Howett: Unity will make F1 stronger

Toyota F1 president John Howett believes Formula 1 will emerge from the dispute between the teams and the FIA as a much stronger sport, provided the governing body accepts the conditions attached to the FOTA teams' entries for 2010

Howett: Unity will make F1 stronger

Every F1 team has submitted an entry for next year's world championship, but all those apart from Williams have entered under the condition that FOTA's terms are met. The terms include scrapping the proposed budget cap and two-tier system, and ensuring the regulations remain largely the same as those in use this year.

Howett, who is also vice chairman of FOTA, insists that the unity shown by the teams will make F1 stronger in the long run.

"As everyone involved in Formula 1 knows, it has been a long and challenging process," he said. "If the conditions attached to our entry are accepted, I believe Formula 1 will be the winner.

"It has been extremely gratifying to see the unprecedented level of unity within FOTA. Naturally, we are all competing on the track but we all recognised and acted upon the need for cooperation to ensure a viable future for Formula 1 as we know it.

"The constructive and open atmosphere within the organisation gives me great hope for the future health of Formula 1."

He reaffirmed Toyota's desire to commit to F1, but says the manufacturer will stick by FOTA's call for its conditions to be met.

"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.

"Toyota has, like the other FOTA teams, submitted a conditional entry. Firstly we need a new Concorde Agreement to be signed by all parties before 12 June to ensure proper governance. And secondly the 2010 regulations must be based on those we have this year with modifications which FOTA has proposed."

Howett also confirmed that FOTA has proposed its own cost cutting measures and will not accept a budget cap for 2010, but still welcomes the addition of new teams into F1.

"There is no budget cap contained within the FOTA proposals for 2010 regulations," Howett said. "FOTA has proposed a sensible method of controlling expenditure which can be managed in a very simple, practical manner while avoiding external and potentially costly auditing mechanisms.

"We have put forward a comprehensive document of proposals for the 2010 regulations which we believe will allow Formula 1 to prosper.

"We are happy to see new teams, but we made it clear from the start that everybody has to compete under the same rules. Cost reduction was one of FOTA's founding principles and we have reduced the costs of leasing engines and transmissions by over 50 per cent, 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. We have proposed many effective measures to reduce the cost of entry to, and participation in, Formula 1."

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