Renault and Ferrari re-state their threat not to compete in 2010

Renault warned its suppliers it may not compete in F1 in 2010

Renault warned its suppliers it may not compete in F1 in 2010

We’ve been getting slightly mixed messages from both camps in the FIA-FOTA battle in recent days which could be read as signs of an impending truce.

But today Ferrari and Renault took steps to highlight the seriousness of their threat not to compete in F1 next year if FOTA’s demands are not met. A letter sent by Renault which arrived with its suppliers this week stated:

Renault Sport must not only substantially reduce its activity, budget and therefore list of suppliers, but may even decide, in the worst case scenario, as mentioned by Bernard Rey and Flavio Briatore on 13 May, not to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship in 2010.

Bernard Rey is the chairman of Renault F1. He is close to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn who told the French press today:

Today we pay to be in Formula One and that is not normal. Intermediaries have made enough money. We want to take back control of Formula One.

Meanwhile Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali shrugged off suggestions that the team’s contract with the FIA forces them to participate in 2010:

Ferrari’s position has not changed. Back on 29 May, we put in a conditional entry with the other teams that make up FOTA. Along with this entry, we put forward to the FIA a package of proposals which included among other elements, a significant reduction in costs.

As always, we will do all we can to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties. If this is not possible, then the FIA will not be able to include Ferrari in the list of teams entered for the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

It is worth remembering why Ferrari’s attempt to use the French courts to block the FIA’s 2010 rules was rejected. It was not on grounds that the contract was invalid – which might have offered Ferrari a way out of this predicament. It was because the court ruled Ferrari had missed an earlier opportunity to exercise the technical veto afforded to it by the contract.

Perhaps, then, Ferrari’s agreement with the FIA is rather more iron-clad than they would like to believe.

More on the FIA-FOTA row

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43 comments on Renault and Ferrari re-state their threat not to compete in 2010

  1. Chaz said on 10th June 2009, 23:16

    Either way we’ll know sooner or later who’s in or out…

    • Gman said on 11th June 2009, 0:07

      Indeed, Friday may very well be one of the most important dates in the history of world motorsport.

      • mp4-19 said on 11th June 2009, 16:16

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        deeply appreciate any help from anyone. plz

  2. Prisoner Monkeys said on 11th June 2009, 0:24

    ow that I think on it, a world without Renault – and, by virtue of that, Flavio Briatore – probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  3. Cameron said on 11th June 2009, 0:47

    Imagine loosing that many teams in one go? And them all being replaced with GP2 teams and other startups running around on restricted budgets while the big players of F1 move onto something else?

    I dread what could potentially come of this. :(

  4. Perhaps, then, Ferrari’s agreement with the FIA is rather more iron-clad than they would like to believe.

    Perhaps they’re prepared to buy out their contract if they have to…

  5. persempre said on 11th June 2009, 0:55

    I see Lotus have joined the Brabham family in seeking legal advice about the new teams use of its’ name.

    At this rate with Bernie suing everyone in sight & the old names taking the new teams to court there`ll be more action in the courtrooms than on the track.

  6. sean said on 11th June 2009, 1:19

    Bernie has truly shown where he stands “I’ll sue them all” he has no interest in anything but his money.
    The sooner the both of them are gone the better.Seems that the teams owner’s have decided that this is there chance to cut them loose so their going to take it.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 11th June 2009, 3:58

      Money isn’t the point of suing them at all. He’s threatning legal action to try and keep them in line in order to protect the idea of Formula One. For example, what happens if FOTA form a rival series, start running races under the name Formula One Grand Prix but are so disorganised that the whole thing is a farce? It discredits the name Formula One, and so Ecclestone would be well within his rights to sue them for unlawfully using a name he has the rights to.

      • Then why do Bernie and co take half the money out of F1 each year?
        Is that seriously a fair price for the privilege of using two letters?

  7. scunnyman said on 11th June 2009, 2:05

    Perhaps ferrari are prepared to pay whatever the courts make them pay if the FIA take them to court over not competing in 2010 onward, so that they can get the control they and other members of FOTA demand.

    For a non Ferrari fan i stand behind Ferrari and FOTA 100%

  8. Leaf said on 11th June 2009, 2:06

    Good comment from Guille 2306.
    Also, re-read what Carlos Ghosn says. “Intermediaries have made enough money. We want to take back control of F1.” Fota wants the cost reductions implemented the way they have proposed them, and they want Bernie out. Probably more so than Mosley.

  9. Dr Jones said on 11th June 2009, 2:23

    Welcome to the 2010 new-improved GP2 (F1). I hope Ferrari & the other big manufacturers to create their own series and show to the fans (especially Max & Bernie) what is the real “F1.”

    Go FOTA! :)

  10. Sei said on 11th June 2009, 5:12

    There’s no rule that say’s ferrari has to actually be competitive is there? Even if they’re forced to enter. We’ll just have to get used to watching kimi eating icecreams.

    • DGR-F1 said on 11th June 2009, 8:11

      Good point, even if Ferrari and Renault are on Max’s list of entries, they don’t need to turn up do they?
      And if they disband their F1 teams, who is Bernie going to sue?

    • Navs said on 11th June 2009, 17:28

      Ferrari will take a branding hit if they show up with a minimal or C-team because if they do that, they’ll always show up at the bottom of the charts in the WDC and WCC. The die-hard fans will know what’s going on, but definitely not a casual fan.

      Me thinks, if they run they’ll run with a reasonable team and presence.

  11. kingKUPA said on 11th June 2009, 5:20

    i am not a history fan i am a racing fan i dont care who is on track as long as the racings good

  12. phil c said on 11th June 2009, 5:56

    i recon it will work itself out. But the reality is the only thing Bernie can stop is the teams using the name Formula 1. There is nothing stopping the teams starting another series. There is nothing that even commits them to f1. bernie did not sue honda, minardi or any other teams for leaving because there was not concorde agreement.

    I bet there will be only 1 maximum 2 new teams next year of which will be supporte by FOTA with engine gearbox et etc, and have cars over 2 seconds off the pace. Bernie is up the sh8T if FOTA leaves because all his contract will be in breach and everyone will be chasing there money.

  13. Karlos said on 11th June 2009, 8:54

    Why did Max tell FOTA to put in conditional entries, only to then tell them to rescind the conditions? To allow them to “discuss” the rules?

    The latter move seems so disingenuous to me as to make me think that Max takes them all (and us) to be fools. If they remove the conditions then they have a legally binding contract that says that they have to obey the current 2010 rules and they will only be allowed to change them if the FIA agrees from the goodness of its heart. And we all know what Max’s heart looks like – cold, hard and black (with a few whip marks across it).

    • Richard S said on 11th June 2009, 10:50

      Max has made an “offer” to the new teams to compete under the new 2010 regulations and they have “accepted” his offer by submitting unconditional entries.

      My rather shaky understanding of law is that this is a contract, so if he gives in to FOTA then the new teams can sue the FIA. His only way out is to get unconditional entries from all and then try to negotiate terms with everyone. What a nightmare!

    • Patrickl said on 11th June 2009, 20:12

      The conditions that FOTA put on their entry were ridiculous. They demanded the signing of their version of a Concorde agreement till 2012. It’s no surprise Mosley had no interest in signing that on such short notice.

      • As it’s ridiculous that Mosley ask the teams to commit to a massive change in the way they work, including laying off much of their personnel, on an equally short notice. And then, the new Concorde Agreement is being discussed since 2005-2006, budget cap only since January of this year…

  14. PJA said on 11th June 2009, 9:06

    Is anyone else starting to think this won’t be resolved by Friday, when the 2010 entries are due to be published?

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