Renault was last night considering joining Toyota and pulling out of Formula One. The French car company was discussing whether to stay in the sport with its own team, become an engine supplier or to walk away altogether at an emergency board meeting in Paris.
The deliberations came on the day the world's largest carmaker, Toyota announced that it needs to cut costs and focus on its core business. "Based on the current [recession], we have no choice but to withdraw from F1," Toyota's president, Akio Toyoda, said. "It has been a very painful decision for the company."
Toyota follow Honda as the second major Japanese carmaker to withdraw from the sport in last 11 months. Honda pulled out last December amid worsening economic conditions. Brawn GP, which took over from Honda, went on to win the 2009 drivers' and constructors' championship.
It is unlikely that Toyota will return to the sport when and if conditions improve.