MAY 9, 2009
Toyota will not accept two-tier system
Toyota Motorsport boss Tadashi Yamashina says that Toyota is not willing to accept a two-tier system in Formula 1.
"It is very important that we cut budgets," he says, "but it cannot be done quickly."
The problem, he argues, is that while Toyota wants to reduce its expenditure, it needs to be done in a more ordered manner and not with the team being pressured into making entries in a rush. The FIA says that the budgets must remain low to allow for new teams to enter the sport, but the reality is that there is only one really sensible new team at the moment and a lot of people talking about making an entry but not having any money.
Toyota appears to be convinced that the other manufacturers agree with its position, but for the moment the FIA says it will not compromise and push the budget cap up. The danger of this position is that the teams will not make entries by the deadline put forward by the FIA. This will create legal problems because the teams are committed to a contract with Bernie Ecclestone until the end of 2012. Having said that, Ecclestone can take legal action if he likes, but without teams he will have no show to sell to race promoters and TV companies. He can try such things as padding the grids with GP2 cars but this will do little but damage the credibility of the sport.
The signs in Barcelona are that the negotiations between the parties involved are reaching a very dangerous point at which compromise will become impossible and the implications of that could be very damaging for the sport.