Toyota F1 pullout won’t affect their Nascar programme

Toyota have announced their Nascar programme will be unaffected by their Formula 1 pullout.

To me this casts doubt on Ferrari’s assertion that it’s the rules and governance of Formula 1 that was the real reason behind the Toyota pullout.  It’s well known that Nascar is a big cash cow for all involved (more so than Formula 1, mainly because the money is spread around alot more evenly) so they are bound to go where the money is.  America is also the region where Toyota has seen the biggest slump in sales.

It’s also been rumoured they objected to Formula 1 becoming too much of a spec formula, but Nascar is probably the most spec formula in the world with very carefully balanced performance so all cars end up being pretty much identical, so this is unlikely the real reason.

I think the most likely explanation is that Toyota bosses expected to do a Ferrari and turn up with a massive budget in Formula 1 and a proven WRC championship winning setup and dominate Formula 1.  After years of underachieving with Half Schumacher and the Trulli Train, they probably thought they’d get better value for money elsewhere. 

Sadly it appears they had the opportunity to be a lean mean racing machine but fired the people (Mike Gascoigne) who could make it happen, because they suggested management structures contrary to “The Toyota Way”.  We’ll see how Lotus do next year on a meagre budget and whether they succeed where Toyota didn’t.

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