Toyota to announce F1 future on Sunday

Toyota has scheduled 8 November to announce its plans about the 2010 Formula One season, it has emerged. It was expected that the Japanese carmaker's decision about whether to continue funding its Cologne based team would not be known until ...

Toyota has scheduled 8 November to announce its plans about the 2010 Formula One season, it has emerged.

It was expected that the Japanese carmaker's decision about whether to continue funding its Cologne based team would not be known until the much-vaunted Tokyo board meeting a week later.

Toyota's racing budgets are always approved in advance by the end-year board meeting, leaving some experts concerned that a separate announcement has been deemed necessary ahead of 2010.

The November 8 announcement was revealed by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine, and the Independent newspaper in Britain also expects that "bad news" could be emanating from Toyota "later in the week".

"(Japanese) auto and auto-part makers are questioning what they can gain now by spending hundreds of millions of yen in taking part in Formula One," said Tatsuya Mizuno, an auto analyst at Mizuno Credit Advisory.

On the bright side, Toyota's withdrawal would make room for Sauber, whose official application to race in 2010 will be automatically activated in the event of a vacancy.

But it would be very bad news for Kamui Kobayashi, the Japanese F1 rookie who has impressed Toyota with his two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

The 23-year-old told reporters before leaving the Yas Marina Circuit that he has "no budget" to fall back on GP2 in 2010, after finishing sixteenth in the F1 feeder category this season.

"I would probably go back to Japan to maybe work with my father in his sushi restaurant. It was like that two months ago," said Kobayashi.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi
Teams Sauber