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Renault Join Threat to Quit F1

May 13, 2009

Renault have become the fourth team to threaten a pull-out at the end of the 2009 season unless plans for the £40 million budget cap are abandoned.

Yesterday Ferrari issued a statement declaring “No F1 in 2010 if the rules change.” Today, Renault boss Flavio Briatore said: “If the decisions announced by the FIA are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the world championship at the end of 2009.”

The FIA’s plans hope to encourage new teams to enter their cars into the 2010 season, however, the proposals will ultimately mean that the teams who are able to limit themselves to the budget cap will have more technical freedom than those who don’t, subsequently splitting the field in two.

One of the advantages that would be available to capped teams would include a flexible rear wing, which, currently outlawed in the 2009 regulations, could see a capped team next season with a two second per lap advantage over an uncapped team.

Renault F1 team president, Bernard Rey has said the team cannot be in a championship where there are two different sets of rules operating together. A statement issued by the team said : “[The team] is also of the firm view that all entrants in the world championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations.”

Yesterday, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo warned the budget cap would lead to a two-tier championship that could potentially be “fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased”.

As it stands, with entries opening for sign-up to the 2010 season on May 22nd, and lasting until the 29th, the line up on the grid next March could look somewhat different to the line up five races ago, with the likes of Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and Red Bull not being there.

The threats of the last two days do not seem to be idle on either team’s part, posing a question over what is going to happen next. The teams are likely to meet with Max Mosley in the next week to discuss the plans, and the current dissatisfaction over their feelings that the FIA have failed to discuss the rule changes with them is also likely to be on the agenda.

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