The team behind the former Toyota F1 Team – Toyota Motorsport GmbH have said they are verys atisfied with life outside of Formula One, and are happy with the way new projects are progressing.
The German base of the team was no shut down when the team left the sport at the end of last season, and was instead turned into a manufacturing group for advanced motorsport projects. Thus far they have worked with Pirelli on the new tyre for F1, providing an F1 car based on their TF109 chassis, along with other projects including electric racing cars.
“This has been a breakthrough year for us,” said Jens Marquardt, TMG’s general manager business development in the company’s annual review.
“We faced many challenges in November 2009 when our F1 participation ended but we met them with courage and optimism. Now our hard work is delivering results, so we can look back with satisfaction on the last 12 months.”
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.
Stefan GP have not been granted an entry into the 2010 Formula One season, and will not be allowed to compete unitl potentially 2011 as the FIA consider opening up entries fo the next season of racing to newcomers.
Stefan have already got a car and sent equipment to Bahrain, and despite USF1 not competing this season the Serbian outfit cannot take their place.
“Having considered the various options, the FIA confirms that it is not possible for a replacement team to be entered for the Championship at this late stage,” the FIA said.
“In the coming days the FIA will announce details of a new selection process to identify candidates to fill any vacancies existing at the start of the 2011 season.”
USF1 are listed as deferring their entry until 2011 on the list, and Sauber retain the BMW moniker at the start of the name while Campos become HRT as mentioned yesterday.
Official 2010 Entry List
1 Jenson BUTTON (GBR) VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (GB) 2 Lewis HAMILTON (GBR) VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (GB) 3 Michael SCHUMACHER (D) MERCEDES GP PETRONAS FORMULA ONE TEAM 4 Nico ROSBERG (D) MERCEDES GP PETRONAS FORMULA ONE TEAM 5 Sebastian VETTEL (D) RED BULL RACING (AUT) 6 Mark WEBBER (AUS) RED BULL RACING (AUT) 7 Felipe MASSA (BRA) SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (I) 8 Fernando ALONSO (ESP) SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (I) 9 Rubens BARRICHELLO (BRA) AT&T WILLIAMS (GB) 10 Nico HÜLKENBERG (D) AT&T WILLIAMS (GB) 11 Robert KUBICA (POL) RENAULT F1 TEAM (FRA) 12 Vitaly PETROV (RUS) RENAULT F1 TEAM (FRA) 14 Adrian SUTIL (D) FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (IND) 15 Vitantonio LIUZZI (I) FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (IND) 16 Sébastien BUEMI (CH) SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (I) 17 Jaime ALGUERSUARI (ESP) SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (I) 18 Jarno TRULLI (I) LOTUS RACING (MAL) 19 Heikki KOVALAINEN (FIN) LOTUS RACING (MAL) 20 TBA HRT F1 TEAM (ESP) 21 Bruno SENNA (BRA) HRT F1 TEAM (ESP) 22 Pedro DE LA ROSA (ESP) BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (CH) 23 Kamui KOBAYASHI (J) BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (CH) 24 Timo GLOCK (D) VIRGIN RACING (GB) 25 Luca DI GRASSI (BRA) VIRGIN RACING (GB)
Sebastian Vettel made the most of the poor conditions, slotting the new Red Bull Rb6 onto the top of the timesheets on the second part of the Jerez test, day 1.
The Red Bull Racing favourite slipped ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 2nd, and Felipe Massa in 3rd both drivers making good times given the conditions.
Pedro de La Rosa was 5th, lamenting the conditions but still ended ahead of Michael Schumacher. Paul di Resta got his first taste of testing, gaining 8th place in the Force India as he shared the cockpit with Adrian Sutil.
