Toyota signs Panis for 2003

Toyota has announced that Olivier Panis has signed a two-year contract to join its Formula 1 race team from 2003

Toyota signs Panis for 2003

As revealed by autosport.com this morning (Wednesday) Panasonic Toyota Racing and Mika Salo have come to a mutual agreement to cease their collaboration from the end of the 2002 season. Allan McNish's contract will also expire at the end of this season.

"We would like to thank Mika and Allan for their hard work during the last two years, which has been integral in building the team up to its current level," commented team principal Ove Andersson. "This decision was not an easy one for the team and for Toyota Motor Corporation and in no way reflects on their clear racing ability. Both Mika and Allan will complete the remaining four Grands Prix of this season with Panasonic Toyota Racing with the same professionalism and dedication they have demonstrated so far."

The team will announce who is to partner Panis in 2003 at a later date.

Panis's switch from BAR comes after the deal to lure Jacques Villeneuve back to the American-based CART series is said to have hit the rocks over his salary demands. Villeneuve is now expected to partner Jenson Button at BAR next year.

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Panis Joins Toyota, Salo and McNish Out in 2003

Panis Joins Toyota, Salo and McNish Out in 2003
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