Red Bull's two Formula 1 teams will not be entered in next year's world championship, their owner Dietrich Mateschitz has confirmed, unless changes are made to budget cap rules introduced by the FIA.
With AUTOSPORT having revealed at the weekend that Toyota will not lodge its entry unless plans for a two-tier F1 are dropped, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso are also set to join a boycott led by manufacturer teams.
Mateschitz visited the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, amid high political tension between the teams and FIA about cost-cutting rules that have been introduced for next season. And he made it clear that Red Bull would join a host of manufacturer teams in withholding their entries for 2010 for now.
"If the proposed rules for 2010 remain unchanged, we will not enter next year's championship," said Mateschitz as part of an interview that appeared in the Austrian Salzburger Nachrichten
newspaper on Monday. "And I guess that won't do the works teams either. So possibly only two or maybe three of the existing teams will enter the championship.
"The conditions for 2010 at the moment make it impossible to sign in. But I hope there will be a meeting and a settlement before the entry deadline."
AUTOSPORT understands that unless a deal can be hammered out between FIA president Max Mosley and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) when they meet before the Monaco Grand Prix, then the five manufacturer-backed tams plus the two Red Bull outfits will not lodge their entries.
Williams, Brawn GP and Force India are therefore likely to be the only teams to enter the championship. They will do so not because they do not support the opposition to a two-tier formula, but because their core business is racing in F1 -- so to not be racing in 2010 would risk their company's futures.
Efforts have been made by Bernie Ecclestone in the last 48 hours to get the situation moving, with talk that the teams would like a set of technical regulations that allows any outfit to be competitive for 60 million Euros per year -- with little to gain from spending more than that.
As well as the budget cap, there are concerns from teams about the FIA's governance of future rules.
In particular, sources suggest there is unease about the manner by which the FIA introduced the 2010 budget cap at an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, plus a new proposal that means teams have no guarantee of stopping rule changes proposed by the FIA alone.
A new Article 8 of Appendix 5 of the 2010 Sporting Regulations states: "The TWG and the SWG will be consulted on any proposal for change to the Technical Regulations or Sporting Regulations which did not originate in either Group and their comments, if any, will be made available to the World Motor Sport Council when such proposal is discussed."
Ferrari, which has had some form of technical "veto" on rule changes is particularly unhappy about this situation. Sources suggest that an official statement from Ferrari is expected at some point this week to clarify its position in the controversy.
When asked for Ferrari's position on the matter by AUTOSPORT, team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "This weekend, I had other problems that took place. For sure as you know we are trying to find a solution because this situation with the actual regulations is something that we do not think is the right way to go. We want to find a solution."