I have been waiting for Ferrari’s response to the FIA’s announced ‘budget cap’ concept for the 2010 season and my patience has proven to be warranted as today, Ferrari have spoken.
Autosport covers the story very well and in fairness to them I will only copy a teaser with a link. Do go check their site and read the story, they’ve done a terrific job breaking it and covering the groundwork.
“All aspects of the new regulations should be carefully reviewed,” di Montezemolo wrote. “Limiting, for the time being, my comments to the cost cap issue, as you know I have always been concerned about the introduction, mainly because I consider that there are serious technical difficulties in making sure that any cap can be
“Additionally, any controversy on the actual respect of the cost cap would undermine the image of Formula 1 and could seriously damage any involved team”.
It has been perceptively known that the FIA and Ferrari have traditionally gotten along well and some have suggested that there is a large amount of favortism toward the Red Cars from both the FIA and FOM. I won’t get in to that argument but what we are seeing now is a potential collision between Ferrari and the FIA over the budget cap issue.
Max Mosley released a statement to the teams in which he took the opportunity to disparage the Italian team which only inflames the situation. Max has never been known as a peace keeper and often uses terse language and tactics to debase teams or humiliate them in public. All of this is heading toward a serious breaking point as most of the teams have concerns over thee two-tier system and the details of the budget cap. Max has also been known to throw out initial, overreaching concepts in order to get the teams to actually move on an issue and to Max’s credit he has acquiesced on many aspects of a concept after the teams have raised serious concerns. Will that happen here? I am not so sure. Some concessions may be made but I sense the financial crisis that Bernie has been marginalizing, as far as the impact on F1 goes, is actually the driving force behind these changes.
It’s no secret that CVC, the commercial rights holder, is faced with serious debt service issues and the financial crisis, while certainly real, is something that I can see Max and Bernie using to reclassify the revenue distribution to the teams in order to free up more moneyf or CVC to service its debt. The regulations are really ghost arguments or red herrings in a since. Giving capped teams unlimited testing and wind tunnel work is only good if you have the money in the cap budget to pay for it and clearly 40 million is not enough to purchase large amounts of wind tunnel work. These are false carrots to dangle before the potential capped teams in my opinion and actually as a pejorative nature to entire discussion.
Ferrari will ultimately lead this battle as Luca di Montezemolo is still the chairman of FOTA. Ron Dennis would also be handy about now but I have faith in Martin Whitmarsh as he is also a very intelligent person. You thoughts? What do you think of Ferrari’s comments? Do you think the budget cap is something that can work for Ferrari or do you think Luca has very serious and real concerns?