Lotus made their debut with the T127 and Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy getting behind the wheel with a solid day of testing, and Lotus declaring themselves pleased. Virgin looked to be struggling a little still, not finding their feet as quickly as Lotus.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.593 99 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.017 72 3. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:23.204 72 4. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.322 79 5. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.367 76 6. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:23.803 111 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:24.272 28 8. di Resta Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:25.088 74 9. Petrov Renault (B) 1:26.237 55 10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:27.320 109 11. Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth (B) 1:31.848 76 12. Glock Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:32.417 10
The third day of the second test at Jerez was another washout, with Jaime Alguersuari coming out fastest after a scorching lap early on in the day in the cooler damp conditions.
Many of the drivers elected to do long runs on extreme wet tyres, with Rubens Barrichello clocking a massive 120 laps today.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa did some long runs, as did Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who was low down the times.
Lucas di Grassi got his first taste of the Virgin, which kept its wing on today, and also kept itself stuck to the bottom of the timesheets.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:19.919 76 2. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:20.736 58 3. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:21.428 48 4. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:21.603 72 5. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:21.783 59 6. Petrov Renault (B) 1:22.000 68 7. Rosberg Mercedes GP (B) 1:22.820 53 8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:23.217 120 9. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.985 68 10. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:37.107 8
Toyota have cut 500 jobs at their Cologne racing headquaters.
The factory in Germany was used mainly as their Formula One headquaters, and now the team have pulled out of F1 job cuts were expected.
Andy Fuchs of Toyota told DPA last night that the staff had to go but 150 would be kept on for sports tuning and non F1 projects. The staff laid off will be paid some salary and given a good redundancy package.
Toyota announced they would not be selling their F1 programme as a package earlier this week, allowing Sauber to take the final available grid slot.
The Toyota F1 Team are NOT selling their F1 entry, claiming they have already given it back to the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.
This news will come as a crushing blow for Stefan GP who were hopng to purchase the former team based in Cologne. However it will be a champagne moment for Peter Sauber, whose team look to be set on the path back to Formula One.
A Toyota source said they are also working on a reduced penalty fine for leaving F1 having signed up to the 2012 Concorde Agreement with Bernie Ecclestone.
The source said: “We have returned our entry to the FIA and have no intention or wish to influence or interfere in the allocation process. That is a matter for the Federation.
“We are discussing a settlement with Bernie on the basis of goodwill and what is acceptable to all parties.”
They are going to sell their initial 2010 car model however, and there has been some interest – Stefan Gp’s name was banded around, although without a grid slot the reasoning behind their purchase would be confusing. Allegedly, the source says, Kamui Kobayashi is being offered as part of the deal!
On the day Toyota bowed out of Formula One, we take a look back at some of their high and low points in photos to remember the great Japanese manufacturers time at the pinnacle of motorsport.
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|
Breaking News: Reports on a Japanese newspaper’s website says that the Toyota Formula One team are pulling out of the sport with immediate effect.
The downbeat report by The Mancini Newspaper states that Japan is now without a Formula One Team, hanks to the recession and the millions of dollars to which it takes to run a team. The decision seems to have come from the board of directors, as opposed to John Howett the team boss.
An article in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport released today said that there would be a new announcement on November 8, but if this new article is to be believed then that decision has already been taken.
However there is a glimmer of hope, the article states they may try and run 2010 as a satellite style operation, similar to the Hayate rnu Kawasaki in MotoGP, where the funds and development are limited but staff and technical help is still available.
If not, the place is likely to be awarded to the Sauber team. For Kobayashi, possibly the most promising newcomer to F1, he could try and join a new team but if unsuccessful the Japanese was worried he would have to abandon racing and go back to working in his father’s Sushi bar!
MORE NEWS WHEN IT COMES – STAY TUNED!
Rubens Barrichello, Timo Glock and newly crowned World Champion Jenson Button will all be confirming their 2010 race seats within the next few weeks if paddock rumour at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi is to be believed.
Barrichello looks to be heading out of Brawn GP and off to Williams, a move almost confirmed by Michael Schumacher’s manager Wili Weber earlier in the week. He will be partnering Nico Hulkenberg at the Grove based squad, which he described as one of the best teams in F1 a matter of days ago.
