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Toyota may return to F1 under Lexus banner

Posted Apr 3rd 2013 9:00AM

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A new report in from the website Club Lexus claims to have insider knowledge about a return to Formula One racing by Toyota, this time under the auspices of the Lexus brand. Toyota competed in F1 from 2002 through the 2009 season. That final year saw the team return competitive, if inconsistent in results, but the larger economic woes in the automotive market caused a decision to pull the plug.

Now, citing recent interviews with Toyota executives and insider sources, Club Lexus says that the move to re-enter F1 for the 2014 season is "all but finalized." The choice to go with the Lexus nameplate over Toyota makes some sense, too, considering the success that rival Infiniti has had in recent years through its partnership with Red Bull Racing. Further, the emerging Lexus identity as a performance car builder, with a strong background in hybrid vehicles could help the F1 move resonate with buyers.

A few technological factors and formula changes within F1 offer some credence to the Lexus rumour, too. F1 will increase the available capacity of KERS from 60kW to 120kW, a change that theoretically benefits the hybrid-savvy Toyota. What's more, 2014 will see a switch from the current 2.4-litre V8 engines to 1.6-litre turbocharged V6s. A Lexus team that goes racing in 2014 will be on a level playing field with the rest of the grid then, with all teams adjusting to and continuing to develop the new engines.

Scroll down to watch a recap of Toyota in Formula 1.

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2008 Season Portrait of the Panasonic Toyota F1 Racing

News Source: Club Lexus

Image Credit: Toru Yamanaka / AFP/Getty

Category: Lexus, Toyota, Japan, Motor sports, Racing

Tags: f1, formula one, lexus, lexus f1, lexus formula 1, toyota, toyota f1, toyota formula 1

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ShaamanRyu

Return for Kobayashi? Let's hope so. This whole...pay-driver thing is kinda stupid....you're allowed on the F1 field just because you (or whoever is backing you) can afford it? No offense to any team that has been using pay drivers, but getting rid of Kovalainen, Kobayashi, and Timo Glock is a stupid idea. Kovalainen and Glock might have been on back-field teams, but at least they were consistent with their racing, and actually do manage good results despite crappy cars.

April 03 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply