Toyota still undecided

Toyota has still to decide on its driver line-up for 2003 and beyond, team principal Ove Andersson said in Germany

Toyota still undecided

In response to questioning at Hockenheim, Andersson said: "Well, I can tell you the present situation. We have a contract with Allan until the end of the year and we have an option with Mika for next year. At the moment we are discussing what we are going to do. Obviously this is in consultation with our top management in Japan and for now we haven't really decided what we want to do. I think it will be the end of August when we know where we will be going."

McNish has done a strong job for the team in his first season of Formula 1, regularly qualifying within a few tenths of Salo, a man with 100 plus grands prix to his name, and matching his race pace. Whether or not he retains his seat, however, remains to be seen.

The Scot is aware of the need to impress in the next couple of grands prix and was ninth in the first session of free practice at Hockenheim. He denied that it was the result of a specifically low-fuel run and said: "I think we could have a good race car here and that today is an accurate reflection of what we might achieve."

Asked whether he thought he could repeat the performance in qualifying, he replied: "I have to!"

With Alexander Wurz now committed to McLaren (see separate story) and Peter Sauber indicating that he will take up his option on Nick Heidfeld, there are still a couple of experienced men looking for drives in the F1 paddock, including Olivier Panis and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Ove Andersson, meanwhile, explained that rare Toyota engine failures in Magny-Cours had been caused by broken connecting rods on both Salo's and McNish's car. "There was a material problem and we've stripped the engines, fitted new parts and made some modifications," he said.

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