Kimi Raikkonen had admitted that he can't imagine Formula One without Ferrari after the Italian team revealed it could quit the sport over the ongoing row regarding a proposed budget cap for the 2010 season.
Ferrari has been one of four teams - including Renault, Toyota and Red Bull – to announce that it won't lodge an entry for the 2010 season if the proposed cap is put in place, fearing that it would create a two-tier championship of cars running within and outside the cap.
Speaking following Ferrari's announcement, Raikkonen admitted it was difficult to imagine what Formula One would be like with the Prancing Horse having an involvement, and said that a two-tier F1 would be 'bad for the sport itself and for the fans'.
"It's difficult to think of a Formula 1 without Ferrari,” he said. “When I drove for McLaren the Scuderia from Maranello was the benchmark, the competitor you had to be compared with. Since I arrived here, I understood that it is much more than just a team, it's a legend, perpetuated via its road and racing cars.
“I always had the passion for racing with everything with an engine and I always thought of Formula 1 as the pinnacle of motor sports, in terms of competition and technology. Obviously if there really were rules like the ones set by FIA, it would be difficult to imagine a Formula 1 we had until today.
“I can't imagine drivers racing each other on the track with cars built according to different rules; that wouldn't be good for the sport itself or for the fans. If that should happen, it would be too bad and I understand that a Company like Ferrari is thinking about racing somewhere else.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa also agreed that the proposed plans are 'absurd' and said he fully understood why Ferrari was now considering its future in the sport.
“I understand the motivation and why the Company got to this point,” he said. “The idea of having a Championship with two velocities, with cars, which for example are allowed to have flexible wings or an engine without a rev limiter, is absurd. We've already seen this year that the rules' uncertainty not only led to a lot of confusion for us involved, but mainly for the fans. Imagine what might happen with what has been set up for 2010.
“For a driver racing a Ferrari in Formula 1 is a dream and I made mine come true. Since I was a child Ferrari has been the synonym for racing for me; that's why I'm convinced that even if the Scuderia is forced to leave Formula 1, there will be other competitions, where it will be possible to admire the Reds on the track.”