Toyota Reaffirm Support for F1 Programme

Regardless of the economic spectrum, Toyota will always be there to battle the 'big guns' of Formula 1. The announcement was made by Toyota's boss John Howett, following rumors that the Japanese manufacturer would consider leaving the series if they don't get that first win the the series this year. However, Howett conditioned Toyota's staying in Formula 1 on the sport remaining 'the pinnacle of motorsport'.

“The key issue is whether Formula One continues to deliver the value and return on investment that Toyota expects. If it remains the pinnacle of motorsport and a genuine technological challenge, then I can see a long and bright future for the team,” commented Howett on Toyota F1's site, following the virtual launch of the new TF109 car.

“If the sport is dumbed down too much, or too many standard components are forced into the system, Formula One could become just another racing series. That would leave it as only a sponsorship opportunity and I believe interest would drop rapidly,” pointed out the Toyota president.

Howett admitted that the latest cost-reduction measures discussed by the Formula One Teams Association and later implemented by the FIA starting the 2010 season are not detrimental to the sport's basics and can only help in these difficult economic times.

“The global economy affects everyone. Most sports will be affected in some form; that is inevitable when you have a global economic trend such as this. However, I believe Formula One is in a strong position because of its global reach. FOTA has achieved significant cost reductions while retaining the DNA of Formula One and this is extremely beneficial in the current economic climate,” concluded Howett.
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