London – Ferrari has reiterated its commitment to Formula One after reports surfaced on Thursday stating that the sport’s oldest and most successful team could walk away if a proposed budget cap for 2021 was set too low.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper suggested that Ferrari was prepared to quit, in a headline that was later replaced, following an interview with team boss Mattia Binotto.
A Ferrari spokeswoman said Binotto had not mentioned the team leaving Formula One.
“On the contrary, he said that we would not want to be put in a position of having to look at further options, besides continuing racing in F1, for deploying our racing DNA,” she added.
Binotto had told the Guardian that a drastic budget cut, called for by some teams as they face the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, put at risk hundreds of jobs at their Maranello factory.
“The $145 million (R2.7bn) level is already a new and demanding request compared to what was set out last June,” he said.
“It cannot be attained without further significant sacrifices, especially in terms of our human resources.”
Formula One is due to introduce a budget cap of $175 million (R3.3bn) in 2021 but teams are discussing reducing that.
The Italian said the teams had different characteristics, some privately run while others were part of major manufacturers operating in different countries and under different legislation.
“Therefore it is not simple and straightforward to make structural changes simply by cutting costs in a linear fashion,” he added.
“We are well aware that F1 and indeed the whole world right now is going through a particularly difficult time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, this is not the time to react in a hurry as there’s a risk of making decisions on the back of this emergency without clearly evaluating all the consequences.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose team were dominant before Mercedes won the last six championships, is also opposed to a budget cap below $145 million. Mercedes are supportive of further cuts.
Formula One has already delayed until 2022 the implementation of major technical rule changes planned for 2021, with teams using the same cars next year as this.
The season has yet to start with nine races called off, including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix in May which has been cancelled.
By Alan Baldwin