Toyota pulls out of F1

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,” Toyoda told a news conference in Tokyo. “Since last year as the economic climate worsened we have been struggling with the question of whether to continue in F1. We are pulling out of Formula One completely. I offer my deepest apologies to Toyota's many fans for not being able to achieve the results we had targeted.”

The decision by the world's largest carmaker to quit the glamour sport comes as the auto industry starts to stabilise following a sales crunch in the wake of the financial crisis.
Cologne-based Toyota's departure as a team and engine supplier deals another major blow to the sport after Japan's number two carmaker Honda quit the series last December.
It leaves Japan without a team in F1 and continues the drain of Japanese companies from motorsport, which has seen Subaru and Suzuki withdraw from the world rallying championship.

Bike maker Kawasaki also scrapped its MotoGP team in the grip of a severe market downturn.  Japanese tyremaker Bridgestone announced on Monday they would not renew their supply contract with F1.

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