Toyota’s former F1 boss Tadashi Yamashina has said the company isn’t interested in competing in F1 because it is too distant from ordinary drivers.
Speaking to Automotive News Yamasina said Toyota, who announced its decision to quit F1 within days of the 2009 season finale, would have happened regardless of the credit crunch:
It might not have been so abrupt, but it would have happened.
President [Akio] Toyoda?óÔéźÔäós stance on motorsports is geared more toward the customer. There is a big gap between Formula One and Toyota?óÔéźÔäós actual car users.
Yamashina may have a point about F1 when he criticises it for being “elitist” and restricting the fans’ access to the paddock and the teams.
But it’s not a convincing explanation for why Toyota left the sport. The sport is hardly any less less friendly towards fans now than it was when Toyota entered in 2002.
Toyota’s dreadful under-performance at gigantic expense surely has more to do with why their team was canned.
They are still competing in NASCAR and are evaluating a move into the World Touring Car Championship. The company has suffered terrible publicity this year due to a series of braking defects on its road cars.
Read more: Toyota quits F1 after eight winless years