“In one week we will know more for sure,” the Brazilian said, clarifying that the plans of his Brawn team-mate Jenson Button will have no bearing on his own.
“At the moment there are more important things than the announcement of my contract for the coming year,” added Barrichello.
Timo Glock on the other hand has said he has no contract with Toyota for 2010, where Jarno Trulli, Kaumi Kobayashi and possibly Kimi Raikkonen are all fighting for seats at, with the rumour being that the German is heading to partner Robert Kubica at Renault.
“Nothing has been signed,” the German’s manager Hans Bernd Kamps insisted. “For 2010 it looks good and perhaps next week we will have something surprising to announce.”
Timo Glock looks set to make a racing return in Abu Dhabi for the final round of the 2009 Season after injuring himself in a ualifying horror shunt at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Glock stuffed his TF109 into the barriers just before the main straight at the legendary Suzuka circuit, missing the Grand Prix before being substituted for the Brazilian race by Kamui Kobayashi.
However Glock is hopeful he will join the team again, and his doctor has told F1-Live that he has a “90% chance of racing”.
An official announcement will be made tomorrow.
Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella has delivered the small team it’s first ever pole position after a stunning qualifying session in Belgium, where the form book really was turned on it’s head.
Fisichella the flambouyant Italian was amazingly fast throughout the session in the heavily revised Force India car, and the investment has paid dividends to its owner Vijay Mallya.
Although likely to be light on fuel, this must signal the first points of the season for the team based in Silverstone. If not that, it signals to Ferrari that Giancarlo Fisichella could deliver something for them, unlike Luca Badoer who did not help his cause by qualifying last and ending Q1 in the wall.
Jarno Trulli made second place in the significantly faster Toyota, and Nick Heidfeld made a shock return to the top with 3rd position.
Rubens Barrichello will start 4th, the highest qualifying Brawn after Jenson Button faltered and did not get out of Q2. He will start in 14th tomorrow, a big harm to his world championship chances.
Kimi Raikkonen did much better than Badoer and will start 6th, those around him must be concerned about his KERS system.
Vettel and Webber made 8th and 9th for Red Bull, so should make valuable ground tomorrow.
The improving McLaren’s have struggled in Spa this afternoon, with Hamilton making just 12th place and Kovalainen 15th. Another big name between them is Fernando Alonso in 13th.
We thought the Toro Rosso’s looked good, but neither managed to get out of Q1 with Buemi starting 16th and Alguersuari 17th.
Romain Grosjean lines up alongside Badoer at the back, after the young French/Swiss made progress.
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:45.102 1:44.667 1:46.308 2. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:45.140 1:44.503 1:46.395 3. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:45.566 1:44.709 1:46.500 4. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:45.237 1:44.834 1:46.513 5. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:45.655 1:44.557 1:46.586 6. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:45.579 1:44.953 1:46.633 7. Glock Toyota (B) 1:45.450 1:44.877 1:46.677 8. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:45.372 1:44.592 1:46.761 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:45.350 1:44.924 1:46.788 10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:45.486 1:45.047 1:47.362 11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:45.486 1:45.119 12. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:45.239 1:45.122 13. Alonso Renault (B) 1:45.767 1:45.136 14. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:45.707 1:45.251 15. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:45.761 1:45.259 16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:45.705 17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:45.951 18. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:46.032 19. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:46.307 20. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:46.359
Weather conditions changed for the better in Fp2 at Spa this afternoon. This led to frantic activity as teams and drivers tried to make up for time lost in the rainy morning session.
