Cologne newspaper Express issued an overwhelming report on Monday, saying that the decision to withdraw from F1 was already taken by the Japanese car maker. Toyota have already expressed their desire to leave the series unless the 2009 season will bring them at least a maiden F1 win, and the performance of the two TF109s at Monaco did not help in any way.
The Toyotas driven by Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock struggled in the rear of the field for the entire Monte Carlo weekend, from practice number 1 until the very chequered flag. Under the circumstances, the Japanese officials seem to find no reason for pumping even more money on a losing operation, with the current political environment offering them the perfect excuse to make such a move.
Howett dismissed those allegations shortly after the race in the Principality, arguing that Toyota is very much committed to continuing their F1 operations from 2010 onwards.
“I believe that is all spin. It has been put there deliberately to create some more tension in the situation,” said Howett about the Express report, while talking to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. “I don't know the source, but I can only say in our case that there is a clear wish to enter next year's championship.”
Toyota's most notable performance in 2009 happened in the Bahrain Grand Prix, when the Trulli – Glock duo dominated the qualifying session to secure an impressive 1-2 on the grid. As far as race results go, Toyota has so far scored 3 podiums in the first 6 races and are currently 3rd overall in the constructors' classification. However, the Cologne based team is yet to win a point in Europe.