A new report in from the website Club Lexus claims to have insider knowledge about a return to Formula One racing by Toyota, this time under the auspices of the Lexus brand. Toyota competed in F1 from 2002 through the 2009 season. That final year saw the team return competitive, if inconsistent results, but the larger economic woes in the automotive market made a decision to pull the plug relatively easy at the time.

Now, citing recent interviews with Toyota executives and insider sources, Club Lexus says that the move to re-enter F1 for the 2014 season is "all but finalized." The choice to go with the Lexus nameplate over Toyota makes some sense, too, considering the success that rival Infiniti has had in recent years through its partnership with Red Bull Racing. Further, the emerging Lexus identity as a performance car builder, with a strong background in hybrid vehicles, could help the F1 move resonate with buyers.

A few technological factors and formula changes within F1 offer some credence to the Lexus rumor, too. F1 will increase the available capacity of KERS from 60kW to 120kW, a change that theoretically benefits the hybrid-savvy Toyota. What's more, 2014 will see a switch from the current 2.4-liter V8 engines to 1.6-liter turbocharged V6s. A Lexus team that goes racing in 2014 will be on a level playing field with the rest of the grid then, with all teams adjusting to and continuing to develop the new engines.


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  • 26 Comments
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hello Ford? GM? Maybe you should get in on this to push your foreign market sales. Imagine a Cadillac powered F-1 car.
        Josh
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        I thought Americans hate/can't understand F1? They spend plenty of money and time in cup racing - from a business perspective that's a more effective form of marketing.
      Jonas Petraitis
      • 2 Years Ago
      that is a joke (1st April)
      Mr. Sled
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh how the times, they are changin.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they asked me (still waiting on the call) I would suggest they focus on LeMans and ALMS. Audi has done very nicely by dominating that series and I'm sure it's cheaper than F1.
        Pdexter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Though F1 also has by far the largest motoring audience at around 540 million and in general among the top 3-4 most followed sports. I do also think F1 is pretty much perfect fit for Toyota as far as what goes on lacking their image. Audi and VW group in general I don't think really has the same problem with Lamborghini and Audi.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I won't hold my breath, but if true, it'd be sweet. The more competition, the better, as far I'm concerned.
      anonymouspuessy
      • 2 Years Ago
      The article at the source was posted on April 1, aka. April fool's day. While with Honda there are numerous rumors and signs (like hiring engineers, meetings with teams like McLaren etc.) things have been quiet on the Toyota front. Also Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have been working on their engines for quite some time. Toyota would have to have it's engine ready for the engine test stand right about NOW to actually be able compete in 2014. If they only started the program now they would be ready by 2015 at the earliest. So it could indeed be a hoax.
        Josh
        • 2 Years Ago
        @anonymouspuessy
        It's reasonably assumed the 2014 Formula will essentially be the 2015, and 2016 formulas as well. Wouldn't hurt to spend some time in F1 and come out with an LFA2 w/ a hyper V6 hybrid type drivetrain :)
      Nine Elements
      • 2 Years Ago
      Poach Adrian Newey from Red Bull. Sign up Robert Kubica and Kobayashi Kamui for your driver line-up. Then maybe you'll have a chance Toyota/Lexus F1.
        banan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nine Elements
        it may as well be a competitive team with those two behind the wheel.
          Drakkon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @banan
          I could live without Kobayashi driving everyone else off the course.
      Proghog
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the race in New Jersey and Mexico get added to the circuit GM should get Cadillac into F1.
        Autoblogist
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Proghog
        It\'s definitely more viable for GM to get into F1 since both Indy and F1 will be using turbo V6s. It\'s not so far fetched for Ford either, given their stint in F1. As F1 grows in popularity stateside, I hope American manufacturers get more involved.
          linuxaddict7
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          I remember Chevy had pretty bad A55 engine, I believe they were asked to tone it down for competition to catch up.
          Proghog
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          That is very true, GM will have been working on their turbo V6 for over 3 years for Indycar by the time F1 makes the switch.
      Will
      • 2 Years Ago
      I see little to no chance of this. There is no way they are going to start a team from scratch and the only real option to buy is Marussia which means 3-5 years of being noncompetitive until they can get all the right staff and facilities in order. This would make little to no sense. I guess potentially they could cut a deal like Infiniti did and maybe approach Force India, Toro Rosso or Sauber? The other caveat is that the largest F1 audiences don't even have Lexus products so marketing wise that seems like a terrible idea. I'm going to settle with it is a April fools joke.
        Temple
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Will
        Toyota wouldn't need to buy a team, they never dissolved Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Köln Germany. They kept on-board their entire engineering team including Pascal Vasselon (their F1 designer). The only thing TMG has been working on was the Toyota TS030 Hybrid LeMans prototype. That LMP1 hybrid technology could play in Toyota's favor for the 2014 rule change. 2014 technical advantage will completely be in the hybrid system, right-now KERS is limited to 80hp and ~6.7 sec, 2014 will have 33s & 160hp. Not to mention the energy harvest will be raised to 400kj (very similar to the 500 kj that Toyota & Audi are using in LMP1). When you also consider horsepower directly from the engine will also drop a couple hundred hp, you're talking the win-lose factor completely in the ERS. The logic is there, though I would have my doubts that a huge announcement like this would come from ClubLexus.
          linuxaddict7
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Temple
          I believe some Toyota F1 assets were sold to HRT.
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are they wanting to buy out Marussia or inactive HRT?
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