tell you, (Haas) is not going to miss a weekend. He gets here and the first week he's here, we win the race.  So I'm just so thankful that he and Joe Custer gave us the opportunity and Chevrolet for standing behind us and just knowing that we had a long road to hoe.  The most fun part about it from the ownership side was getting some of these guys to Victory Lane that have never been there before. To get those guys there for the first time, that means more than a million dollars does to me.” 
Tony Stewart, NASCAR driver and team owner, Stewart-Haas Racing, commenting after winning the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  Gene Haas, just released from prison after serving a 16-month sentence for tax fraud, was at the track for his first race since the new team was formed at the beginning of the 2009 season.

"Eric is a nice guy and he needed two cars in the race because he's a small team," said the 2002 Indy polesitter who drove for free the past two years for Dale Coyne. "Somebody came up to me after qualifying and asked me if I thought Eric might put Tags in the car and I said, 'Never say never in this business' but I thought I was safe. But this is what Eric wants. I'll tell you what is really sad. Half of this field is paying drivers."  Bruno Junqueira after making the Indy 500 field only to have him replaced by his teammate Alex Tagliani because Tagliani brought more money to the team.

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