Much as I hate to say it, but Max Mosley was right all those years ago when he said you can’t depend on the major car manufacturers when it comes to the long haul in F1.
Toyota’s decision to quit after a lamentable record of under-achievement comes as absolutely no surprise to me at all, although I must say that I will remember the team fondly for having introduced Kamui Kobayashi into F1 as the very best Japanese driver I have ever seen.
Toyota’s departure will at least clear the way for Sauber to re-enter F1 as an independent team next season, but I fancy the Japanese car maker’s board may find itself fielding a legal action from both the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management organisation.
Having signed the new Concorde Agreement earlier this year, Toyota was technically committed to competing in the FIA world championship until the end of 2012. So how will all that be sorted out?
Worrying times for F1, I fancy. Granted the cost cutting initiatives have tempted some new lower-budget teams to throw their hats into the ring next season, and very welcome they will be.
But I can’t help looking a little nervously in the direction of the Renault squad which has been a touch threadbare, results-wise, this season. I hope that the French car maker won’t follow Honda, BMW and Toyota out of the sport, but I’m worried they might.