Grapevine: Toyota Keeping Options Open

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota are almost certainly keeping their options open about their long term future in Formula One, as further details emerged on Thursday about a letter the team have sent to their rivals

Grapevine: Toyota Keeping Options Open

With the Bahrain paddock awash with speculation that Toyota have stated that they will not support a breakaway championship, it now appears that the reality is that the team's management are simply keen not to definitely commit themselves to a rival series.

Toyota recently aligned themselves with fellow Japanese carmaker Honda in joining BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Renault in the formation of a replacement concept to the GPWC - the much-heralded manufacturer breakaway.

But it now appears that although Toyota are keen on establishing improved conditions for competing teams in Formula One, they want to make it clear that they will not definitely support a breakaway and that it is possible they could join Ferrari in committing to F1.

An F1 source, who has read the letter sent out by Toyota boss Tsutomu Tomita, told Autosport-Atlas: "There was a letter send out by Tomita on Wednesday about Toyota's involvement in the future of Formula One.

"I would not say that the content was strong, but it confirmed that they are happy to move towards a set of proposals to take the sport forward but do not want to commit to either side of the argument (F1 or the GPWC).

"You could say it is Toyota sitting on the fence but that is entirely sensible. There have been a lot of discussions about taking things forward but I am not entirely convinced how things will unfold."

Toyota's declaration that they are not yet fully committed to either the breakaway or F1 comes ahead of two crunch meetings next month. The teams are due to meet with representatives of the manufacturers' breakaway series next week, prior to a meeting with FIA president Max Mosley on April 15 to discuss F1 rules for 2008 and beyond.

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