British commercial television network ITV is under pressure from Toyota to refund some of the £25 million ($39m; €40m) paid to sponsor coverage of Formula One motor racing.

The Japanese auto giant pays £6.25m a year to be associated with ITV’s F1 programming, and is unhappy that viewing figures have tumbled since Michael Schumacher breezed to the championship with six races left.

Toyota plans to invoke a clause in the agreement with ITV that allows it to claim money back if television audiences fall below 2001 levels. Ratings are currently estimated at just 0.4% down on last year – though the rebate is expected to be considerably more than 0.4%.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff