Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Toyota celebrate 50 years in motorsport 16 Sep 2007

(L to R): Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota with Tadashi Yamashina (JPN) Toyota F1 Chairman at the Toyota Motorsports 50th Anniversary Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 (L to R): Bob Constandorous (GBR) F1 Commentator with Bjorn Waldegaard (SWE) Rally Legend at the Toyota Motorsports 50th Anniversary Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 (L to R): Ove Andersson (SWE) Toyota F1 with Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault F1 Managing Director at the Toyota Motorsports 50th Anniversary Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 (L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Sporting Director with Karun Chandhok (IND) Durango at the Toyota Motorsports 50th Anniversary Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007

Half a century in motorsport is an impressive achievement. And on Saturday evening Toyota celebrated it in style, as Spa’s Paddock Club turned back time with a fantastic party, graced by Toyota heroes of the past and drivers of the present.

As the Japanese company’s historic racing machines glistened under spotlights outside, inside Toyota’s rallying history - with the likes of Ove Andersson and Bjorn Waldegaard - joined a ‘who’s who’ of Formula One, headed by Bernie Ecclestone, Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, Toyota’s own John Howett, Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Spyker’s Colin Kolles to share their views of Toyota’s epic anniversary.

Tadashi Arashima, President of Toyota Europe, who flew in for the evening from the Frankfurt motor show, commented: “Cars are objects of passion - and racing is the catalyst of that passion. That is why we’ve been committed for 50 years, and we are here to stay. Formula One is the pinnacle of that sport with its trendsetting technology and drive for precision. I will not promise another 50 years, but I can promise that we will stay until we have reached our goal.”

Bernie Ecclestone added: “I am delighted that Toyota is part of the Formula One family - and that they are committed to staying with us. And these 50 years that we celebrate tonight are significant proof of that commitment.”

With the speeches and congratulations complete, the music took over and the guests retreated to more informal chat. The team principals made for a quite corner of the venue - discussions on 2008 driver line-ups perhaps?