Ferrari threaten to quit over standard engines

fia logo 2Scuderia issue shock quit threat as FIA vamp up chase on standard engines

Ferrari have followed Toyota and threatened to quit Formula One should FIA President Max Mosley persist with his plans to impose standard engines on the teams.

Speculation was rife on Monday that Toyota would pull out of Formula One after the FIA issued a statement saying that it will press on with plans to introduce standard engines having received several enquiries about the tender bid.

Now Ferrari have followed suit following a board meeting in Maranello. A team statement read: “The Ferrari Board of Directors expressed strong concerns regarding plans to standardise engines as it felt that such a move would detract from the entire raison of a sport with which Ferrari has been involved continuously since 1950, a raison d etre based principally on competition and technological development.”

“The Board of Directors expressed the opinion that should these key elements be diminished, it would have to re-evaluate, with its partners the viability of continuing its presence in the sport.”

Last week the FIA met with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) represented by the presidents of Toyota and Ferrari, John Howett and Luca di Montezemolo to discuss cost-cutting proposals, including engine restrictions.

Only a few days earlier the FIA had infuriated the teams by putting out a tender contract for the standard engine.

The FIA-FOTA meeting did not result in agreement on the issue of standard engines, with both parties instead backing the idea of standard energy recovery systems, which are due to be introduced next year.

However, a statement issued by the FIA today revealed that the governing body will be pressing on with the tender bid, against the grain of fierce opposition from the teams.

The statement read: “The FIA has received a number of questions from interested parties regarding that Invitation to Tender. In accordance with the FIA s Tendering procedures, the replies are set out in the relevant section of the FIA website.”

“The Tender schedule for transmission-only bids has also been updated. Bids for engines and transmissions in combination and bids for the supply of engines alone must be submitted by 7 November 2008. A minimum of three further weeks will be given to those considering transmission-only bids.”

Max Mosley’s motivations for persisting with his plans for standard engines have been called into question given that the teams are rigorously opposed to the proposals.