Four or five more teams, as well as Ferrari, would have followed Honda out of the sport had the FIA imposed a standard engine formula.

Four or five more teams, as well as Ferrari, would have followed Honda out of the sport had the FIA imposed a standard engine formula.

That is the revelation of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who as chairman of the F1 teams' alliance FOTA oversaw the cost-slashing compromise solution with the FIA president Max Mosley.

"If one engine for all the teams had come in, at least four - maybe five - teams would have left. And I mean four or five in addition to Ferrari," the Italian is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Instead, FOTA and FIA came to a compromise where millions of euros will be cut out of annual budgets by de-tuning the current engines, and introducing radical measures including a total in-season testing ban.

Montezemolo also responded to Lewis Hamilton's recent claim that he has no desire to ever switch to Ferrari.

"Without doubt, he is a great driver, able to fight for the title in his first year and then win in the second.

"But, with all due respect, I would not swap him for Felipe Massa."

As for Hamilton's apparent lifetime Ferrari snub, Montezemolo added: "Usually, it is Ferrari that makes the choices.

"Kimi Raikkonen came to Ferrari and won the championship. And it was because of our mistakes that Massa did not win this year."

 

Standard F1 engine would have emptied grid - Montezemolo