Ferrari may have warned the FIA that it could quit F1 if the governing body insists on standard engines, but the furore should be seen as nothing more than political jousting in which both sides seeking to get as much out of their own negotiating stance as they possibly can.

Ferrari Ferrari and F1 are inextricably linked at the hip and if anybody seriously thinks that either party is interested in somehow raining on the other one's parade, then forget it. Max and Bernie play rough and think tough, but they treat the Prancing Horse with kid gloves in the ultimate analysis.

Put simply, Ferrari is far more important to the sport than a bunch of faceless bureaucrats in Paris, a fact that’s likely to be reflected in the scorecard when the dust over this spat settles.

The famous Italian team, which has been competing in the Formula One world championship without a break since its inauguration in 1950, sent a firm signal to the FIA president Max Mosley that his idea of introducing so-called 'standard engines' into the sport's senior category would undermine the technical justification for continuing to offer their support to the series.

Last week Ferrari’s sporting director Stefano Domenicali and Toyota's F1 vice president John Howett met with Mosley to discuss the issue of cost cutting, but the issue of standard engines has pushed them too far.

Historically, Ferrari has been closely aligned with both the FIA and F1’s commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, and it will not have escaped Mosley’s attention that the Scuderia is one of very few F1 teams that has forced the governing body to back down from rule changes.

At the end of 1986 there was mounting pressure from the FIA and the other competing teams to ban V12 cylinder engines in favour of V10s for all competitors. Ferrari responded by building an Indycar.

"Continue to allow V12 engines in Formula One and I will shelve my Indycar programme," said Enzo Ferrari.

The FIA backed down. This time they may have to do the same.