Toyota's F1 future hinges on finances

Updated: September 30, 2009, 8:02 AM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- The Toyota Formula One team says its continued participation in the sport is still unclear and is dependent upon the financial performance of its parent company and cost reductions in F1.

Toyota's future in F1 has been in doubt since the onset of the global economic downturn, which forced both the Honda and BMW teams to announce withdrawals.

"We will participate for now," team principal Tadashi Yamashina was quoted as saying by the Yomiuri newspaper on Wednesday.

"We have to consider a variety of things in relation to our core business. Our participation is unclear, depending on our financial results."

Toyota had been in Formula One as a team since 2002, and was a signatory to the latest Concorde Agreement which governs the terms of the sport and revenue distribution through the end of 2012.

Yamashina urged the sport's organizers to do more to reduce costs. Efforts to introduce a spending cap beginning next season met resistance from the big teams, which threatened a breakaway series before budget restrictions were watered down.

"We must make Formula One more cost effective," he said.

The Williams team has been using Toyota engines, but is now looking for a new supplier.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press