Tomita to leave Toyota in June

Toyota team principal Tsutomu Tomita will step down from his position at the end of June in a major management reshuffle

Although the Japanese manufacturer insist that the changes are just part of normal procedure for senior executives working overseas, it is clear that the team have been looking for a fresh impetus to bounce back from their disappointing start to the campaign.

Tomita said: "Since 2002 I have been involved in Toyota's Formula One project which has been one of the most challenging and exciting periods of my career.

"In fact the detailed preparation for entry into Formula One started more than four years before we entered our first race. I would like to thank all of those involved in Toyota, F1, at our sponsors and of course at Toyota Motorsport who have welcomed, helped and encouraged me as I have faced this challenge."

Tomita said he remained convinced Toyota can win a race soon, despite their failure to challenge for even a podium finish so far this year.

"I am looking forward to celebrating Toyota's first victory in F1 which I believe will happen sooner rather than later, based on the technological capability and competent team of people which has and is being established in Cologne."

Tomita's role at Toyota will be taken by Tadashi Yamashina, who has been the F1 team's vice chairman since December last year.

"Tomita san has been involved in a number of Toyota's motorsport activities throughout his career including F1 from its very beginning," said Yamashina.

"He has been one of its central pillars over the last two decades and I am both proud and pleased to succeed him. I will continue the challenge he has pursued over the past years with the same courage and applying vigorous creativity as we strive to become a winning team in the world's most severe and demanding motorsport, F1.

"Tsutomu is part of Toyota's Formula 1 heritage and we will remain in close contact with him."

Tomita will return to Japan, although it is not yet decided what his role will be.

Previous article Gene in favour of keeping driver aids
Next article Honda look to bolster technical team