PARIS, May 18 – Formula One giants Ferrari will move up a gear in their bid to stop the introduction of a controversial budget cap when they request an injunction against the FIA's plans at a top Paris court on Tuesday.Representatives of world motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, will appear alongside Ferrari here at the ‘Tribunal de Grande Instance’ – whose equivalent in England would be a Crown Court and which is presided over by three judges.
As a response to the global financial downturn which has ensured that F1 must rein in its expenditure, FIA wants a 40 million pounds (44.8 million euros) budget cap for each team as of 2010.
Ferrari are one of four teams who have threatened to withdraw at the end of this season unless fundamental revisions are made to the new regulations. They fear it would create a two-tier world championship.
Emmanuel Gaillard, one of Ferrari’s lawyers, said Ferrari had no choice in seeking the injunction because the FIA is demanding teams to register for next season between May 22 and 29 runs – which Ferrari claim runs contrary to earlier pledges made by the FIA.
"Teams have to register (for next season) between May 22 and 29, and must therefore accept the new regulations. Yet, this rule runs totally contrary to the pledges that have been made to Ferrari in the past.
"It leaves us with no choice," Gaillard told AFP.
FIA president Max Mosley revealed Ferrari intentions to request an injunction last Friday following a meeting in London designed to try and find a solution to the impasse.
At the end of the meeting no solution was agreed, with teams leaving to discuss alternatives.
"It was a friendly meeting but the teams have gone off to see if they can come up with something better than the cost cap," Mosley said.
A decision Tuesday in favour of Ferrari could be disastrous for the FIA which, thanks to the new regulations, is already attracting interest from several smaller teams (Lola, USF1, Prodrive) keen on joining the championship.
A decision in favour of the FIA, however, could lead to some of Formula One’s big guns carrying out threats to leave the sport.