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”.

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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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