Mar.16 (GMM) Toyota's F1 team may have survived the disquiet of the Tokyo board for now, but the budget has been drastically slashed, boss Tadashi Yamashina admitted on Monday.
The Japanese has been reported as revealing that Toyota Motor Corporation executives, spooked by the global recession, only agreed to keep the Cologne based team alive due to the continuing support of title sponsor Panasonic.Yamashina told the news agency Reuters: "Our formula one budget was cut again and again from its original figure."It was cut again after Honda's announcement they were leaving F1 and within a month the figure was reduced again after Toyota's end of yearly earnings target was revised."I'm not able to put a figure on how much the budget was slashed but in all my time at Toyota I have never seen cuts like it," he said.In a timely development, the team's TF109 single seater has appeared highly competitive this winter, amid intense pressure from Toyota that the F1 project finally deliver victories."Winning and results are important," Yamashina admitted. "There are other factors too. It's a business and unless we make the team viable, next year we may have to cut costs further."He acknowledged that cost savings will be found by reducing the number of staff."No matter how much we have to reduce the budget by or how far we have to downsize the team, that is what business people have to think about," said Yamashina.