Toyota 'not part of GPWC'

Toyota team boss Tsutomi Tomita denies that his company's participation in Wednesday's meeting with the GPWC members is a sign that Toyota has joined the breakaway group

Toyota 'not part of GPWC'

After Ferrari shocked Formula 1 by declaring its allegiance to Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management organisation until at least 2012, the remaining GPWC founders - Renault, Mercedes and BMW - met with Toyota and Honda to agree a response, the Japanese manufacturers having yet to formally side with either faction.

The five manufacturers released a joint statement claiming that the GPWC's plans to create a rival 'Grand Prix Motor Racing' series to commence in 2008 were still on course. Honda and Toyota's involvement in this declaration was widely taken as a statement of their support for the GPWC, but neither of the Japanese manufacturers formally joined the GPWC organisation - a fact that Tomita was keen to reassert.

"Toyota has not joined the GPWC," he said. "The meeting on Wednesday between five of Formula 1's manufacturers was to discuss the direction in which our sport is going and to define a clear set of guiding principles and objectives which we all believe should be adopted for the future of Formula 1."

Tomita did acknowledge that Ferrari's unilateral decision to leave the GPWC and support Ecclestone had not been well received by his team.

"Toyota was not happy with the action taken by FIA, FOM and Ferrari last week as there was no prior consultation with any of the other teams on such an agreement," he said. "Toyota was invited to join the other manufacturers and their respective teams in a meeting on Wednesday to develop a unified direction for the future of Formula 1."

It was also apparent that Toyota's vision of F1's future contained some notable points of discordance with the proposals advocated by FIA president Max Mosley at Friday's team principals meeting - a meeting boycotted by every team except Ferrari.

"Toyota's position has already been put forward in the past," said Tomita. "We want to retain F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport, to reduce costs whilst retaining the technical challenge, to not impose unnatural restrictions on the technology used in F1 car development, to continue to attract and provide excitement to fans and importantly to adopt a positive attitude towards independent teams through offering technical support and supplying engines."

Although providing more entertainment for the sport's fans and encouraging independent teams are also key elements of Mosley's plans, the FIA president sees technological changes of the kind Toyota is resisting as vitally important to this process.

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