Tears as Toyota pull out of Formula One
Toyota team principal Tadashi Yamashina was in tears as the Japanese company announced it has withdrawn from Formula One with immediate effect.
Japan has deserted motorsport on mass during the economic crisis (Honda and Bridgestone to name just two).
Company president Akio Toyoda apologised for the team’s failure to record a single race victory since joining F1 in 2002 despite an estimated annual budget of around $300 million.
“It was a very difficult but unavoidable decision,” he told a news conference in Tokyo.
The departure opens the door for BMW Sauber’s new Swiss owners to take their place on the grid.
PHOTO: Toyota Motorsport Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina cries at a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo November 4, 2009 REUTERS/Issei Kato