A statement from Toyota reads, “Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces it plans to withdraw from the FIA Formula 1 world championship at the end of the 2009 season,” said a Toyota statement.”

“TMC, which had viewed its participation in F1 as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture, remained dedicated to competing at the pinnacle of motor sports even in the face of the abrupt economic changes that started last year.”

“However, when considering TMC’s motorsports actitives next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1″

Toyota’s sudden departure announcement could be good news for BMW Sauber however. The Hinwil squad had been hoping another team would drop out of the championship so that they could reclaim a spot on the 2010 grid.