Toyota deny plans to leave F1

Toyota insist they are fully committed to a future in Formula One after the team dismissed wild speculation they could be poised to quit the category for Le Mans because they are unhappy about new rules to cut costs

Toyota deny plans to leave F1

Speculation about the future of Toyota emerged last week when comments by team president John Howett questioning whether Toyota would accept a standard engine in F1, made prior to last week's FIA cost cuts meeting, were recycled.

Further rumours emerged over the weekend when comments from team boss Tadashi Yamashina about Toyota's long-standing interest in Le Mans were interpreted by some as a sign of them quitting F1.

Although the FIA's plans to introduce a standard engine in F1 have prompted questions about the future of all the manufacturers currently competing, Toyota are adamant that they see themselves remaining in Grand Prix racing for many years yet.

They have made it clear, however, that the sport's quest for cost cuts must not come at the expense of the technological challenge the sport provides each competitor.

"Toyota are committed to succeeding in Formula One for the long-term and our objective in Formula One is to win - we exist to win and we are committed to doing that," said a team statement.

"However, we believe Formula One must remain a technological challenge; this is an important point for Toyota and provided this does not change we expect to continue in F1 until at least 2012."

The statement from Toyota added that although the Japanese manufacturer is interested in other challenges like Le Mans, there was no talk of them quitting F1 to do so.

"Toyota have never hidden their interest in considering new motorsport opportunities, including Le Mans," added the statement. "Currently no formal plan nor decision has been taken on changes or additions to the current programmes."

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