Ecclestone: Ferrari key to negotiations

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FOM boss Bernie Ecclestone will be joining this weeks meeting between Max Mosley and Luca di Montezemoloto discuss the 2010 regulations set forth by the FIA which would institute a two-tier regulatory system in which the teams would participate. Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault have all stated they would not enter F1 next year as long as those rules stand. Max Mosley has stated that F1 can survive without Ferrari and that the regulations would stand as the budget cap is here to stay.

Bernie has been treading lightly in the press this week. GOne are his words of bravado and dismissive nature that often accompany situations like these. Ecclestone believes that ferrari are key to sorting the issue out and that they must reach an agreement with Ferrari so other teams will follow suit.

“The key to F1 is Ferrari,” Ecclestone was quoted as saying in the British press on Thursday. “They have been there for 60 years. They are partners of ours.

“They are the people we need to take into consideration. At the moment everyone is hanging on to their apron strings. Sort that out and we will be OK.”

Interesting that BMW are waiting until this meeting occurs to announce their intention for 2010 while Mercedes’s Norbert Haug has stated that they are not loking to leave F1. The first non-unified message from FOTA member Mercedes is a little surprising in my opinion as Martin Whitmarsh has stated that McLaren were not pleased with the two-tier system as well. Apparently Mercedes, 40% owner of McLaren, are also consider more than just the silver team…Brawn GP anyone? Norbert said that quitting F1 is not a topic at Mercedes.

“I know that from conversation with (Ferrari president) Luca di Montezemolo and (team principal) Stefano Domenicali that Ferrari has thought about this threat very well..

“After 60 years in Formula 1 they would not do so without some serious thinking. We will try to help to find a solution. All the teams are agreed that there cannot be two regulations in one series.”

Many have accused Ferrari of saber-rattling and offering false threats but Piero Ferrari, the son of late Enzo Ferrari, says that is not the case. The Guardian carried the story:

“I strongly believe that if you look at the past of Ferrari, today’s image is born from victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and sports and GT racing.

“We cannot forget our beginnings, and the passion of my father is still in the company. But we want racing with clear rules and starting from the same point.”

When asked about his father’s threat to quit F1 in 1986 and switch to an assault on the Indianapolis 500, Ferrari added: “He wasn’t bluffing. He was serious. And so are we.”

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