Even before the May 8 Spanish Grand Prix there was an escalating financial crisis within Toyota’s Formula One race team. The team is known for having one of the most generous budgets this side of Ferrari, but it is way over budget on performance bonuses.
In short, the team has been too successful this year. After finishing third and fourth in Spain, Toyota is second in the construction’s standings with 40 points, ahead of perennial F1 powers McLaren Mercedes, BMW-Williams and Ferrari.
After Toyota finished No. 8 of 10 teams with nine points last year, it designed a bonus system that rewards each team member for every championship point earned. Apparently, the bonus system works. Even before Spain, Toyota owed each team member about E1,000. With 14 races left this season, the bonus budget could be really stretched. But somehow, it seems unlikely that Toyota would complain about bonuses if it retains second place in F1 this year.