As reported by TCF last night, Toyota have confirmed they will be withdrawing from Formula One, with immediate effect.
A statement released by Toyota read:
“Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces it plans to withdraw from the FIA Formula 1 world championship at the end of the 2009 season,
“TMC, which had viewed its participation in F1 as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture, remained dedicated to competing at the pinnacle of motor sports even in the face of the abrupt economic changes that started last year.
“However, when considering TMC’s motorsports activities next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1”
“TMC also wants to express its heartfelt gratitude to all Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers to date and to all Toyota Motorsport GmbH employees who have helped make the team’s achievements possible,”
“TMC intends to do its best to find a solution for those parties who will be affected by any inconvenience this decision may cause.”
“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.”
This now leaves Kamui Kobayashi and Timo Glock in limbo for 2010, although they did not have contracts signed for next season it had been widely expected that Kobayashi would be racing for them after putting in solid performances at the end of this season.