Alert! Toyota pulls out of Formula One image

Toyota has confirmed that it is pulling out of Formula 1 racing after posting its worst ever financial loss, Japan’s Mainichi newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The world’s largest carmaker will hold a news conference at 0800 GMT in Tokyo on Wednesday with company president Akio Toyoda and team principal Tadashi Yamashina also in attendance.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda said the Japanese team had no option but to pull out citing “the current severe economic realities” affecting the world.

The team failed to win any of the 139 races it entered after making its F1 debut in 2002 but was fifth in the 2009 constructors’ championship.

Company president Akio Toyoda apologized for the team’s failure to record a single race victory since joining F1 in 2002 despite an estimated annual budget of around $300 million.

“This was a difficult but ultimately unavoidable decision,” he told a news conference in Tokyo. “Since last year with the worsening economic climate, we have been struggling with the question of whether to continue in F1.

“We are pulling out of Formula One completely. I offer my deepest apologies to Toyota’s many fans for not being able to achieve the results we had targeted.”

Also, Japanese tiremaker Bridgestone announced on Monday they would not renew their supply contract with Formula One after the 2010 season.