Howett: results “not fundamental” to Toyota’s F1 future

Toyota team principal John Howett has said that good results are not the most important issue facing the team, as they wait to hear whether they will continue in F1.

The team was chuffed with Jarno Trulli’s second place in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend, but still face question marks over their long term commitment to the sport. They have otherwise endured a season with fluctuating form – characterised by great races one weekend and dire outings the next.

Howett told Autosport that the global economic climate was more relevant to the team’s future than were results.

“It [a good result] always helps, doesn’t it? But I can’t say that it is really the fundamental issue,” he said.

“I think it is still all down to Toyota’s overall profit and loss situation and the image of Formula 1 and whether we can get away from the rather sordid side that we’ve had recently to a much more dynamic future looking at all the great things that this sport really has.

“Talking to my colleagues, it’s a similar problem everywhere. That’s the biggest challenge we face.”

Howett’s outburst comes as the Cologne-based team’s prospective driver line-up looks ever more uncertain. Robert Kubica, who Toyota were openly chasing, has just signed for Renault, whereas current incumbent Jarno Trulli is being courted by NASCAR.

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