Grapevine: GPWC May Lose Toyota

Plans by several Formula One manufacturers to set up their own breakaway championship could be about to receive a major blow, with the Bahrain paddock awash with rumours that Toyota have come out and said they will not support a rival series

Grapevine: GPWC May Lose Toyota

The plans by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Renault to forge the new series from the start of 2008 were handed a huge boost earlier this year when Ferrari's decision to defect and commit to F1 until the end of 2012 angered Japanese manufacturers Honda and Toyota so much that they signed up with the breakaway plans.

It had been thought that the Japanese carmakers had become fully supportive of the rival concept and would be willing to sign up officially once the former GPWC had been renamed.

But the rumours in the Sakhir paddock suggest that Toyota have now gone cold on the breakaway plans and are no longer interested in competing in a rival category to F1.

The word is that Toyota sent a letter to all their rival teams on Wednesday evening suggesting that while they remained supportive of the quest by the 'Group of Nine' (as Ferrari's rivals have become known) to change the sport for the better, they were 'unequivocally' opposed to any group whose aim was to begin an alternative championship.

The timing of the letter is significant, because the teams are due to meet with the manufacturers' representatives next week to discuss the breakaway plans - ahead of a meeting with the FIA to discuss future F1 rules on April 15.

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