Since starting its F1 team in 2002, Toyota has poured in an unprecedented – although undisclosed – amount of money into its Formula One team. But after five years of lackluster performance, even Toyota's patience – and cash – is beginning to run out. Team principal Tadashi Yamashina revealed in his annual report that the company has given him until 2010 to increase the team's level of performance.
Although it hasn't been specified exactly what consequence it will bring if the Cologne, Germany-based team fails to meet the company's expectations, one could not imagine the coffers staying filled if the team continues to disappoint the bean-counters back in Japan.
In his report, Yamashina pinpointed aerodynamics and a failure to adapt to the new uniform Bridgestone tires as the principal reasons why the team failed to score even a single podium finish this past season, declaring that the team needs to improve in these areas in order to succeed. But Toyota's overall performance in 2007 was about par for the team, which hasn't placed better than fourth in the constructors' championship.
Better luck next year, Toyota. You're going to need it.