Friday, May 15, 2009

F1: Mercedes Will Not Join F1 Boycott

McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen at the 2009 Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug has rejected speculation McLaren will join Ferrari and Renault in threatening to withdraw from Formula One.

Haug says Mercedes, who own a 40 percent stake in McLaren, is keen to find a solution and negotiate a compromise agreement with the FIA rather than simply walk away.

He told Sky: “We will try to help to find a solution: all the teams are agreed that there cannot be two regulations in one series.

“(But withdrawal from F1) is not a topic at Mercedes.”

Ferrari’s claim it will quit the sport unless the FIA make numerous amendments to the 2010 regulations has been dismissed as simply political manoeuvring in some quarters.


But Haug believes the Scuderia’s threat should be taken seriously, saying Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo holds genuine concerns about the future of Formula One.

“I know from conversation with Luca di Montezemolo and (Ferrari team principal) Stefano Domenicali that Ferrari has not made this threat lightly,” he said.

“After 60 years in Formula One they would not do so without some serious thinking.”

With five teams on the record claiming they are ready to turn their backs on Formula One, rumours have again begun to emanate from the F1 paddock suggesting a breakaway series could be on the cards.

Renault F1 team boss Flavio Briatore has moved to dismiss those claims, telling Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport that teams want to remain under the jurisdiction of the FIA.

“I must be clear that we, Ferrari and the others have no intention of breaking with FIA. It is a remote hypothesis that everyone wants to avoid. We want to be there, to participate, to preserve the future,” he said.

Briatore though reiterated his belief that the FIA’s role should be diminished to that of an independent arbitrator, allowing the teams to determine the regulations.

“We are proposing logical conditions to Mosley. I want to make it clear that the teams are Formula One, the international federation should simply be the referee. We should write the rules, not have them imposed by Max without speaking to anyone,” he said.