Toyota not planning to sell F1 entry
|By Jonathan Noble and Dieter Rencken||Thursday, December 3rd 2009, 12:11 GMT|
Toyota has relinquished its F1 entry and has no intention of trying to sell it, AUTOSPORT has learned, even though there are discussions with new teams about taking over the design of its 2010 challenger.
The Japanese manufacturer announced last month that it was quitting F1 at the end of the season, and in recent days there have been rumours that it was looking to sell on its entry in a bid to avoid any punishment it may face for not competing.
However, high level sources at Toyota have dismissed any talk that Toyota is trying to get itself involved in the entry selection process - as discussions continue with the FIA and Formula One Management about drawing a line under its F1 involvement.
AUTOSPORT understands Sauber has been assured it will get the final slot on the grid instead.
The Toyota source said: "We have returned our entry to the FIA and have no intention or wish to influence or interfere in the allocation process. That is a matter for the Federation.
"We are discussing a settlement with Bernie on the basis of goodwill and what is acceptable to all parties."
Although there has been talk that Toyota could face a major fine for pulling out of F1, having signed the Concorde Agreement that in theory committed it until 2012, it is not clear how such a penalty could be enforced since the team would no longer be a competitor.
The source has also confirmed that discussions are ongoing with new teams about selling on the team's design - and perhaps leasing elements of the former Toyota team including pit equipment, engines and flight freight containers.
"We have offered the IP of our 2010 car for a nominal fee to some of the new entrants but none have accepted," said the source. "We have interest from Stefan GP but it is not clear if they will receive an entry or not."
Interestingly, the team is also offering Kamui Kobayashi as part of the package – with the Japanese driver having impressed in his two races for the team at the end of last year.
"We have asked if Kobayashi could be part of the package," said the source.