F1 News, Views and Reviews

Toyota Claim F1 Is Too Elitist

Former Toyota F1 Team principal Tadashi Yamashina has claimed that Formula One has become far too elitist for its own good.

The man formerly charged with leading Toyota’s bid in F1, says that the sport did not allow the fans to get close enough to it for it to be a viable advertising option for a manufacturer.  He cited this as one of the many reasons why the Japanese manufacturer, who have recently had serious struggles with their road cars, to be one of the reasons why Toyota pulled out of F1 at the end of last season.

“There is a big gap between Formula 1 and Toyota’s actual car users,” Yamashina told Automotive News. “F1 remains the pinnacle of auto racing, but its image grew too elitist.

“At races such as Nurburgring [24 Hours], fans can get right into [the] pitlane, mingle with the teams and touch the cars. They can soak up the atmosphere and feel part of the event. By contrast, average fans have no hope of strolling the paddock at an F1 race. For the fortunate few who can afford to do that, it’s fine.

“I think the best kind of races are those in which people can get in close to the race.”

Toyota officials will be at a round of the WTCC to continue rumours that they will be entering some form of touring car championship soon.   DTM is also set to be courted as Lexus may enter in 2011 under the new Super GT rules which the series is likely to follow.  Former F1 team BMW have confirmed they will be competing in the German race series also.

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