BMW to be next to issue F1 quit threat
(GMM) The latest strong rumor in the budget cap row is that BMW is set to become the next car manufacturer to threaten to quit formula one.
The German squad's F1 chief Mario Theissen hinted at the move in Barcelona last weekend, but subsequently Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and Red Bull made clear declarations of their intentions to miss the May 29 deadline for 2010 team entries.
Giving weight to the BMW speculation on Thursday was Jean-Francois Gaubet, who as a Renault spokesman was quoted as commenting to Europe 1 radio that all the carmakers involved in formula one are united.
"All of us - Mercedes, Toyota, BMW, Renault and Ferrari - are on the same page," he said.
"We have until May 29 to register ourselves for the championship of 2010, and as long as the regulations are as they stand, we will not be registering," Gaubet insisted.
Taking the threat seriously is F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who arguably has the most to lose from a decimated world championship.
Referring to his meeting on Friday with FIA president Max Mosley and the teams, he told the French newspaper Le Figaro: "We are all going to sit around the same table and find a reasonable solution for everybody.
"It is not going to be easy, but no one wants to destroy formula one," the Briton added.
However, the late Enzo Ferrari's son and board member Piero Ferrari on Thursday insisted that "there will be no compromise".
"We want no budget cap, (the) same rules for everyone, clear rules," he told the Telegraph. "We want to invest in cars, in engines, in aerodynamics, in the technology of the cars."
By the same token, FIA advisor Tony Purnell - who devised the details of the budget cap - said the cost-limiting mechanism will not be dropped.
It is rumored that the FIA may be willing to drop the 'two-tier' element and allow the big teams a 'glide-path' from 80m pounds sterling to 40m over the next three years.
But to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, Purnell said the 40m sum is set. "If it rises significantly, it will no longer be attractive from the viewpoint of prospective new entrants."