Formula One’s disgruntled teams met to settle their differences on Friday and after more than two hours of discussions said they would now present a united front in their showdown talks with the sport’s ruling body.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, absent from last Friday’s Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) meeting in London, this time was present and he helped to pull them together to avoid a crisis in the sport.
Di Montezemolo, who was at his father’s funeral last week, emerged from Friday’s meeting on board Renault boss Flavio Briatore’s super-yacht Blue Force, moored in the harbour, to announce their unity.
He told reporters: “As always, we have had a very good meeting. As always, there’s a very good atmosphere and now we are all together. We are unified and we are in a position to go now to the president of the FIA saying very constructively and in a very clear way what is the position of FOTA.”
A meeting between the teams and Max Mosley, president of the ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA) was expected to take place later.
Di Montezemolo added: “I don’t know what will happen, but it is important now for all of us that our view of the future is absolutely shared.”
The teams, particularly a ‘gang-of-five’ major teams, are not happy with plans for a £40-million budget cap for 2010 and several have said they will walk away from F1 unless it is reconsidered.
On Thursday, Mosley told Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that if Ferrari left F1 after 60 unbroken seasons since 1950 then the sport would survive and cope without them.
“F1 would not be the same without Ferrari, but no team is indispensable,” he said.
“The real question is: do we control costs by restricting the work of the best engineers or do we control costs by restricting the amount of money available. To me, the answer is clear — hence the cost cap.” said the F1 boss.