Toyota staying, but cutting back

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When Toyota’s Cologne-based team was told to wait for the annual board meeting in November before planning its 2010 budget, things started looking grim.

However, Toyota sources assure Autosport that the board in Tokyo do not intend to cut and run from Formula One, they just plan to reduce their budget markedly. Autosport reports that Toyota is planning to cut its input into the team by as much as 40%, which would represent a net drop of around one third in the team’s complete annual budget.

The message from Tokyo is that we will be staying in F1 – and Toyota remains committed to the sport. However, there will likely be big budget cuts.

This financial uncertainty is the reason that Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock are still waiting for news on their contracts next season.

Toyota had hoped that this would be their year, finally securing that (rather overdue) race win. However, team boss John Howett hasn’t given up hope on that yet, particularly if the team can bring a large update package to Japan for its ‘home’ Grand Prix, at Honda’s home track, Suzuka.

Suzuka looks good,” said Howett when asked about which of the final five races would provide the team its best chance of a victory. “It is similar downforce requirements to Spa, so we could be strong there. We are trying to get a fairly big upgrade for Singapore or there, but we will see where we can get it.

The team still needs to find a way to put an entire weekend together, though. At the moment it seems either that a strong showing in qualifying is followed by a disappointing race, or vice versa.


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