Toyota Racing F1 Logo


Toyota Racing


  • Panasonic Toyota Racing Official Name
  • Cologne, Germany Base
  • 2002 F1 Debut
  • Tsutomu Tomita/Tadashi Yamashina Team Boss
  • Technical Chief
  • 0 World Championships

Panasonic Toyota Racing was a Formula One team established by the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, with its base located in Cologne, Germany. Toyota declared its intention to enter Formula 1 in 1999, and following comprehensive testing with its first car, the TF101, the team officially entered the competition in 2002.

Notable Team Members and Drivers

Jarno Trulli: Trulli was one of the team’s most notable drivers, and he was known for his exceptional qualifying speed. He drove for Toyota from 2004 to 2009, achieving several podium finishes and securing Toyota’s first pole position in Formula One at the 2005 United States Grand Prix.

Timo Glock: Glock drove for Toyota from 2008 to 2009 and was known for his consistent performances. One of his most memorable moments was finishing second at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix, which was one of the team’s best results in Formula One.

Tadashi Yamashina: Yamashina served as the team principal for Toyota’s Formula One operations from 2007 until its withdrawal in 2009.

Toyota’s entrance into F1 was seen as an expansion of Toyota’s longstanding motorsport division, Toyota Motorsport GmbH, which had experience competing in both the World Rally Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although the team scored points in their first race, they never clinched a Grand Prix victory. Their highest achievement was securing second place, which they accomplished five times throughout their time on the grid.

In 1997, Toyota expanded its motorsport division into track racing with a sports car project at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but unfortunately, with little success. On January 21, 1999, Toyota announced a significant shift in focus towards Formula 1, discontinuing its involvement in rallying and Le Mans to dedicate its focus and resources to F1. By June 30, 2000, Toyota had confirmed its entry as the 12th team for the 2002 Formula 1 season. Initially planning to join in 2001, Toyota delayed its debut until 2002, forfeiting an $11 million deposit in the process.

Taking an unconventional route, Toyota established its own factory team instead of partnering with an existing race team and chassis manufacturer. The team set up its operations outside the UK, the traditional hub for F1 teams. In preparation for their debut, Toyota conducted extensive testing in 2001 with their prototype TF101 car and its drivers at 11 F1 circuits. This was done to collect telemetry data for upcoming races, enabling aerodynamic adjustments to the TF102 and to familiarise the drivers with the tracks in their new cars. Finnish driver Mika Salo and Scotsman Allan McNish, who had driven the Toyota GT-One at the 1999 Le Mans, were chosen as test drivers for the project.

2002 season

In their debut season, Toyota entered Formula 1 with high expectations but faced a steep learning curve that teams typically suffer in their first season. The team managed to score points in their very first race, and throughout the season, drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish showed moments of competitiveness, but reliability issues limited their overall success. Toyota finished their maiden season 10th in the Constructors’ Championship.

2003 season

Toyota’s second season saw Cristiano da Matta join the team alongside veteran Olivier Panis. The team made progress in terms of performance, with da Matta scoring a 4th-place finish at the British Grand Prix, the team’s best result that year. Despite flashes of potential, the team continued to struggle and compete regularly with the midfield teams. Toyota ended the season 8th in the Constructors’ Championship, an improvement from their debut year but still far from their aspirations.

2004 season

The 2004 season marked a significant step forward for Toyota. Jarno Trulli joined the team late in the season, bringing experience that would become invaluable. The team’s performance improved steadily, and they regularly contended for points finishes. However, an illusive win remained out of reach, and Toyota finished 8th in the Constructors’ Championship once again.

2005 season

With Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher in their driver lineup, Toyota demonstrated a remarkable performance improvement from previous seasons. The team consistently competed at the front of the pack, with Trulli securing the team’s first-ever pole position at the United States Grand Prix, a race that became infamous due to tyre safety issues leading to most teams withdrawing from the race. Toyota’s achievements throughout the season included several podium finishes, and by the end of the season, Toyota had secured 4th place in the Constructors’ Championship, their highest finish to date.

2006 season

Building on their momentum, Toyota entered the 2006 season with high expectations. However, the team faced a more challenging year despite retaining the same driver lineup of Trulli and Schumacher. The TF106 car showed potential but struggled with reliability, making it difficult for the team to replicate the previous year’s success on a regular basis. While Toyota managed to achieve a few podium finishes, they were unable to challenge the top teams for victories consistently. Toyota finished 6th in the Constructors’ Championship, which was seen as a step back compared to the progress made in 2005.

2007 season

Despite the consistent driver lineup of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli, the TF107 car did not perform at a level the team and drivers needed to compete at the front of the grid. The team’s best finish was 6th place, achieved on a few occasions, which led to Toyota finishing 6th in the Constructors’ Championship yet again.

2008 season

In 2008, Toyota showed signs of improvement with the TF108 car. Timo Glock replaced Ralf Schumacher, joining Jarno Trulli to achieve several top-six finishes and a notable 2nd-place finish for Glock at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The team’s efforts saw them finish in 5th place in the Constructors’ Championship, an improvement from the previous year.

2009 season

The 2009 season was arguably Toyota’s most competitive in Formula 1. Benefitting from the major rule changes that shook up the grid, Toyota’s TF109 proved to be a strong car. Both Glock and Trulli secured podium finishes, including a 2nd place for Trulli at the Japanese Grand Prix and several front-row starts throughout the season. The team finished 5th in the Constructors’ Championship once again, but this time significantly closer to the teams above them. Despite a more competitive season, Toyota withdrew from Formula One at the end of the season.

Toyota Racing Team Legacy

After the 2009 season, Toyota Racing withdrew from the sport. The decision, announced in November 2009, was primarily due to the global financial crisis, which led Toyota to re-evaluate its investment in Formula 1 amidst declining car sales and a need to focus on core business activities. This move reflected a broader trend of automakers rethinking their involvement in motorsports due to the economic challenges.

Following its exit from Formula One, Toyota shifted its focus to other forms of motorsport. The company continued its involvement in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), particularly in the LMP1 category, where it has achieved significant success, including multiple victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Toyota also maintained a strong presence in rallying, returning to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2017 with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, and has been competitive in various other racing series and events worldwide.

Toyota Racing Formula One World Championship Records

First entry2002 Australian Grand Prix
Races entered140 (139 starts)
Constructors’ Championships0 (best finish: 4th, 2005)
Drivers’ Championships0 (best finish: 6th, 2005)
Race victories0
Pole positions3
Fastest laps3
Final entry2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Toyota Racing Constructors’ Championship Results

2002Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF102Mika Salo
Allan McNish
2003Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF103Olivier Panis
Cristiano da Matta
2004Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF104
Toyota TF104B
Cristiano da Matta
Olivier Panis
Ricardo Zonta
Jarno Trulli
2005Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF105
Toyota TF105B
Jarno Trulli
Ralf Schumacher
Ricardo Zonta
2006Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF106
Toyota TF106B
Ralf Schumacher
Jarno Trulli
2007Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF107Ralf Schumacher
Jarno Trulli
2008Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF108Jarno Trulli
Timo Glock
2009Panasonic Toyota RacingToyota TF109Jarno Trulli
Timo Glock
Kamui Kobayashi