The global economic crisis is taking its toll on many carmakers, including industry juggernaut Toyota, which has forecasted a $1.7 billion loss for the financial year ending March 2009. This will be the carmaker’s first loss in 71 years and to counter it there will be significant cost cutting to come. One area under that will be safe from the bean-counters’ cutting block will be the company’s F1 division.

Toyota has official countered speculation it may join its Japanese rival Honda in withdrawing from the sport.

"We have absolutely no plans to withdraw from formula one," a spokeswoman told British newspaper The Guardian. She intimated, however, that

Toyota is set to implement its own measures to reduce its annual spend on the sport, over and above the regulated FIA cost-cutting.
To reporters in Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation president Katsuaki Watanabe added: "To keep it up at the current level is extremely difficult." Meanwhile, another spokesman said: "The financial results don't change anything for us in the formula one team. Our situation has not changed."

The Cologne based team's president, John Howett, backed fellow FOTA luminary Luca di Montezemolo in calling for a greater than 50% share of the sport's commercial revenue for the teams.

"I believe in the Champions League it is upwards of 96-97% of revenues that is redistributed depending on where you finish, whereas at the moment we receive 50%. So given the current circumstances people would like to reopen that discussion," he said.