Ecclestone threatens to sue if Ferrari quits

Bernie Ecclestone in Monaco issued a veiled threat to sue Ferrari should the famous Italian team pull out of Formula One at the end of the season. After the Paris court action earlier this week, an interesting detail to come out of the verdict...

Bernie Ecclestone in Monaco issued a veiled threat to sue Ferrari should the famous Italian team pull out of Formula One at the end of the season.

After the Paris court action earlier this week, an interesting detail to come out of the verdict was its reinforcement of the binding nature of the commercial agreement in force between Ferrari, the FIA, and its commercial rights holder.

Friday is traditionally a 'free day' at the Monaco Grand Prix, but as official entries for the 2010 championship opened, word filled the media centre that the warring Max Mosley and Luca di Montezemolo were making their way to the Principality from Paris and Maranello respectively.

"We would always respect our contracts," F1 chief executive Ecclestone said in Monaco.

"All the teams that have signed contracts with us would expect us to respect them and we would expect the same from Ferrari. They are saying they are going to walk, we are saying we hope they respect their contract," the Briton added.

Ecclestone, 78, is believed to have concurrently written to di Montezemolo warning that if Ferrari breaks its contract by quitting the sport, he would be entitled to claim back millions in commercial revenues already paid.

On the surface, this crisis is headlined by the argument about budget caps, but sources are increasingly convinced that a ceasefire would be declared if Mosley simply stepped down.

But the FIA president's right hand man Richard Woods said the sport is lucky to have him.

"He's never blinked," said Woods, referring to 69-year-old Mosley. "The teams have got a strong leader of a strong governing body and he is playing hardball, as he always has."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Luca di Montezemolo , Richard Woo , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari