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French court throws out Ferrari suit over FIA budget cap, rules

A FRENCH court has thrown out a bid by Ferrari to prevent Formula One's governing body from introducing controversial new rules next season.

The ruling yesterday was made in a written statement handed to journalists.

Champion Ferrari went to the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris to try and stop the International Automobile Federation (FIA) from pressing ahead with an optional 40 million pounds (US$61.98 million) cap.

"There is no risk of any imminent damage which should be prevented or obviously illegal trouble which should be stopped," magistrate Jacques Gondran de Robert wrote in his ruling.

Responding to the decision FIA president Max Mosley said:

"No competitor should place their interests above those of the sport in which they compete. The FIA, the teams and our commercial partners will now continue to work to ensure the well-being of Formula One in 2010 and beyond."

Ferrari, the sport's most successful and glamorous team, has threatened to quit Formula One if the published rules are not rewritten. Renault, Toyota and Red Bull's two teams have taken a similar stance.

The published 2010 regulations propose allowing teams who accept the cap greater technical freedom than those wishing to carry on with unlimited budgets.

While Ferrari has said this would make it a two-tier championship it cannot accept, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Mosley have said they expect all teams to race to one set of regulations.

Before the decision was announced, Ferrari issued a statement on its Website ( referring to some of those who might take part in the 2010 championship if a budget cap was introduced.

"Wirth Research, Lola, USF1, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport: these are the names of the teams which would compete in the two-tier Formula One wanted by Mosley.

"Can a world championship with teams like them - with due respect - have the same value as today's Formula One, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete?

"Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?," the statement added in reference to a less high-profile series.


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