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Formula One Racing Exodus Continues as Toyota and Bridgestone Announce Exits

Only Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault will compete as makers during the next racing season that starts in March.

by on Nov.05, 2009

The extreme costs and super rich image is driving makers out of Formual One.

The extreme costs and super excessive image is driving automakers out of Formula One.

Toyota Motor Corporation is leaving the super expensive Formula One racing circuit next year. Bridgestone, a major supplier to Toyota is withdrawing the year following.

The latest moves to cut team costs of almost half a billion dollars annually for leading marques means that only Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault  will compete as makers next season.

Ferrari is threatening to leave the series as well. Honda and BMW had previously withdrawn.

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Lotus Cars, now owned by Proton, is returning after a 15-year absence. In addition, several new smaller teams are thought to be preparing low budget entries for the new season, which starts in March. Previously, Lotus said it plans to spend only $90 million next year, compared to Toyota’s estimated $500 million annual investment in the hugely popular global sport.

TMC said in a statement that it viewed its participation in F1 as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture, and that it remained dedicated to competing at the pinnacle of motor sports, even in the face of the abrupt economic changes that started last year.

“However, when considering TMC’s motor-sports activities next year and beyond from a comprehensive midterm viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1.”
TMC leaves F1 having compiled 13 podium and 87 point finishes over eight seasons since 2002 with Panasonic Toyota Racing, a full-constructor team, the future of which is now unclear.
TMC said it intends to do its best to find a solution for those parties who will be affected by any inconvenience this decision may cause.

Bridgestone, which has been supplying tires since 1997 and has been the exclusive Formula One tire supplier since 2008, is completing its contract for next year and then withdrawing.

“The company focused on the need to redirect its resources toward the further intensive development of those innovative technologies and strategic products which support the company’s goals,” Bridgestone said in a statement.

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