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Rediff.com  » Sports » French court to rule on Ferrari action

French court to rule on Ferrari action

May 20, 2009 12:57 IST

An injunction sought by Ferrari to prevent Formula One's governing body from introducing a budget cap next season will be decided on Wednesday, a French court said.

"A decision on the matter will be announced tomorrow at 1400 [1 p.m. British time]," court president Jacques Gondrand de Robert said after a one-hour hearing on Tuesday.

Champions Ferrari went to the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris to try and stop the International Automobile Federation (FIA) from pressing ahead with the optional 40 million pound cap.

The sport's most successful and glamorous team have threatened to quit Formula One if the published rules are not re-written. Renault, Toyota and Red Bull's two teams have taken a similar stance.

Emmanuel Gaillard, one of three Ferrari lawyers present at the hearing, said the Italian team would be excessively penalised if they were to refuse the budget cap.

"It is as if in a 100 metres race, some run 100 metres and others 80 metres in a sandbag," he said.

"It is a 'coup de force' [from the FIA]."

FIA lawyer Hughes Calvet said Formula One had to take action in the face of the global financial crisis that has already seen Honda depart before the start of this season.

"We must give something to those who are ready to cap their budget," he said. "These new regulations are essential for the sport's survival."

The published 2010 regulations propose allowing teams greater technical freedom if they accept the cap than those wishing to stay with unlimited budgets.

While Ferrari have said this would make it a two-tier championship that they cannot accept, both Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Max Mosley have subsequently said they expect all teams to race to one set of regulations.

"We want everyone to race under the same regulations and we would like all of the teams to come in under the cost cap," Mosley said last week.

"If things go as they should go, they [Ferrari] are going to have to make their minds up if they want to come racing on the same basis as everybody else," the Briton added in an interview with the BBC.

"Simply being there and spending more money, it's not fair, and it's not really in their own interests."

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