Thursday, May 14, 2009

Formula 1: Goodbye Ferrari in 2010?

Imagine F1 without Ferrari and Renault-- two of the biggest names voicing out their intent of pulling out of the most prestigious motorsports racing event in the world come 2010.

That is if the top honchos of the FIA, the governing body ruling motorsports, decides to pursue its goal of introducing two tier rules governing racing in Formula 1.

In an effort to invite more teams to join F1, a budget cap is introduced (approximately in the amount of 40 million pounds or roughly $60 M), excluding drivers' salaries in exchange for unlimited technology and no restrictions to in-season testing. This is actually advantageous to new teams wishing to make an entry into F1.

The other rule to be implemented is for teams with an unlimited budget, like Ferrari, restrictions to technology will be implemented and teams will have to adhere to designs and specifications imposed by the governing body.

If these two rules were to take effect, one may see twice the number of cars than what is running right now but with 2 different types of specs -- one technologically advanced and the other restricted; one running with movable wings, the other with rev limiters-- as aptly described by Ferrari driver and World Champion Kimi Raikkonen. For that, Ferrari and Renault are both supported by Toyota, Williams (engines supplied by Toyota), and Red Bull (running on Renault engines), which also owns Toro Rosso (running on Ferrari engines).

McLaren and BMW are expected to follow suit.

What would Formula 1 look like then? Aston Martin F1, Lola F1, perhaps a Chevrolet F1? These teams could bring in more revenue and audience share, particularly US audience, where an affinity to oval tracks continues to baffle this writer. But without the Prancing Horse around, I don't think it would be much more of an F1.

A ruling on the regulation will be released in a few weeks time.

For a nut such as myself, I go where the alpha male is even if Scuderia Ferrari decides to join Le Mans 24 Hours, IndyCar or (heavens forbid) NASCAR.

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