Mike Stevens | Jun 2, 2009

FERRARI TEAM PRINCIPAL Stefano Domenicali has denied the team’s decision to lodge a conditional entry for next year’s championship signals its acceptance of the budget cap.

The nine remaining members of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) lodged a block application last week on the proviso that the FIA and Formula One Management sign a new Concorde Agreement by June 12.

This will ensure any future rule changes will need to be approved by a variety of stakeholders including the teams, sponsors and promoters, ultimately diminishing FIA President Max Mosley’s ability to make unilateral decisions.

If the new Concorde Agreement is not signed by the FOTA mandated deadline, all nine members will withdraw their applications for 2010, firmly placing pressure on Mosley and F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone to submit to their demands.

In a statement, Domenicali said that Ferrari remains opposed to a compulsory cap, with the team’s main concern believed to be the potential for intrusive auditing from external accounting agencies.

“Absolutely not. The request to make the 2009 regulations the starting point, means there will be no budget cap,” he said.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikonen during Qualifying at the 2009 Spanish F1 Grand Prix.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikonen during Qualifying at the 2009 Spanish F1 Grand Prix.

However, Domenicali said that FOTA remains committed to slashing spending, albeit on its terms.

“[Cost cutting] should be done by implementing a self-regulating procedure within FOTA, so that the body itself and the teams carry out the monitoring. We know exactly what must be done and we can do it on our own, as can be seen from what has been achieved so far,” he said.

“In fact, this is exactly what has been happening for years as regards testing, where it is the teams that have reached an agreement among themselves to manage the situation and it works well.

Meanwhile, Mosley has again stubbornly defended the budget cap despite facing the prospect of a mass withdrawal by FOTA, claiming it is crucial to Formula 1’s survival.

Speaking to Deutsche Presse Agentur, Mosley said Ferrari was wrong to dismiss the new outfits currently jostling for entry next year after the Italian manufacturer declared the sport was becoming ‘Formula GT3’ in an extraordinary piece on its website.

“Ferrari forget that the current BMW team started as Sauber, the current Williams team started with Williams buying a March [and] Tyrrell started a little team at the end of the sixties that was Honda and is now Brawn,” Mosley said.

“Even Enzo Ferrari himself came along in 1948 and started from nothing. If you stopped those new entrepreneurs coming in, Formula 1 will die. You can't have just a lot of old men running it.”

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