Mike Stevens | May 10, 2009

Toyota has warned the FIA it is prepared to withdraw from Formula One unless significant changes are made to the 2010 budget cap.

The Japanese manufacturer is opposed to the two-tier championship planned for next year, and is preparing to shift its investment elsewhere unless an amicable solution is found.

Speaking to Autosport, Toyota Team President John Howett said his team will seriously re-evaluate its commitment to Formula One unless the FIA meet FOTA’s demands for change.

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"Under the rules as they are published, we cannot submit an entry. There are concerns about the governance process within the sport, that there are clearly prescribed areas of discussion within the sporting and technical rules and we don't feel they are being complied with,” he said.

"From Toyota's perspective there are a number of concerns that really need clarifications before we commit to the future. We want to be here. We believe we have been a good corporate citizen within the F1 environment, but now we must reflect long and hard on what we do in the future."

Howett said Toyota has begun to investigate potential alternatives to its Formula One project, with a return to sportscar racing and another tilt at securing the Le Mans crown believed to be a possibility.

“Our real heart is to remain in F1, but now we have to start considering what are the best alternatives and discussing with the other manufacturer teams what their opinion is and what their intentions are,” he said.

Ferrari meanwhile continue its vocal opposition to FIA president Max Mosley’s revolution, hinting the World Motor Sport Council’s decision to force through the new regulations breaches its ‘veto’ power, which was rumoured to be negotiated in 2005.

Company president Luca di Montezemolo is believed to have referred to this right in a letter to Mosley which was leaked to the media last week.

“As you know additional rights were also granted to Ferrari on the same occasion and reconfirmed at a later stage,” he said.

Teams have until May 29 to confirm their participation next season, leaving the political battle poised for a potentially explosive conclusion.

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