MOTORSPORT : Toyota confirmed they are pulling out of Formula One with immediate effect for financial reasons.
Toyota confirmed they are pulling out of Formula One with immediate effect for financial reasons.
The announcement was made at a media conference in Tokyo by Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda.
A statement read: “Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces it plans to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of the 2009 season.”
The statement continued: “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 motor-sports activities next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1.
“TMC leaves F1 having compiled 13 podium and 87 point finishes over eight challenging seasons since 2002 with Panasonic Toyota Racing, a full-constructor team.
“It views its time in F1 – in which teams put forth their best efforts to fiercely compete at racing’s highest level – as an irreplaceable experience that provided an opportunity to develop both human resources and its R&D operations. TMC expresses its deepest appreciation to its F1 fans and others for their warm support.”
The world’s largest car maker is now the third major manufacturer to withdraw from F1 in the space of 11 months after Honda and BMW.
Toyota’s departure continues the exodus of Japanese companies from motor sport as Subaru and Suzuki withdrew from the World Rally Championship prior to this season.
In motorbikes, Kawasaki pulled out of MotoGP, and on Monday tyre manufacturer Bridgestone announced they will not be renewing their supply contract in F1 after next season.