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Ferrari in legal action as cap row turns worse

FORMULA One plunged deeper into crisis on Friday, with Ferrari taking legal action in France to try to prevent the governing body from pressing ahead with plans for a budget cap in 2010.

International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Max Mosley, taking a hardline stance, said after a two-hour meeting with the teams at a London hotel that there had been no compromise on the controversial regulations.

Champion Ferrari, the sport's most successful and glamorous team, has said it will bring down the curtain on 60 years of involvement in Formula One if the published rules are not re-written.

Mosley doubted it would quit but said the sport would survive if it did, drawing a parallel with the 1994 death of triple champion Ayrton Senna.

"The idea that they are indispensable is nonsense," said the Briton. "It's a little bit like poor Senna. He was the most important driver in 1994 but when he very sadly got killed Formula One went on.

"Lotus were very important once, so were Brabham."

Mosley said there could be no flexibility on a May 29 deadline for entries for next year's championship, warning also that there was a significant number of serious would-be competitors eager to come in.

Despite that, he said the governing body wanted all the teams to race under the same regulations and they had "gone off to reconsider" their position.

The FIA head played down talk of a crisis, saying there was plenty of time yet, but the Ferrari legal action had complicated matters.

"When people start bringing proceedings it gets very difficult to negotiate with them," he said of an application for an injunction that he heard about through a text from his lawyer.

He said the action was "to stop us doing what we want to do" and would be heard by a Paris court on Tuesday before the showcase Monaco GP.

The FIA governing body has its headquarters in Paris, and Ferrari, which enjoys special privileges as Formula One's oldest and most successful team, will claim it was unable to exercise its right to veto the regulations.


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