Toyota to exit F1 this week?

by Alasdair Lindsay

Toyota Motor Corp. is set to announce its withdrawal in the coming days, according to Japanese news agency Mainichi.

An emergency board meeting was said to have been called today, and Toyota President Akio Toyoda would announce the news of its withdrawal in a press conference in Tokyo within the next 3 days.

It is also said the Toyota board members had given the F1 squad until 2012 to deliver its primary goal, presumably winning the World Championship, but due to the current economic climate they had made the decision to curtail its F1 program early.

Toyota’s focus is now said to be on consolidating a future for its several hundred employees at its Cologne base, and is considering looking for a buyer for the team.

This leaves Kamui Kobayashi in limbo as to his future prospects, after revealing he had been unable to raise a budget to race in GP2 next year, and would probably return to his father’s sushi bar unless a solution was found.

Current drivers Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli have both ruled out renewing contracts with the team, and look set to join Renault and Lotus respectively.

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