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The Lesser Known…Tadashi Yamashina 25 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 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 14 September 2007 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 14 September 2007 Tadashi Yamashina (JPN) Toyota F1 Chairman.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 16 September 2007

Toyota’s Tadashi Yamashina was only posted to the company’s Formula One base in Germany last December, but a little over six months later and he had already become team principal.

Bringing sporting success to one of the world’s most powerful automakers is a pretty heavy responsibility. But as we discovered, there is also a lighter side to Yamashina San, or George, as he’s sometimes known…

Q: Best part of being a team principal?
Tadashi Yamashina:
Being involved in F1 at the highest level.

Q: The most annoying?
TY:
The exposure.

Q: Running a Formula One team is like…
TY:
…a non-stop adrenalin rush.

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a team principal?
TY:
I would not like to change company as it is very successful. I would probably be controlling one of the Toyota group’s companies. But I would always prefer to be involved in motor sports as it is my passion.

Q: The first thing I do after a race is…
TY:
…think about how to improve.

Q: Winning a race would mean…
TY:
…a reward for the team that works so hard and our first major step to becoming world champions.

Q: What is your favourite place to relax?
TY:
At home.

Q: Funniest thing you've read about yourself in the press?
TY:
So far, there has been no one ‘funniest’ thing. If I must say something, the press is interested in the root of my nickname, George.

Q: The most difficult decision you have had to make as a team principal?
TY:
In the short time I have been team principal, there have been no difficult decisions yet. Everything is a challenge as we need to improve our results, but as a good team we have professionals who make my decision taking very easy.

Q: Best time during a race weekend?
TY:
Q2 - because you see the real relative pace of the cars and drivers.

Q: Formula One racing and politics is like…
TY:
It’s difficult to understand…

Q: Your best moment as a team principal?
TY:
Any podium position.

Q: Something you always wanted to do but never had the time?
TY:
Take my wife, daughters and dogs on a holiday to visit Phoenix in Arizona where our two daughters grew up.

Q: How was your first race as a team principal?
TY:
It was this year at the French Grand Prix - so it’s quite fresh in the memory. Before that I was vice chairman of TMG (Toyota Motorsport Group).

Q: Who would you like to be for one day? And why?
TY:
An F1 driver to have fun driving an F1 car.

Q: Money changes everything…
TY:
…for the worse.