Although Ferrari is refusing to comment on yesterday’s budget cap announcement, some letters between its president Luca di Montezemolo and FIA president Max Mosley have come to light.
These show Ferrari’s concerns and hint at arrangements between Ferrari and the governing body, which Ferrari feel have not been honoured.
On April 28th Montezemolo wrote to Mosley and other world council members,
unhappy that budget caps had been put on the agenda of a meeting which was called to hear the McLaren case.
He wrote, ” I have always been concerned about its introduction (cost cap) mainly because I consider that there are serious technical difficulties in making sure that any cap can realistically be monitored.
“There are..doubts as to whether or not two categories of teams should be created which will inevitably mean that one category will have an advantage over the other and that the championship will be fundamentally unfaor and perhaps even biased. In any event this would create confusion in the public’s mind, which would seriously lower the value of Formula 1.”
This is a view shared by all the F1 teams, that having capped and uncapped teams operating to two different sets of rules is unworkable. FOTA will discuss this at its May 6th meeting.
But Montezemolo then goes on to remind Mosley about the deal, which he signed in 2005 to commit Ferrari to F1 until 2012, the one which broke the idea of a manufacturers’ breakaway series and for which Ferrari allegedly received €100 million.
Montezemolo’s point is that under the Concorde Agreement the FIA “cannot pass or amend any regulation without it being approved by the F1 commission.”
When Ferrari did its secret deal and signed up to 2012, it demanded and was granted “all rights under the previous Concorde Agreement will continue to apply until 31 December 2010, exactly as if the Agreement itself remained in place.”
The language then gets quite legal, and Montezemolo says he ‘insists’ that the FIA respect the agreement they made.
Presumably this is a coded message that Ferrari would launch a legal challenge against the cost cap. The problem there is time. It would take months and that would delay the 2010 rules being published, which would throw the series into chaos.
Ferrari would only launch an action like that with FOTA backing, but that will be hard because half of the teams in FOTA agree with the cost cap, which guarantees not just their survival but that they will be able to compete with the big boys and make a profit at the same time!
I’ll post on Mosley’s response separately.