Wednesday, May 20, 2009

F1: French Court To Rule On Ferrari Injunction Tonight


A French court is set to rule tonight on the Ferrari-led injunction against the FIA’s controversial 2010 budget cap regulations.

Toyota, Red Bull and Renault joined the Scuderia in launching a last minute legal attempt to block the new rules, after a meeting with FIA President Max Mosley and F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Eccelstone failed to find a solution.

Ferrari’s legal representative Emmanuel Gaillard believes the new regulations force the company to make a rapid succession of cost-cutting measures, which may prove unfeasible if it wants to remain competitive.


“It’s a coup de force [by the FIA] which involves changing the rules of the game,” Gaillard said to AFP.

“It’s as if in the 100 metres, one [athlete] has to run 100m and another 80m, but the one that runs 80m has to carry a sack on his back.

“The FIA offered us a fait accompli. The annual budget of a big team is between 400 to 500 million euros. We’re in the process of talking about a reduction in costs of 80 to 90 percent. It’s quite simply impossible.”

Teams working within the cap will be granted certain advantages including unlimited revs and a movable rear wing, providing a performance gain of nearly three seconds per lap according to Williams’ Patrick Head.

However, FIA lawyer Hugues Calvet said the move to limit spending is crucial to the sport’s survival, dismissing the technical and performance advantages gained by capped outfits.

Meanwhile, Mosley has escalated his war of words with Ferrari after rubbishing claims the sport cannot survive without Ferrari.

Mosley compared Ferrari’s potential withdrawal from Formula One with the death of Ayrton Senna, saying the sport moved on despite his legendary status.

“The idea that they are indispensable is nonsense,” Mosley said. “It’s a little bit like poor Senna. He was the most important driver in 1994, but when he very sadly was killed, Formula One went on. Lotus was very important once, so was Brabham.”