The court ruled but the high stakes game continue. The court confirmed the existence of Ferrari veto but also said that it should have been used at the World Motor Sport Council meetings in March and April.
It did not take too long for Ferrari to react:
While continuing to evaluate whether or not to continue with this legal action already underway, Ferrari confirms its commitment to work within FOTA in conjunction with the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder to ensure that Formula 1 is a series where the rules are the same for everyone and which benefits from stability in the regulations, while continuing the work of the past few months in moving forward methodically and gradually towards reducing costs.
If it is not possible for all parties to reach agreement, then in line with the decision of the Main Board, taken on 12th May, Ferrari will not enter its cars in a competition that, with the planned scenario in place, would see a watering down of the characteristics that have endowed Formula 1 with the status of the most important motor sport series and that have specifically led to the Maranello marque’s uninterrupted participation in the world championship since 1950. In this situation, Ferrari will continue to compete in races of a calibre worthy of the marque, matching its level of innovation and technological research.
It may sound quite strong but the door for more talk is clearly still open. I believe that the first part of the above statement (confirming the commitment to work within FOTA in conjunction with the FIA and Bernie) is more significant than the second one (repeating they will leave F1 if no agreement is reached).
Ferrari might have lost the court case, but if Mosley and Ecclestone are to be taken seriously the two tier championship has been scrapped (although the rules haven’t been changed yet). If the teams do not have the ambition to work out all new governance of the sport withing next week or so than the only sticky issue that needs to be sorted out before May 29 is the budget cap or any other way how to keep the cost under control and at the same time to make it feasible for new teams to enter.
Having fresh blood, 13 teams and 26 cars on the grid is a great prospect. But the price for having the likes of Lola, USF1, Wirth Research, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos Racing and iSport in Formula 1 should not be loosing Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull or whoever else decides to follow them out of the door …
Eight new teams considering to enter F1, that is nice to hear. But how many of them can really do it with or without the budget cap. USF1 perhaps, they made up their mind and apparently also raised the money long before the new rules arrived. The rest ? Even if they had all the facilities ready (and perhaps with the execption of Lola they don’t) they would still need the money to run the team. And even if they go for the budget cap the money needed is still big. GBP40 mil or USD60 mil is still a serious amount that will not be easy to raise these days. One or two teams may be, but if half of the current grid goes, only to replace them will mean that 5 new teams would have to come up with total about 300 million dollars + the money for engines and drivers and the facilities … Where will the money come from, now ? Don’t tell me that since the conditions for entry were published on April 29 all these teams were able to raise enough funds to support their entry …
When asked about his future if Ferrari quits F1 Kimi Raikkonen had this to say:
“I am pretty sure that we are not going to disappear from F1. But I don’t know, but I cannot be 100 per cent sure.”
Well let’s hope Raikkonen’s “pretty sure that we are not going to disappear from F1″ has some solid base and once the heads cool down a bit in those Monaco swimming pools all the big egos will sit down and work it out. Mr. Mosley should remember that the main goal of reducing the cost of F1 was to prevent more withdrawals like the one performed by Honda in December, not to spark mass exodus of teams and driving red cars away in the process …