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Toyota budget heavily reduced

NEWS STORY
17/03/2009

While his F1 team may have been given the green light to continue racing, Toyota Motor Sports Chairman Tadashi Yamashina has revealed that it will be with a heavily reduced budget.

"Our Formula One budget was cut again and again from its original figure," Yamashina told Reuters. "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 Formula One budget was slashed by," he admitted, "but in all my time at Toyota I have never seen cuts like it."

At the weekend, Yamashina revealed that the Japanese team came close to following Honda's example and quitting F1 at the end of 2008. Indeed, he admitted that executives at Toyota deliberated right up to the 22 December press conference - at which the company reaffirmed its commitment to the sport - as to whether to continue in F1 or not.

One of the biggest spenders in F1, exceeded only by its Japanese rival, Toyota has yet to win a Grand Prix far less challenge for the title. Now, if it is to justify the continuation of its F1 programme the Cologne-based outfit has to deliver.

"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."

Like other teams, one of the ways in which Toyota will seek to cut its spending is by down-sizing.

"It has been very difficult," said Yamashina. "Laying off people and cutting costs is part of business. As a business you have to do what you can to survive. No matter how much we have to reduce the budget by or how far we have to down-size the team, that is what business people have to think about."

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