"However, when considering TMC's motorsports actitives next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1"
Renault could also quit F1
Team boss John Howett had remained adamant the team would remain in the sport next year, albeit with a reduced budget, and it had committed itself to it until the end of 2012 by signing the new Concorde Agreement.
TMC posted its worst ever end of financial year results in March and is expected to announce tomorrow a large operating loss for the first six months of this year. There had been clues that the team could be poised to quit in recent months; it pulled its Fuji circuit from the F1 calendar and ended an engine supply deal with Williams a year early.
The Cologne-based team made its debut in the sport in 2002 and competed in 139 grands prix. It achieved three pole positions and 13 podium finishes in that time, with a best constructor’s finish of fourth place.
After a promising start to this season, its form dipped and ended up fifth in the standings, although two podiums late in the season showed improvement.
TMC president Akio Toyoda has said the firm’s decision was not down to poor results. "Our decision would not have changed even if we had a victory," he said. "The fact that we are unable to give our drivers a chance to compete is very sad."
Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli both the left the team at the end of this season and talented young Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi was set to race for the team next year. If money was an issue for Toyota, its pursuit of Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica to lead the team next year suggested otherwise.
There are now no major Japanese manufacturers left in global motorsport after Toyota’s F1 departure. Subaru, Mitsubishi and Suzuki have all pulled out of the WRC in recent years, while tyre supplier Bridgestone has also left the sport. Toyota has vowed to continue in other motorsport categories, however.
"In motorsports, [Toyota] will not only race in various categories, but will also actively contribute to further development of motorsports by supporting grassroots races and planning events in which it is easy for people to participate," said the statement.
Its place on the grid next year is expected to go to the former BMW Sauber team.
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