Ferrari have laid into the new entrants for 2010, hinting heavily that they have always been merely part of a proxy war against FOTA by the FIA.
The ‘Horse Whisperer’ column on the Ferrari website, remarkable for its bizarre and probably tongue-in-cheek style, attacked Campos Meta 1 firstly.
“As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal,” said the column.
“However, the beneficiaries of this generosity might find the knight in question expects them to fulfil the role of loyal vassal. All this means, it is hard to imagine the Dallara-designed car showing its face at the Catalunya Circuit, with Sakhir a more likely venue to witness the return of the Senna name to a Formula 1 session.”
Troubled USF1 did not escape the wrath of the Whisperer.
“The thirteenth team, US F1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again.
“Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.”
Ferrari’s somewhat irreverent implication is that the new teams were always wholly unprepared to enter the sport and were instead used as bargaining tools by the FIA and particularly Max Mosley as he sought last year to force cost cuts on an unwilling FOTA.
Mosley’s combative style, the column goes on to allege, caused competitors like BMW and Toyota to leave F1.
“This [situation] is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1.
“This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it.
“In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?”
Ferrari’s move is risky, although doubtless motivated by their new confidence with the FIA now Jean Todt is at the helm. Firstly, it risks looking like bullying from the big successful team, and secondly, they are on questionable ground over the exit of BMW and Toyota. It is arguable that it was Ferrari and FOTA’s recalcitrance over cost cutting and the world economy rather than the FIA President’s actions that caused their withdrawal.