Proposed budget cap could mean Toyota's exit from F1
11 May 2009

Toyota has threatened to quit F1 in 2010 if the if the proposed £40 million voluntary budget cap is brought in.

Toyota’s motorsport president, John Howett, told news agency Reuters at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday that a two-tier system, where budget-capped teams will be allowed greater technical freedom, would be grossly unfair.

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“I think it's very clear that with a double tier championship, you have to go for the £40 million cap because the (capped) cars will be quicker,” he said. “If nothing changes, we won’t be submitting an entry [for next year’s championship].

“We would love to stay here and we want to compete in the premier level of motorsport. But I think it has to be said that given the current situation as we stand today, it is impossible to submit an entry.”

The comments by Howett, who is also vice-chairman of the Fomula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), echo the views of FOTA’s president, Luca di Montezemolo. Di Montezemolo has described the proposals as “fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased”.

Toyota, which reportedly spent more than $300 million (£197 million) on F1 last year, is also concerned that a £40 million budget cap would mean significant redundancies for its Formula One team.

Matt Rigby

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