Ferrari Would Have Quit If Standard Engines Were Adopted

Ferrari's CEO Luca di Montezemolo admitted that his team was very close to following Honda on the back door of Formula 1 had FIA president Max Mosley decided to introduce a standard engine for all teams starting next year. Under the current cost-cutting plan released by the World Motor Sport Council last Friday, all teams will benefit from equal-performance engines by 2010. However, the F1 manufacturers will be allowed to build their units in-house.

As far as the independent teams go, they will be offered the chance to purchase Cosworth-built power plants by the price of 5 million Euros per year.

“If one engine for all teams had come in, at least four maybe five teams would have left. And I mean four or five in addition to Ferrari,” said Di Montezemolo according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ferrari's team principal Stefano Domenicali also agreed with the latest cost-cutting measures announced by the FIA last week, while suggesting that the drivers' salaries might also be subject to reductions paddock-wide.

“Let's be clear: at a moment when the teams, whether big or small, must reduce costs in a significant way, one could feel like saying you need an ace to make the difference. However, I feel that in the current climate the big teams - the small ones can't do that now - won't have the ability anymore to think of offering certain amounts of money that some drivers get. So discussions can be held on this issue,” Domenicali was quoted as saying to Italian magazine Autosprint.

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are currently the best paid drivers in the F1 paddock. Alonso's contract is known to represent more than 20% out of Renault's entire budget for an F1 season.
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