Badoer: F1 needs Ferrari to stay

The Ferrari test driver says Formula One would be devalued if Ferrari withdraw from the sport next season.

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ABU DHABI // Formula One would be devalued if Ferrari carry through their threat to withdraw from the sport next season over budget caps, according to Luca Badoer, the team's test driver. Ferrari have been part of Formula One since the sport's inception in 1950, but are threatening to withdraw because they feel they would suffer under the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile's proposed regulations.

Renault, BMW and Red Bull have also aired threats to quit, and only Williams and Force India have submitted unconditional entries for the 2010 season ahead of today's announcement of the competing team list for next year. The teams said they would be deprived of unlimited testing and technical autonomy unless they accept the budget rules. "At the moment, everything is possible and everything is open, but Formula One without Ferrari is not Formula One," said Badoer, who is visiting the UAE as part of Ferrari's commercial links with Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi business and development company. "Ferrari want to participate in the Formula One championship, but I honestly do not know what is going to happen.

"I can't really discuss the budget cap, but we have to improve the car and get back out there. "I am so proud to drive for Ferrari because Ferrari is a special team. All over the world people recognise the name of Ferrari." Their pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have struggled this season, scoring only 20 points in seven races. Badoer said Ferrari's rivals had made better use of their time over the past year.

"Brawn GP and Red Bull are quicker than us at the moment because last season they spent time developing their car," said the Italian. "We fought until the end of the championship so we spent less time than them working on the development of the car. "They had an advantage. Ferrari is very strong, and we are working very hard to improve the situation.The car is everything in F1."