Sep.24 - Wild new rumours at Suzuka suggest Toyota could be on the way back into Formula 1.

McLaren stunned the Japanese GP paddock this weekend by announcing out of the blue that Ryo Hirakawa will be the famous F1 team's reserve driver in 2024.

Hirakawa currently races for Toyota in the world endurance championship and Super Formula, winning Le Mans last year.

Fascinatingly, with Hirakawa at Suzuka is Akio Toyoda - chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. And with him are several other Toyota officials.

One of them is former Williams-Toyota driver Kazuki Nakajima, who is now vice chairman of Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe.

When asked about the wild new Toyota-to-F1 rumours, Nakajima told "I can't go into too much detail.

"It is true that we communicated with McLaren," said the former F1 driver. "They asked 'what kind of driver is Hirakawa? That's how the story started.

"As Morizo (Toyota chairman Toyoda) mentioned, we were able to realise the idea of drivers first. And as Hirakawa said, there is no doubt that the issue of reserve driver was a sudden development.

"When he actually drove the simulator, he showed something even better than expected. Things clicked together and now it's coming to fruition," Nakajima added.

Toyota entered Formula 1 in 2002, pulling out as both a works team and engine supplier at the end of 2009 amid the global financial crisis.

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5 F1 Fan comments on “Toyota's Grand Return: Japanese Giant Set to Rejoin F1 in 2024

  1. smokey

    I heard an interview with Kazuki Nakajima via Sky Sports F1, and he did not indicate that Toyota were coming back to F1. In fact he seemed to deny the rumour, although not emphatically. The impression I received was that Toyota may be considering becoming involved in other forms of motor sport, however, there was no suggestion Toyota would return to F1. Maybe in Indycar?

  2. shroppyfly

    Newcomer in 26, Audi have cancelled all other works supported teams in other series to concentrate on F1, which seems extreme , but could also be seen as intent and how serious they are taking their f1 entry

    Second while id love to see Toyota back, id have thought? they'd have had to register with the Fia by now as an engine supplier, but maybe not although the USA market for Toyota must be important to them as they have numerous factories there.

  3. CanadianEh

    Hell yeah - come-one, come-all!! Believing in the power of parody, I can foresee the F1 grid looking like a claimer-class grid at the Mother's Day Enduro - 40 cars revving the p_ss out of their engines, raring to go. LOL


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