Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 16, 2005

Cost-cutting, Toyota-style

Cost-cutting in Formula 1 is a subject much-discussed at the moment and it is often said that Toyota is keen on the idea. Be that as it may, the company is obviously not skimping at the moment as it has just announced plans to build a second half-scale windtunnel in Cologne. This sort of facility now costs around $80m.

"The decision to build a second windtunnel stems from our desire to become a World Championship-winning F1 team," says Yoshiaki Kinoshita, the general manager of the Motor Sport Division of the Toyota Motor Corporation, "but we will not be the only beneficiaries of this new facility. Toyota has three motorsport poles around the world with Higashifuji in Japan, Toyota Racing Development in the US and Toyota Motorsport in Germany. These three poles actively co-operate and share know-how, technology and expertise. Accordingly, the new windtunnel in Cologne will also double-up as an aerodynamic research centre for other Toyota motorsport activities around the world."

Work on the new windtunnel will start next month and it is expected that it will be completed and the windtunnel commissioned by the start of 2007.

Most top F1 teams already own two windtunnels or have access to a second wind tunnel but the FIA is trying to get support for a new Formula 1 with budgets of $130m and more technological restrictions.

It is worth noting also that BMW has announced plans to increase the staff at Hinwil from 300 to 400, so one can surmise that the Munich company is also not too impressed with the FIA's proposals.