Official: Toyota Pull Out Of F1
The news I broke yesterday on the blog has turned out to be true, the Toyota F1 Team are pulling out of the sport and will not be present on the grid at the first race of the season in 2010.
There had been rumours of a move out of F1, when the company saw its first ever loss in profits. Also signs when Fuji Speedway, their circuit, was dropped from the calendar. Although signing up to the concorde agreement stating they would be present until 2012, no-one really thought it would be true, and the team would be pulling out at the end of 2010 after operating the season with a reduced budget.
Where the team goes from here is unknown, it could turn into a satellite operation, an independent team via management buy out, or even possibly become the new Sauber team.
The long official statement from Toyota’s Chief Executive’s read:
“Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces it plans to withdraw from the FIA Formula 1 world championship at the end of the 2009 season,”
“TMC, which had viewed its participation in F1 as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture, remained dedicated to competing at the pinnacle of motor sports even in the face of the abrupt economic changes that started last year.
“However, when considering TMC’s motorsports actitives next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1”
“TMC also wants to express its heartfelt gratitude to all Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers to date and to all Toyota Motorsport GmbH employees who have helped make the team’s achievements possible,” said the statement.
“TMC intends to do its best to find a solution for those parties who will be affected by any inconvenience this decision may cause.”
“In motorsports, [Toyota] will not only race in various categories, but will also actively contribute to further development of motorsports by supporting grassroots races and planning events in which it is easy for people to participate.”
Toyota Team Profile
|Debut Race||2002 Australian Grand Prix|
|Final Race||2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix|
|Notable Drivers||Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli, Mika Salo, Olivier Panis, Cristiano Da Matta|