Toyota finally confirms 2002 entry

Toyota finally confirmed today what has been known in motorsport circles for some time - that it will enter the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship as a full manufacturer of car, engine and all related systems

Toyota finally confirms 2002 entry

"We are making an all-out effort in our development and we are very pleased with our initial progress," said Toyota's F1 boss Ove Andersson. The team has been testing a former Le Mans prototype with some systems intended for the F1 car before the F1 car itself is ready for testing.

"It was always clear that this was going to be a huge task but we are still totally focussed, and eagerly looking forward to actual competition," said Andersson.

The remainder of 2000 will be spent working on the hydraulic and electrical systems using the GTOne prototype, which is being driven by Allan McNish. Toyota are rumoured to be trying to tempt Sauber driver Mika Salo into a test role once the F1 car is running, scheduled for the Spring of 2001.

Toyota's senior managing director Akihiko Saito was delighted at the confirmation of Toyota's entry, saying "we plan to deliver to motorsport fans thrills galore right from the very start".

Toyota were allowed the chance to enter Formula 1 when Honda - which had had a place reserved as F1's 12th team - decided to supply engines only. Toyota subsequently canned sportscar and rally projects in order to focus entirely on Formula 1.

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