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DATE News (chronologically)
11/05/09
f1
F1 tensions resume after Toyota exit
(GMM)  F1's governing body has expressed "concern" about Toyota's decision to quit the sport.

The Japanese carmaker only recently signed the new Concorde Agreement; a document binding the teams and the commercial rights holders with the FIA until 2012.

"Urgent clarification is now being sought from the Toyota F1 team as to its legal position in relation to the championship," read a statement issued by the Paris federation, whose newly-elected president is Jean Todt.

"This will have a direct bearing on the admission of any future 13th entry," the FIA added.

Toyota team president John Howett told the Times that he did not know if the FIA would pursue legal action, and Bernie Ecclestone commented: "We're looking into it."

The F1 chief executive told the Daily Express: "The problem is that their team manager John Howett fought against drastic cost-cutting all the way and was against new teams coming in."

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) reacted to the Toyota news by acknowledging the "financial pressures" on carmakers at present but also mentioning the recent "period of uncertainty and unnecessary confrontation in F1".

Ferrari went one step further, boldly hitting out at the "war waged against the major car manufacturers by those who managed formula one over the past few years".

Conventional wisdom, however, points the finger at the global recession allied with Toyota's poor results since 2002, and former team manager Richard Cregan told the Guardian that "the problem lay with certain individuals".

And Ecclestone added: "I think the problem lay in the management of the team."

The FIA is frustrated that FOTA teams promised to commit to F1 in exchange for the scrapping of proposed budget cap rules, only for Toyota to breach that commitment weeks later.

"The FIA accepted the cost-reduction measures put forward by the teams on the basis that they would ensure a long-term commitment to the championship," the FIA confirmed.

"Toyota's announcement demonstrates the importance of the original cost-reduction measures set out by the FIA," the federation added.

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