Toyota quits Formula One
Topics: Toyota, Formula One
November 5, 2009
Akio Toyoda, the President and Representative Director of Toyota, made a statement on Wednesday that the company is leaving the Formula One championship before the 2010 season. The primary factor behind this decision was said to be the current economic environment in the midterm perspective.
Panasonic Toyota Racing did not manage to ever win a Formula One race, winning only 13 podium and 278.5 points since 2002. Toyota will still be present in a number of racing series, including Formula Nippon, Formula Three, Super GT and NASCAR.
Another major Japanese automotive giant, Honda, quit Formula One prior to this season and sold the team to Ross Brawn. The renewed team Brawn GP with Mercedes-Benz engined cars won the 2009 Constructors' Championship recently.
Other Japanese companies Subaru and Suzuki withdrew from the World Rally Championship prior to this season and Kawasaki pulled out of MotoGP.
The space cleared by Toyota may be now used by the BMW Sauber team's possible successor if BMW can reach an agreement to sell the team after their decision to quit Formula One earlier this year. Toyota drivers of this season Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, as well as the Japanese rookie driver Kamui Kobayashi, could now look for seats in other teams for 2010 including the new entries US F1, Campos, Manor or Lotus.
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