We are not welcome, says Toyota boss

Ove Andersson, team boss of the newest kid on the Formula 1 block, says his Toyota outfit is being made to feel like an outcast by existing teams and Grand Prix regulars

We are not welcome, says Toyota boss

The Toyota team, which is due to join the F1 ranks next year after a year of testing in 2001, is being shunned and Andersson believes current teams feel threatened by the Japanese manufacturer's entry into the sport.

"We are not welcome in Formula 1 and none of the other teams will have us as a member of their little club," Andersson told Swiss magazine Motorsport Aktuell. "The only ones who were positive about it were FIA president Max Mosley and [F1 ringmaster] Bernie Ecclestone."

Toyota was due to enter Formula 1 this year, but postponed its entry until 2002 and the Cologne-based team is halfway through a rigorous year of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

The team was at the centre of controversy earlier this year when it poached Minardi's technical director Gustav Brunner and BAR boss Craig Pollock is believed to have been annoyed by hikes in staff wages caused by Toyota recruiting one of his key staff members.

Andersson attended the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this year and was given a frosty reception and accused of using the trip as a recruitment exercise.

"Why should I do that in front of everyone?" said Andersson. "It would have been much cheaper to call those people than to fly to Australia. There is no reason to be angry with us. Other teams do exactly the same."

Andersson also claims to have been ignored by fellow team bosses and that his counterparts have failed to return his calls and are often unavailable when he tries to contact them.

"They are not 'available' as they call it, when I phone them," said the Swede. "The only ones I had contact with were Eddie Jordan and Jean Todt, who are old friends."

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