Bernie Ecclestone has called for calm in the wake of Ferrari’s threat to quit the sport for 2010 yesterday if the â‚¬44 million budget cap rule change went ahead. Ecclestone was speaking as rumours continued that Renault would become the latest team to declare solidarity with Ferrari.
Ecclestone said that the sport and Ferrari were so wedded together that they could not possibly part, and that some sort of compromise would be achieved.
“[Ferrari and F1] is a perfect marriage,” said the 78-year-old.
“It’s as simple as that and it is not going to change. I hope Ferrari don’t decide to go, something can be sorted and everyone will be happy but it won’t be easy,” added Ecclestone.
Meanwhile French daily Le Figaro reported that Renault would announce today their solidarity with Ferrari and that they too would leave the sport if a budget cap was introduced.
“According to our information, Renault will announce the same decision (as Ferrari’s) on Wednesday,” reported the newspaper.
Should Renault follow Ferrari’s example they would become the fourth high-profile team to make the threat. Toyota and Red Bull have already signalled their strong opposition to the controversial new rule on the grounds that it would create a two-tier sport. Under the new rule, the teams that do not agree to cap their budgets would be subject to stricter technical regulation, effectively making them uncompetitive.
While it is widely expected that some sort of compromise will be reached, Max Mosley and Ecclestone will be perturbed by Ferrari’s outspoken stance and the number of teams joining the Italian marque’s side. Previously, the powers-that-be have opted for a policy of ‘divide and rule’ with the teams, normally with Ferrari on the side of the governing body.