Toyota announced that they have no intention of returning to Formula 1, labeling the sport as “elitist” and a bad fit with the company’s customer base.
The sour grapes come from Tadashi Yamashina, the head of Toyota’s international racing program. Yamashina said that the company would focus on “grassroots” motorsports like Nascar and endurance racing such as the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. While both series are ultra-expensive and the pinnacle of technology, Yamashina called them “grassroots” in the context of fan access (himself stating “I think the best kind of races are those in which people can get in close to the race,”) rather than actual grassroots racing series, which have seen significant support by fellow Japanese automaker Mazda.
Ironically, Toyota has a notorious reputation in motorsports circles for cheating, being banned from the World Rally Championship, caught with stolen Ferrari data in Formula 1 and being caught red-handed trying to alter dyno results in NASCAR.
[Source: Automotive News]