Toyota has reiterated its commitment to F1, in spite of its first annual operating loss since 1938. Said Toyota CEO Katsuake Watanabe of Toyota's F1 budget, still the largest in F1 at $445 million, "To keep it up at the current level is extremely difficult." Yet even with the loss, the global economic mess, the belt-tightening on the corporate side, and the fact that Toyota hasn't won a race in seven years, a Toyota spokesperson said, "We don't have anything to add to the statement we made on 5 December [committing to F1 after Honda's pullout -- Ed.] because the financial results don't change anything for us in the formula one team. Our situation has not changed." The FIA has suggested that next year's cost cutting measures will save teams 33% over their 2008 budgets. On top of that, Toyota is conducting its own cost cutting study to see what it can do over and above that. We have a feeling 2009 won't see Toyota on top of the big spenders list again.
[Source: The Guardian | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]