Mike Stevens | Jun 4, 2009

TOYOTA MOTORSPORT PRESIDENT John Howett has revealed the manufacturer is prepared to commit to Formula 1 until 2012 if the FIA scraps its plan to introduce a budget cap next year.

As Vice-President of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), Howett has been vocal in his opposition against the proposed changes to the 2010 regulations, stating Toyota will quit unless the FIA backs down.

Howett said: “We have consistently said we want to continue to participate in Formula 1 and if our conditional entry is accepted we will commit to the sport until at least the end of the 2012 season.

“If and when that happens, the unfounded rumours surrounding our future should stop.”

The nine FOTA teams submitted a block entry for the 2010 season last week on the proviso that the FIA and Formula One Management (FOM) sign a new Concorde Agreement by June 12, and carry over the 2009 Formula 1 guidelines to next year.

FOTA claims it will then use those rules as a basis for constructing any cost-cutting measures, while reportedly supplying technical assistance to newcomers to the sport.

f1_toyota_02

Howett said measures to encourage new entries to Formula 1 form a critical element of FOTA’s plans to reduce expenditure.

“We are happy to see new teams but we made it clear from the start that everybody has to compete under the same rules,” he said.

“Cost reduction was one of FOTA's founding principles and we have reduced the costs of leasing engines and transmissions by over 50%, with further significant savings contained within our proposed 2010 regulations.

“These include limits on aerodynamic development, restrictions on the use of exotic materials and prohibition of some costly technical activities, such as wheel rim heating, which don't add to the spectacle of Formula 1.

“We have proposed many effective measures to reduce the cost of entry to, and participation in, Formula 1.”

But despite FOTA’s assurances it has the future of the sport in its best interests, FIA President Max Mosley issued a stern warning to the teams, saying its demands are “unrealistic.”

Speaking to Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell, Mosley said the FIA will not back down from its plan to introduce a budget cap, issuing an inflammatory statement.

“We make the rules. We have done it for 60 years and we are going to continue to do it. It seems rather obvious that they (the existing teams) have been trying to make it difficult for the new teams,” he said.

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