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MONACO - Formula One Champions Ferrari have threatened to quit the sport after an unbroken 60 years of competition if the 2010 rules are not re-written.
So too have former champions Renault, Toyota and the two Red Bull-owned teams, half of the current teams on the grid.
The main stumbling block concerns an option R540million budget cap that the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) wants to introduce to cut costs and help new teams enter the sport.
Those accepting the budget cap would be given greater technical freedom, something Ferrari say would create an unacceptable two-tier series.
FIA president Max Mosley suggested on Sunday that the cap could be delayed for a year and has said he expects all teams to compete under the same rules.
Williams, the second most successful Formula One team after Ferrari in terms of constructors titles, have Toyota engines but are an independent team.
They had been expected to sign up because, unlike the car manufacturers that dominate the sport, Formula One is their sole focus and they could not afford to risk being left out with at least 10 new teams also seeking to come in.
A FIA spokesperson said it would publish the 2010 entry list in June. - Reuters