Ferrari to quit F1?

The Ferrari team during a pit stop - soon to be consigned to history?
The Ferrari team.

By Mairi Thomson

The Ferrari F1 team have announced they would consider quitting the sport if proposals to standardise engines are to go ahead.

The sport’s governing body, the FIA, announced the proposals earlier this month as part of President Max Mosley’s drive to cut costs in the sport after saying they were becoming “unsustainable” in the current economic climate.

Ferrari’s board of directors met in Maranello yesterday to discuss the future of the team, which has been the most successful recently, winning the constructors championship seven times in nine years.

A statement released by the team said: “The board expressed the opinion that should these key elements [of engine design] be diminished, it would  have to re-evaluate, with its partners, the viability of continuing its presence in the sport.”

The FIA plans to discuss cost cuts – and how to achieve them – in a meeting with teams in Geneva today. When publishing the agenda for the meeting the FIA added:

“The FIA believes that Formula One costs are unsustainable. Even before current global financial problems, teams were spending far more than their incomes. As a result, the independent teams are now dependent on the goodwill of rich individuals, while the manufacturers’ teams depend on massive hand-outs from their parent companies.

“There is now a real danger than in some cases these subsidies will cease. This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level.”

Cost cutting in Formula 1 became a prominent issue following the withdrawal of the Super Aguri team from the 2008 championship due to financial issues.