The FIA says it is not surprised by BMW's decision to quit Formula 1 – as it blamed team principals for resisting cost-cutting measures that would have prevented such walkouts.
BMW's decision to turn its back on F1 at the end of 2009 was announced on Wednesday morning, and it is feared that another manufacturer could soon follow suit and leave the sport.
The FIA has said that the state of affairs is proof that cost-cutting measures were vital – as it hinted at some frustration that its effort to change the sport's finances was met by opposition.
"The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW's intended withdrawal from Formula 1 but is not surprised by it," said an FIA statement. "It has been clear for some time that motorsport cannot ignore the world economic crisis. Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula 1 when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer.
"This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically. These measures were needed to alleviate the pressure on manufacturers following Honda's withdrawal but also to make it possible for new teams to enter. Had these regulations not been so strongly opposed by a number of team principals, the withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided."
The FIA said it hoped that cost-cutting rules that have been agreed will be enough to prevent more walkouts in the future.
"As a result of a sustained cost-cutting campaign by the FIA, new measures are in the process of being agreed which should make it easier for new teams to enter and enable existing ones to participate on much reduced budgets," the statement added.