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Toyota hit out at the FIA over F1 entry

TOYOTA today hit out at Formula One's governing body, the FIA after being forced to delay their entry into the sport.

The Japanese manufacturer hoped to enter Formula One next year and had developed a 12-cylinder engine capable of establishing them on the grid.

But in the midst of the development stage in January, the FIA introduced a rule change allowing only 10-cylinder engines to be used in the sport until 2008.

Toyota was left with no option but to delay their entry until 2002, but was forced to pay 8 million (pounds) as a penalty for the decision. They also lost the 30 million (pounds) deposit they had placed to compete next season.

"We find it hard not to blame the FIA," said Toyota Europe spokesman Kevin Perlmutter. "I would be very surprised if the team knew about the rule change, and certainly would not have started working on a 12-cylinder engine if they did.

"The application of the ruling has changed the team's plans and our focus has had to turn to working on a 10-cylinder engine."

Toyota will not confirm that they have started work on a new 10-cylinder engine, although team president Ove Andersson is confident they will be ready to begin competing in March 2002.

Andersson said: "We will be ready to take part in races in 2002. We will spend 2001 on a test and development program."

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