Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is convinced the Italian marque can find the same level passion in other racing series if it leaves Formula 1.
The Maranello-based squad, the most emblematic team in the sport, said on Tuesday it will pull out of Formula 1 if the budget cap regulations introduced by the FIA for 2010 stay in place. The threat was followed today by one by Renault, which also said it will reconsider its position.
Ferrari said on Thursday it had received "numerous" messages of support from its fans, to which di Montezemolo responded on the car maker's official website. The Italian said if Ferrari quit F1, it would continue to race elsewhere with the same level of enthusiasm.
"I want to thank you personally for the numerous messages of support we received from all over the world over the last hours on our website and via email," di Montezemolo wrote. "It is important to know that we can count on the support of our fans all over the world and that our fans completely share the motivations, which brought us to take such a decision.
"If we were forced to leave the Championship we were part of over the last 60 years of our history and where we set all the records in terms of victories, it is because they want to change the nature of its founding values.
"If it really was like that, then I have to say that our cars will race in other competitions, where – and I am absolutely convinced about that – they will find the enthusiasm and the passion of millions of fans, following us in every corner of the world. Racing is part of Ferrari's DNA and this is something that will never change."
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa said the idea of having a two-tier championship was "absurd."
"I understand the motivation, why the company got to this point," said Massa. "The idea of having a championship with two velocities – with cars, which for example are allowed to have flexible wings or an engine without a rev limiter – is absurd. We've already seen this year that the rules' uncertainty not only led to a lot of confusion for us involved, but mainly for the fans. Imagine what might happen with what has been set up for 2010.
"For a driver, racing a Ferrari in Formula 1 is a dream and I made mine come true. Since I was a child Ferrari has been the synonym for racing for me; that's why I'm convinced that even if the Scuderia is forced to leave Formula 1, there will be other competitions, where it will be possible to admire the Reds on the track."
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen added: "It's difficult to think of a Formula 1 without Ferrari. When I drove for McLaren the Scuderia from Maranello was the benchmark, the competitor you had to be compared with. Since I arrived here I understood that it is much more than just a team, it's a legend, perpetuated via its road and racing cars.
"I always had the passion for racing with everything with an engine and I always thought of Formula 1 as the pinnacle of motorsports, in terms of competition and technology. Obviously, if there really were rules like the ones set by FIA, it would be difficult to imagine a Formula 1 we had until today.
"I can't imagine drivers racing each other on the track with cars built according to different rules; that wouldn't be good for the sport itself or for the fans. If that should happen, it would be too bad and I understand that a company like Ferrari is thinking about racing somewhere else."Related stories:• Renault also threatens withdrawal• Ferrari's statement• Toyota: Teams just seeking sound governance• FIA: Budget cap deal still possible