Thursday 14th May 2009
Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug is refusing to jump on the bandwagon of his Formula One rivals currently on a collision course with FIA President Max Mosley.
Renault yesterday joined Ferrari in threatening to withdraw from Formula One unless fundamental changes are made to the recently-announced regulations for next year.
Team boss Flavio Briatore and president Bernard Rey both denounced the FIA over their plans to introduce a £40million budget cap that would in turn result in a two-tier F1.
Briatore, in particular, also roundly condemned motor sport's world governing body over their lack of governance and failure to consult the teams on a subject of such far-reaching magnitude.
Yet whilst Ferrari, Toyota, Renault, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso - the latter two teams through owner Dietrich Mateschitz - have all voiced their opposition, Mercedes have so far remained silent.
The view is Mercedes do not want to be heard speaking against the FIA after the organisation took a lenient view on McLaren over the Liargate saga last month.
Haug maintains talk of following Ferrari and Renault's lead and threatening to withdraw "is not a topic at Mercedes."
Haug, though, can appreciate the stance being adopted by Ferrari, and is keen to see a resolution on the matter.
"I know that from conversation with (Ferrari president) Luca di Montezemolo and (team principal) Stefano Domenicali that Ferrari has thought about this threat very well," said Haug.
"After 60 years in Formula One they would not do so without some serious thinking.
"We will try to help to find a solution. All the teams are agreed that there cannot be two regulations in one series."
The FIA see their system as simple: you either choose not to accept the cap and race under the current regulations, or abide by the cap and enjoy a degree of technical freedom.
However, those cars would have a considerable performance advantage via greater engine and KERS power, as well as aerodynamic aids.
Given the choice, it leaves the FIA at a loss to understand why the teams do not all sign up for the cap, thereby running under the one set of rules.
But it is Mosley's governance of the sport that has enraged so many, and the fact he unilaterally acted without consulting the teams, who also fear the way the cap would be policed.
As Briatore remarked: "Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market.
"We want to achieve this in a co-ordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA.
"If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009."
Mosley and the teams are due to meet in London tomorrow when it is hoped a resolution can be found to safeguard the sport.
Source : Planet F1