Hamilton was fastest, just hundredths of a second ahead of Timo Glock and Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen’s team mate Luca Badoer stuck in last place, and Ferrari seem incredibly disappointed with his performance.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:47.201 29 2. Glock Toyota (B) 1:47.217 + 0.016 29 3. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:47.285 + 0.084 26 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:47.329 + 0.128 31 5. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:47.333 + 0.132 34 6. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:47.506 + 0.305 27 7. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:47.559 + 0.358 33 8. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:47.578 + 0.377 33 9. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:47.579 + 0.378 36 10. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:47.602 + 0.401 25 11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:47.702 + 0.501 38 12. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:47.743 + 0.542 33 13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:47.790 + 0.589 29 14. Alonso Renault (B) 1:47.862 + 0.661 30 15. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:47.961 + 0.760 32 16. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:48.017 + 0.816 30 17. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:48.125 + 0.924 34 18. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:48.130 + 0.929 37 19. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:48.360 + 1.159 29 20. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:49.211 + 2.010 30
Jarno Trulli set the fastest time in what was a mostly rain affected first session at Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.
A lot of cars did slow wet runs, and Lewis Hamilton + Sebastian Vettel failed to set times. That means Luca Badoer isn’t last!
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:49.675 13 2. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:50.283 + 0.608 18 3. Alonso Renault (B) 1:50.368 + 0.693 13 4. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:51.045 + 1.370 20 5. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:51.529 + 1.854 24 6. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:52.321 + 2.646 18 7. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:52.930 + 3.255 16 8. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:53.383 + 3.708 11 9. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:53.650 + 3.975 12 10. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:55.068 + 5.393 20 11. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 2:03.972 + 14.297 11 12. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 2:04.505 + 14.830 13 13. Grosjean Renault (B) 2:05.513 + 15.838 13 14. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 2:05.614 + 15.939 14 15. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 2:05.705 + 16.030 15 16. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 2:05.839 + 16.164 10 17. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 2:06.181 + 16.506 6 18. Glock Toyota (B) 2:06.331 + 16.656 15 19. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1 20. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 4
Fernando Alonso gave the rather small crowd something to cheer about in FP2 when he put his Renault at the top of the timesheets.
Earlier in the session the Spaniard had been involved in an accident with Nick Heidfeld.
Luca Badoer bettered his time by over 1.5 seconds from session 1 while Lewis Hamilton completed just 3 laps after damaging his car right at the start of the session.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Alonso Renault (B) 1:39.404 33 2. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:40.178 +0.774 33 3. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:40.209 +0.805 34 4. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:40.385 +0.981 39 5. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:40.503 +1.099 35 6. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:40.596 +1.192 23 7. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:40.643 +1.239 34 8. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:40.681 +1.277 31 9. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:40.723 +1.319 33 10. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:40.738 +1.334 31 11. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:40.739 +1.335 39 12. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:40.770 +1.366 32 13. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:40.787 +1.383 35 14. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:40.956 +1.552 37 15. Glock Toyota (B) 1:40.985 +1.581 30 16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:41.156 +1.752 34 17. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:41.350 +1.946 29 18. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:42.017 +2.613 37 19. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:42.089 +2.685 34 20. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:43.214 +3.810 3
Last year’s race winner Heikki Kovalainen was fastest in FP1, slipping ahead of Mark Webber who had led until 6 minutes remaining. A valiant effort from McLaren saw Lewis Hamilton in 3rd.
Williams too looked impressive with 2nd and 5th, Ferrari down in 7th and 8th and Jaime Alguersuari was last on his debut run with the Toro Rosso.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.278 21 2. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.337 + 0.059 27 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.554 + 0.276 20 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.615 + 0.337 21 5. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.619 + 0.341 25 6. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:22.705 + 0.427 17 7. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:22.796 + 0.518 23 8. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:22.855 + 0.577 25 9. Alonso Renault (B) 1:23.001 + 0.723 28 10. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:23.130 + 0.852 25 11. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.146 + 0.868 24 12. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.154 + 0.876 23 13. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:23.209 + 0.931 24 14. Glock Toyota (B) 1:23.234 + 0.956 30 15. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:23.283 + 1.005 25 16. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:23.484 + 1.206 20 17. Piquet Renault (B) 1:23.678 + 1.400 22 18. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:23.845 + 1.567 18 19. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.998 + 1.720 37 20. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:24.228 + 1.950 42