Panasonic Toyota Racing president John Howett has admitted that he expects to see Formula One in good health this season, despite attempts to cut the cost of competing in the wake of Honda's demise late last year.
The Cologne-based Toyota operation has repeatedly expressed its support for F1, denying rumours that it may be the next marque to decide that competing at the top level is not conducive to its long-term health, and Howett has previewed this week's unveiling of the 2009-spec TF109 by claiming that he expects to see the sport not only ride out the current financial storm, but potentially emerge stronger - and better for the fans - than before.
"This is a significant time for our sport and I firmly believe the fans will see a strong and vibrant Formula One emerge this season, starting with the premiere of the TF109," Howett said, with a nod to Thursday internet unveiling of the team's latest challenger.
The current 'cost conscious' environment has led to Toyota taking the decision to eschew the usual glitzy media launch but continue to provide access to the unveiling for the millions of fans expected to be looking for images and details of the TF109.
"The environment in F1 has changed and continues to change," Howett continued, "Panasonic Toyota Racing is committed to reducing the cost of F1 while retaining its essential DNA, but we are also constantly evolving in other ways, and one of our priorities is to share our passion for motorsport with the public.
"F1 enjoys the loyal and enthusiastic support of millions of people throughout the world and we cannot forget that these fans are the lifeblood of our sport. This year we feel it is important to allow fans to share the excitement of a new car premiere, especially when the new rules for 2009 have created such a sense of anticipation."
As well as an opportunity to see the TF109 for the first time, fans will also have the chance to hear directly from drivers Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi, as well as members of the team management.