Ferrari has confirmed its departure from the Formula One Teams' Association after issuing a statement claiming that the body's impetus has '"run its course."
Ferrari and Red Bull Racing this weekend wrote to FOTA informing it of their decision to leave the organization. Although neither team was initially willing to comment on the situation, Ferrari subsequently issued a statement explaining its decision, and suggesting that a stalemate within the body over certain issues was key to its move.
"It was a difficult decision and a great deal of thought went into it," the statement read. "It was taken reluctantly after analyzing the current situation and the stalemate when it came to debate on some issues that were at the core of why the association was formed, indeed with Ferrari and [Ferrari president] Luca di Montezemolo as the main instigator and promoter of ideas. It's not by chance that the president of the Maranello company held that same position and job title within FOTA up to the end of 2009.
"Some of the major achievements of the association during these years, also worked out in conjunction with the FIA, centered around cost reduction, which was of significant benefit to everyone, the big teams and the small ones. Ferrari was on the front line in this area, even before the birth of FOTA and it intends to continue down this route to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the long term. Now, however, it is necessary to find some new impetus to move it along because FOTA's drive has run its course, despite the excellent work of current president, Martin Whitmarsh, in trying to reach agreement between the various positions for the common good."
Although recent disputes over F1's Resource Restriction Agreement have dominated FOTA's agenda, Ferrari insists that it is keen to ensure a deal is still reached to limit costs. Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes GP and Red Bull Racing are due to meet within the next two weeks to try and end differences over the RRA.
"Ferrari will continue to work with the other teams to make the current RRA, Resource Restriction Agreement, aimed at controlling costs, more effective and efficient, modifying it to make it more stringent in key areas such as aerodynamics, to re-balance some aspects such as testing and to expand it to areas currently not covered such as engines," Ferrari's statement went on. "Formula 1, like the rest of the world, in fact, is currently going through a delicate period. Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a sport that expresses the highest level of motorsport technology.
"We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to Gran Turismo cars. In addition, we must not forget that this sport must become more user-friendly and more accessible to the general public.
"Furthermore, it cannot be the only professional sport where it is practically impossible to do any training: the number of days of testing must be increased so that the drivers, especially the young ones who lack experience, and the teams, can be adequately prepared, as well as providing more opportunities for them to come into contact with spectators and sponsors."