Ferrari has denied Mattia Binotto threatened that the team could quit Formula 1 should the budget cap be lowered further.
F1 has already delayed the introduction of new cars until 2022, but financial regulations will still come into force next year and a budget cap is included. It has been agreed to lower the original figure of $175 million amid the COVID-19 crisis, but a final figure has not been landed on, and Binotto (pictured above) has warned his team cannot go much lower before having to lay off staff — something that is difficult to do under Italian law.
In an interview with the Ferrari team principal in The Guardian Binotto said he didn’t want to look at other options outside of F1 to reallocate staff if the budget cap came lower, and this was initially reported in many outlets as a quit threat.
“The $145m level is already a new and demanding request compared to what was set out last June,” he told the Guardian. “It cannot be attained without further significant sacrifices, especially in terms of our human resources. If it was to get even lower, we would not want to be put in a position of having to look at other further options for deploying our racing DNA.”
However, Ferrari has since clarified that Binotto meant those other options being in addition to racing in Formula 1, not instead of.
“He never mentioned about Scuderia Ferrari quitting F1,” a Ferrari spokesperson said. “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, in case the budget cap would be even more drastically reduced, putting at risk hundreds of workplaces.”
Even if Binotto was not suggesting Ferrari could quit F1, has comments were a threat to his team’s position in the sport, as it is the only racing category that can currently boast a top-level full factory entry from the Scuderia.