Toyota pulls out of Formula One

End of the F1 adventure for Toyota

End of the F1 adventure for Toyota

The (off-)season of announcements continues with news of another withdrawal. This time it is the rather expected news from Toyota. Toyota confirmed today they are pulling out Formula One. There goes the commitment to stay on board till 2012 …

“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.”

There were serious doubts about the future of Toyota in F1 for quite a while. Huge spending, lack of success and following Honda’s withdrawal also no Japanese company to compete with. Their handling of the drivers towards the end of the season only added fuel to the speculation. At the end Toyota remained for 2009 season but there were signs that only a race win will save their F1 operation from the chop. That win eluded the Cologne based team and the exciting performances of Kamui Kobayashi in final two races obviously failed to convince the mother company to keep pumping millions to F1 for years to come …

Some numbers and brief history of Toyota in F1:

2001 – prototype testing
2002 – F1 debut, 2 points (for two 6th places), drivers – McNish, Salo
2003 – 16 points, drivers – da Matta, Panis
2004 – 9 points, drivers – da Matta, Panis, Zonta, Trulli
2005 – 2 poles, 1 fastest lap, 5 podiums, 88 points, drivers – Trulli, R. Schumacher
2006 – 1 podium, 35 points, drivers – Trulli, R. Schumacher
2007 – 13 points, drivers – Trulli, R. Schumacher
2008 – 2 podiums, 56 points, drivers – Trulli, Glock
2009 – 1 pole, 2 fastest laps, 5 podiums, 59.5 points, drivers – Trulli, Glock, Kobayashi

First pole – 2005 US GP – Jarno Trulli (on fumes …)
Last pole – 2009 Bahrain GP – Jarno Trulli

First fastest lap – 2005 Belgian GP – Ralf Schumacher
Last fastest lap – 2009 European GP – Timo Glock

Best result in constructors championship – 4th in 2005
Worst result in constructors championship – 10th in 2002

Best result by their best driver in drivers championship – 6th – (R. Schumacher 2005)
Worst result by their best driver in drivers championship – 17th (Salo 2002)

Best race results – 2nd place (Trulli – 2005 Malaysia, Bahrain, 2009 Japan, Glock – 2008 Hungary, 2009 Singapore)

Total podiums – 13 – 5 second places, 8 third places
Drivers on podium – 3 – Trulli, R. Schumacher, Glock

Total points – 278.5
Drivers in points – Salo, Panis, da Matta, Trulli, R. Schumacher, Glock, Kobayashi

Tyres used: Michelin (2002 – 2005), Bridgestone (2006 – 2009)

Money wasted – huge
Best moment – signing the wrong Schumacher
Smart move: hiring of Mike Gascoyne
Silly moves: forced retirement of Ove Anderson, sacking of Mike Gascoyne

Toyota’s withdrawal from F1 opens the 2010 door for the former BMW Sauber operation. It also means that only Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault (I do not include Lotus) will fly the manufacturers flag in the sport dominated by car companies in recent years.

This combined with planned F1 exit by Bridgestone after 2010 season may also limit the Japanese involvement in Formula One to one GP a year. Only last season there were 3 Japanese teams (Honda, Toyota, Super Aguri) and in recent years we could see 5 Japanese drivers racing in F1 (Sato, Nakajima, Ide, Yamamoto, Kobayashi)…

Photo: Bridgestone Motorsports

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. […] fortfarande på ett pressmeddelande via stallets officiella hemsida. autosport har en artikel här. F1wolf har ett utsnitt ur meddelande från Toyota som säger; “Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces […]

  2. psychyNo Gravatar says:

    what a shame. first they weren’t really nice to the drivers (Trulli and Glock) and now that.
    but what about the concorde agreement they have signed. didn’t it include a commitment until 2012?
    Anyway I hope to see Trulli and Glock in 2010.

  3. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    This is not surprising but certainly disappointing.  Is there an opportunity for someone to buy this team and still be on the grid for 2010?  Toyota was much more competitive this year, so they certainly have a lot for a new owner.

    Another note is the loss of yet another Engine Manufacturer (along with BMW for 2010 and Honda for 2009).  Add Cosworth (although how competitve can they be with their first season back after a long departure) and that leaves four if my math is right (with Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault if they stick around).  We are getting close to a spec engine series.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      Is there an opportunity for someone to buy this team and still be on the grid for 2010? Toyota was much more competitive this year, so they certainly have a lot for a new owner.

      That may not be that easy, from what I hear their F1 factory in Cologne is part of bigger Toyota facility, quite difficult to pass it on to someone else. Not same as Honda case ….

      Add Cosworth (although how competitve can they be with their first season back after a long departure)

      The advantage Cosworth has that as a “new” engine supplier they are allowed to work on their engine till March to bring it up to current standards, unlike the other three (or two if Renault quits the game) that are under the engine freeze regulations.

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    If that were true, then the four new teams would have a huge advantage.  Even though there is a “freeze” on development, you know McLaren and Ferrari were designing the 2010 engine off learnings from the 2009 engine.  It also appears that both teams got significantly faster throughout the season (at least until Ferrari quit on 2009 to focus on 2010), part of which had to come from engine improvements.  In other words, they all push the limits of the rules.

  5. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    If that were true, then the four new teams would have a huge advantage.

    well, it will probably take time for them to get the chassis competitive + it will also be hard for them to keep up with the best in terms of development. have to remember that their F1 plans were based on the spending within the proposed budget cap that does not apply …

    the other point to remember is that Cosworth has less than a year to get the engine that has done no racing and development since the end of 2006 season on par with Ferrari and McLaren and Renault (if they stay) power – in terms of horse power as well as in terms of fuel efficiency (very important with no refueling next year).

    The one team that might benefit is Williams …

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