Ferrari urge FIA rethink over relaxing engine homologation rules

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Ferrari have urged the FIA to rethink plans to relax Formula 1 engine homologation rules, suggesting such a drastic change has the potential to bankrupt smaller teams.

Currently in Formula 1 teams are able to upgrade their cars during the season, but the FIA look set to close that avenue by tinkering with the power-unit regulations for the 2016 season.

Under the altered rules, teams would not be allowed to update their systems after February 28, casting further doubts over the future of the sport after Red Bull chief Christian Horner hinted at Renault potentially quitting.

And Ferrari are also strongly opposing the FIA's plans, with chairman Sergio Marchionne claiming that smaller teams would not be able to cope and risk potentially being forced into bankruptcy.

Marchionne said: "The problem is by opening up things you have a variety of initiatives that come up from the engineering side that will send you bankrupt.

"This sport will consume cash at the speed of light, and it is not just the drivers who are the most expensive human beings I know. 

"It is the cost of maintaining the engineering and development infrastructure that will put this thing over a barrel. 

"We already have financial restrictions on the ability of some of the smaller teams to compete. 

“If we open it up, and do so in a limitless fashion, then we will open up budgets no end. 

"We need to find a way to keep costs under control, but it is a funny balance, and where do you cut off the line?"

Although Marchionne is hopeful of forcing the FIA into a rethink, he has called on Mercedes to join the various other manufacturers in taking a stand, despite the potential change appearing to favour them.

 "I am willing to talk to everybody about getting this done," he said. "And I think Mercedes understands locking up the rules to try to protect its position is not right. 

"The people who firmly believe they have an indestructible competitive edge should be reminded of what happened to Ferrari when it stopped winning. 

"We thought we were invincible, and we went through six years of hell we are now beginning to come out of. Nothing holds. 

"Competition will level out the playing field, so let's be rational about this and let's not go bankrupt in the process."