Toyota reported to be in talks with Haas over a possible F1 return

Toyota reported to be in talks with Haas over a possible F1 return

According to reports from reliable sources, Toyota may be considering a return to the sport through a partnership with the Haas F1 team.

Toyota walked away from Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season, but rumours have been circulating over the past few days that the Japanese automaker is seeking a return and is currently engaged in talks with the Haas F1 team on a possible partnership.

At the outset, this would be a sponsorship agreement, much like Alfa Romeo’s with Sauber, which came to an end last season. According to Formula.hu and RacingNews365.com, it is possible that both sides will start closely working together ahead of the 2026 regulations considering Toyota’s determination and the productive talks with Haas.

However, the Japanese manufacturer has no immediate plans to supply engines in the near future, but intends to work together with the American outfit in the production of the chassis for 2026 along with Dallara and may also use the automaker’s wind tunnel in Cologne as part of a possible partnership.

Formula.hu further reports that Toyota plans to sponsor other F1 teams and could perhaps pursue engine production in the future.

Should Toyota make a return, it would have to face off against market rival Honda,  which has been at the forefront in the sport’s power unit battle ever since it claimed its first championship with Red Bull in 2021.

The 2026 regulation change accommodates a new engine formula, and Honda officially reenters the sport as a supplier to the Aston Martin outfit.

As Haas’s potential appears to be up given the American team is currently enjoying its most competitive season in years, rumours about Toyota’s return have been circulating ever since McLaren stopped using the manufacturer’s wind tunnel in Cologne.

McLaren severed its long-standing partnership with Toyota last season after switching to its own new facilities in Woking. As part of a deliberate attempt to strengthen its presence in F1, the team signed Toyota factory driver Ryo Hirakawa to its list of reserve drivers for 2024 which coincided with some testing of a previous car.

Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda attended the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix as part of a Toyota delegation. However, vice chairman of Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe Kazuki Nakajima downplayed the significance of Toyota’s appearance at the race, claiming it was only to show support for Hirakawa’s contract with McLaren.

“At the moment, it’s a clear no,” he said at the time. “This is just about giving a driver the opportunity to get his foot in the F1 door.

“But of course, you can think about anything, and there are plenty of rumours. Who knows what the future holds?”

The brand exited Formula 1 after 139 starts and 13 podiums. However, their presence in motorsport has continued, having a hugely successful time in the World Endurance Championship by taking six WEC drivers and team championships, along with five straight 24 Hours of Le Mans victories from 2018 to 2022.

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