The chances of Toyota making a return to the sport have decreased still further after Tadashi Yamashina - the Japanese marque's head of motorsport - said the sport was out of touch with its consumers.

Having spent huge sums on its F1 programme, Toyota elected to leave the sport at the end of the 2009 season as the global economic downturn took hold of the automotive industry.

Speaking to Automotive News, Yamashima admitted that walking away from F1 was already on the cards before the ongoing financial crisis brought the decision forwards and said that Toyota president Akio Toyoda was more focused on activities with a closer link customers - rather than the 'elitist' world of F1.

"It might not have been so abrupt, but it would have happened," Yamashima said of the decision to leave F1. "President Toyoda's stance on motorsports is geared more towards the customer. There is a big gap between Formula One and Toyota's actual car users.

"For the fortunate few who can afford to [wander round the F1 paddock] it's fine, but the average fan has no hope. I think the best kind of races are those in which people can get close to the race."