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Will Toyota’s F1 Departure save BMW Sauber Team

by F1Fan on November 4, 2009

Toyota dropped a bombshell on F1 today announcing that it is pulling out of Formula One at the end of the 2009 Season.

Coming shortly after tire manufacturer Bridgestone’s decision to leave F1 after the end of 2010 this decision makes Toyota the second major Japanese company to exit Formula One in a week.

It is no real surprise that Toyota president Akio Toyoda claims the difficult and painful decision was based upon the current economic climate, what is surprising however is that Toyota’s decision comes only weeks after signing the new Concorde Agreement which commits them to participate in Formula One until 2012.

Toyota has stated that it will do its best to try to find a solution for the Germany based Toyota Motorsports Team, which presumably means finding a buyer.

The Decision must be especially upsetting for Toyota’s stand in Driver Kamui Kobayashi, who after his outstanding performance in Abu Dhabi racing to 6th place in only his second ever Grand Prix must have been looking forward to driving for the team next season. Not to mention the disappointment that the Toyota Fans must be suffering, who at long last would have had a really fast Japanese Driver to cheer. On the Other hand maybe Renault will pick him up as they already own Nissan so their would be some synergy there, that is of course as long as Renault is staying in F1.

The FIA has already stated that it is seeking urgent clarification from the Toyota F1 team as to its legal position in relation to the championship. As this will have a direct bearing on the admission of any future 13th entry.

So, as one door closes, another may be opening for Peter Sauber in his quest to get the old BMW Sauber Team now owned by little known investment company Qadbak onto the grid for the 2010 season.

Stay tuned in, I bet this will not be the last surprise we will have in the off season.

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