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Toyota to quit F1

TOKYO, Nov 4 – Japan's Toyota Motor is to quit Formula One (F1) in a bid to slash costs as the company battles to cope with the fallout from the global recession, a newspaper said Wednesday.TOYOTA_F1 CARToyota will hold an extraordinary board meeting Wednesday to make a formal decision on the pullout, with president Akio Toyoda making the announcement at a news conference in Tokyo, the Mainichi Shimbun said, without citing its sources.

The world’s biggest carmaker declined to comment on the report.

The Mainichi said the auto giant had earlier planned to continue its F1 participation until 2012 but decided to cut costs by making this year’s season — which ended Sunday in Abu Dhabi — its last, the paper said.

Toyota would consider selling the team, it said.

Toyota entered F1 in 2002. It ended this season ranked fifth in the constructors’ championship.

If the company’s withdrawal is confirmed it would mean there would be no Japanese automakers in the world’s premier autosport.

Toyota in July pulled out of hosting the Japanese Grand Prix at its Fuji Speedway circuit.

The report came just two days after Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone Corp. said it would end supplying tyres to the race next year.

Bridgestone’s exit from Formula One is part of an exodus by Japanese automotive industry giants from the multi-million-dollar sport amid the worst industry slump in decades.

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Honda earlier sold its F1 team as the carmaker battled with the effects of a slowing world economy.

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