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Howett: We are not holding F1 to ransom

NEWS STORY
12/06/2009

Toyota boss and FOTA vice chairman, John Howett, has denied the team's alliance is holding F1 to ransom, insisting that all the teams want is a "a sensible basis of governance".

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live in the wake of the FIA's unveiling of the 2010 entry list, an entry list which sees Toyota, along with four other teams (not forgetting Ferrari) included only on the basis that they make their entries unconditional by next Friday (June 19), Howett said: "We're all very sad we're not focusing on the racing and what's exciting about Formula One. But I really believe FOTA's ambition is to improve the sport for the long term.

"What we primarily want is a sensible basis of governance," he continued, "so that the regulations aren't changed willy-nilly, so there is involvement of the teams in a proper process and that process is not deviated from. Secondly, we feel there is a risk in involving financial forensic control in the sporting regulations in deciding a championship.

"It's not about power or FOTA running the sport. What we're saying is we want a proper and balanced governance process because at times it's lacking."

Asked about the suggestion that FOTA sees F1 as a 'closed shop' and doesn't want to see new teams entering the sport, Howett insisted: "We welcome new teams!"

"You have to say Brawn has done a fantastic job," he added, "and without the great support of McLaren and Mercedes they wouldn't have been there. There are other teams who do get a lot of support from the manufacturers, so I do dispute strongly we hold the sport to ransom. It's quite the opposite. We make a huge effort to add value and improve the total balance in the sport."

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