Toyota Eyes Formula 1 Return: Exploring a Potential Partnership with Haas for 2026 Season

July 10th, 2024, 7:25 AM

Automotive giant Toyota is reportedly planning a comeback to Formula 1. The Japanese brand withdrew from the Formula 1 program in 2009. Now, over fifteen years later, all signs point to Toyota’s renewed interest in rejoining the premier class. The new regulations of 2026 make the sport an attractive testing ground for the Japanese as well.

According to Hungarian, Toyota has approached the Formula 1 team Haas for a collaboration. The American team has been performing exceptionally well this season and is led by Japanese Ayao Komatsu. While Toyota remains non-committal about engine development, it is reportedly interested in assisting the team with chassis development.

As one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, Toyota’s entry into Formula 1 would be a significant addition. A partnership with Haas is promising, but suggests that this need not be the end of Toyota’s involvement. In the future, the brand could sponsor multiple teams and even venture into producing its own engine.

This is not the first time Toyota has been involved in Formula 1. Between 2002 and 2009, the Japanese had their own racing team called Toyota Racing. The team participated in 139 Grand Prix. Known for their enormous budget and resources, these were never translated into victories. Toyota Racing did, however, make it to the podium thirteen times and finished fourth in the constructors’ championship in 2005.

In 2009, the team announced its withdrawal from Formula 1 – the global economic crisis and the need to cut costs took their toll. Much of the infrastructure and technologies were later used by other teams, and former Toyota engineers and staff have found their way to other successful teams within the sport.

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