Mosley: F1 can survive without Ferrari

FIA President Max Mosley has responded to Luca di Montezemolo’s criticism of the 2010 budget cap saying that Formula One could survive without Ferrari.

The FIA confirmed that an optional £40 million budget cap would be available to the teams in 2010 in return for greater technical freedom.

In a letter to Mosley obtained by the Reuters news agency two days before the budget cap was announced, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo slammed the proposal as being “fundamentally unfair” saying that he had “always been concerned” about the idea because of the “serious technical difficulties in making sure that any cap can realistically be monitored.”

In light of the comments, Mosley has moved to reinforce the FIA’s position on the necessity of the budget cap saying that Formula One could continue without Ferrari.

“The sport could survive without Ferrari,” Mosley the Financial Times. “It would be very sad to lose Ferrari. It is the Italian national team.

“I hope and think that when a team goes to its board and says, ‘I want to go to war with the FIA, because I want to be able to spend £100m more than the FIA want me to spend,’ the board will say, ‘Why can’t you spend £40m if the other teams can do it?'”

He continued: “The cost cap is here to stay,” he said. “There is room for discussion, it might go up or down in 2011 and if the economy picks up, say in 2014, then it might go up. You might adjust the cap in the interests of the sport, but you’ll have everyone on a level playing field.

“The credit crunch hasn’t really hit F1 yet. Obviously we lost Honda, but the real crunch will come when current contracts come to be renewed.

“Those contracts were signed before their share prices took a dump. I believe FOM [Formula One Management, the commercial rights holder of F1] will not be able to give the teams as much money as they have.”