Ferrari were left fuming at their inclusion on the FIA’s entry list for the 2010 World Championship as the FOTA-FIA row erupted yesterday.
Ferrari, joined by Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso and to a lesser extent McLaren, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Renault and Brawn have been leading the protest against the FIA over next year’s regulations, specifically the proposed £40 million budget cap which the teams are rigorously opposed to.
That led them to submit a conditional entry for next year; they will only take part if the FIA agrees to sign a new agreement with FOTA on the make up of the sport and keep the rules as they are in 2009.
However, the FIA sparked controversy yesterday when they published the 2010 entry list and included Ferrari and their FOTA colleagues, albeit acknowledging their conditional status.
Ferrari reacted angrily and quickly moved to reaffirm their opposition to the current arrangements.
The team said in a statement: “Notwithstanding this and despite Ferrari’s previous written notice to the FIA not to do so, the FIA has included Ferrari as an unconditional participant in next year’s Formula One World Championship.”
“For the avoidance of any doubt, Ferrari reaffirms that it shall not take part in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship under the regulations adopted by the FIA in violation of Ferrari’s rights under a written agreement with the FIA.”
Ferrari knew that the FIA might include them on the entry list under the special agreement that it signed with the FIA in 2005. In addition to an increased share of the sport’s revenue and a veto over technical regulations, the agreement grants Ferrari special protection rights and automatic entry into each season.
However Ferrari maintain that the agreement is no longer valid since the FIA flouted their veto when pressing ahead with the proposed budget cap for next year.
FOTA as a whole meanwhile also reacted angrily to the FIA’s entry list by brandishing next year’s rules as being “bad” for the sport. The teams are in favour of alternative ways to reduce costs, chiefly the introduction of more standardised parts, while Ferrari have long been arguing for the need to raise commercial income.
The organisation said in a statement: “Regrettably FOTA is being forced to outline in detail our objections to the new arbitrary FIA proposals and we will release details of our concerns in the near future which will constructively explain why the FIA s proposals are bad for the future of Formula One, the jobs of those employed within the motor-racing industry and especially the millions of loyal fans who are dismayed and confused at the internal bickering within our sport.”
“FOTA reaffirms the unity and strength of its members, welcomes the three new F1 entrants announced today and remains committed to work with all the bodies of the Federation Internationale de l Automobile to resolve our differences.â€
Forumula1.com understands that FOTA will call upon the World Motorsport Council to intervene in the negotiations with the FIA – planned for next week – to secure a resolution.
Formula One fans are also being encouraged to sign a petition signalling their support for FOTA and this will likely be used as further evidence to get the FIA to back down.