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A senior Toyota executive has said that quitting Formula One racing was an option, partly in view of the costs involved, Japanese media have reported.

“We need to turn it into an F1 where you don’t need so much money,” Toyota team head Tadashi Yamashina said in Tokyo, according to Reutersm citing the Yomiuri newspaper.

“We’ll have to consider various issues while bearing in mind our ties with [Toyota Motor],” he added.

The Cologne-based Toyota team, which has yet to win a race since debut in 2002 despite having an annual budget estimated at around US$300m last year, has signed up with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to drive in the 2010 championship.

If Toyota leaves Formula One, it would follow the lead of rival Honda Motor which exited the sport by selling its racing team to management.

The renamed Brawn team has dramatically improved its form with its two drivers leading the 2009 Formula One standings, although a German auto magazine has reported it might end up three-quarters owned by Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz.