Mike Stevens | May 13, 2009

It’s official. Ferrari has announced it will not participate in the 2010 Formula One World Championship unless the FIA conducts a severe makeover of the new budget cap regulations.

The Italian manufacturer had previously indicated its commitment to F1 was in doubt, with company president Luca di Montezemolo issuing a threatening letter to FIA President Max Mosley outlining his concerns.

Di Montezemolo’s remarks however prompted FIA President Max Mosley to fight back, with the Briton issuing the inflammatory claim that F1 “could survive without Ferrari”.

But while previous developments were simply dismissed as political posturing, the prospect of a Ferrari-free F1 championship is now much closer to reality.

Ferrari’s Board of Directors met last night to confirm it will indeed pull the pin on its F1 operations if the cap and “arbitrary” technical regulations aren’t changed.

“The Board of Directors (have) examined developments related to recent decisions taken by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile during an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on 29 April 2009,” the company said in a statement.

“The Board considers that if this is the regulatory framework for Formula 1 in the future, then the reasons underlying Ferrari's uninterrupted participation in the World Championship over the last 60 years - the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 - would come to a close.”

f1_ferrari_spain_qualifying_kimi-raikonen_2009_01

Ferrari’s main concern surrounds the performance and technological freedoms to be afforded to budget-capped teams, claiming it will lead to the formation of a two-tiered championship.

The automaker has also raised opposition to the FIA’s decision-making processes, questioning its mode of control, while accusing the governing body of breaching pre-existing agreements

"The Board also expressed its disappointment about the methods adopted by the FIA in taking decisions of such a serious nature and its refusal to effectively reach an understanding with constructors and teams,” the statement continued.

"The rules of governance that have contributed to the development of Formula 1 over the last 25 years have been disregarded, as have the binding contractual obligations between Ferrari and the FIA itself regarding the stability of the regulations.

"The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of the FOTA's endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are the priorities for the future.

"If these indispensable principles are not respected and if the regulations adopted for 2010 will not change, then Ferrari does not intend to enter its cars in the next Formula 1 World Championship.”

Ferrari’s announcement will send shockwaves around the motoring world, and is likely to have many far-reaching commercial and sporting ramifications.

As Bernie Ecclestone said so eloquently, “Formula One is Ferrari and Ferrari is Formula One.”.

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