We don’t know if it’s sour-graping (it sounds like it) on Toyota’s part or maybe they just didn’t fit in. Either way, Toyota took a potshot at Formula One during the lead-up to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring over the weekend, saying that the racing series is full of "elitists" and that the Japanese automaker would probably never return to the sport.
Well...duh. Formula One doesn’t call itself the ’pinnacle of motorsports’ for no reason.
According to Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota’s senior managing director for motorsports, Toyota became disenchanted with Formula One after being exposed to the series’ seeming disconnect from mainstream fans and their propensity to gravitate towards the high-class elite of today’s society. As a result, the Japanese automaker pulled out of the sport and is now looking at participating in racing series’ that cater to a more mainstream fanbase, including NASCAR and GT racing. Whatever racing series Toyota’s motorsports division joins in the future, we can automatically cross out Formula One off that list. Apparently, Toyota would much rather enjoy a nice round hotdog, pretzels, and beer in the company of NASCAR than sip Cristal champagne and eat foie gras with the Formula One ’elitists’. We would take either company, but we certainly wouldn’t blast the other. Nice manners, Toyota.