Bernie Ecclestone has warned Ferrari that legal action will be taken if they quit Formula One

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    Bernie Ecclestone has warned Ferrari that legal action will be taken if they quit Formula One

    Post by Ross on 22nd May 2009, 08:44

    Ecclestone sends out warning to Ferrari

    Bernie Ecclestone has issued a thinly veiled warning that he will sue Ferrari if it walks away from Formula 1 in frustration at next year’s rules.

    After failing on Wednesday to secure an injunction from a French court to stop the planned budget cap being introduced in 2010, Ferrari repeated its threat to quit F1 unless agreement could be reached on an alternative solution.

    The Maranello team maintains that by forcing through the controversial budget cap the FIA has violated a contractual agreement signed in 2005 that gives Ferrari a right of veto over technical rule changes.

    The court acknowledged this veto power, but said Ferrari should have exercised it earlier at the relevant World Council meetings – leading the team to claim that the substance of its position about the FIA’s contractual obligations had been upheld.

    However, in a new twist to the increasingly acrimonious saga that is overshadowing the build-up to Sunday’s showpiece Monaco Grand Prix, Ecclestone put a starkly different interpretation on the court’s decision to recognise the validity of contracts in place between him, the FIA and Ferrari.

    The sport’s commercial ringmaster suggested that Ferrari would itself be in breach of contract if it were to pull out of F1 in 2010 – having pledged its involvement through to 2012 – and hinted that such a move would trigger legal action.

    “We would always respect our contracts,” Ecclestone told The Times.

    “And all the teams that have signed contracts with us would expect us to respect them, and we would expect the same from Ferrari.

    “They are saying they are going to walk, we are saying we hope they respect their contract.”

    Ecclestone has reportedly also written to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo warning him that some of the television rights income paid to Ferrari over the past few years might have to be returned if the team does not honour its contract.

    Ecclestone’s comments further raise the tempo ahead of the latest round of crisis talks about next year’s rules, due to be held this afternoon (Friday).

    After last Friday’s inconclusive Heathrow meeting, the teams are set to convene again on Renault boss Flavio Briatore’s boat to discuss their response to the impasse over the budget cap.

    They will then meet FIA president Max Mosley, who has so far shown little willingness to compromise or accommodate the dissenting teams’ concerns.

    “He’s never blinked,” Mosley’s spokesman told The Times.

    “The teams have got a strong leader of a strong governing body and he is playing hard ball, as he always has.

    “What’s hard for them to accept is that Max is right on this issue.”

    Ecclestone has repeatedly stated his fervent wish for Ferrari to remain in F1 and promised to intervene to prevent the sport losing its most historic and prestigious team, but admits he is “concerned” that the Scuderia will pull out.

    Ecclestone feels the current dispute is unlikely to be resolved by next Friday, the official deadline to submit entries for the 2010 season.

    “We will have to wait and see,” he said.

    “Probably the majority won’t put an entry in.”

    The FIA has said it will accept applications submitted after the deadline, but warned that existing teams delaying their entries run the risk of losing their place on the 2010 grid to new outfits.


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      Current date/time is 23rd May 2018, 14:51