Technical director Mike Gascoyne, who oversees the chassis department, has been suspended from Toyota, apparently due to a difference of opinion over technical issues. Previously technical director at Renault, Gascoyne joined Toyota in December...
Technical director Mike Gascoyne, who oversees the chassis department, has been suspended from Toyota, apparently due to a difference of opinion over technical issues. Previously technical director at Renault, Gascoyne joined Toyota in December 2003 and his contract with the team was due to end this year.
"Due to a fundamental difference of opinion with regard to the technical operations of its Formula One team, Toyota Motorsport has suspended its Technical Director Chassis, Mike Gascoyne, until further notice," said a statement from the team. "Toyota Motorsport will not make any additional comments on this matter at this time."
Toyota made a big step forward in 2005 when it finished fourth overall in the constructors' standings but was not as competitive as hoped for in the opening races of this season. Ralf Schumacher improved things with a podium finish in third at the Australian Grand Prix but overall the team has been disappointing.
Gascoyne has declined to comment on the current situation and Toyota has not said who may replace him, but it's been suggested that design manager Pascal Vasselon may take over the chassis department. Vasselon previously worked with Renault and Michelin before joining Toyota in 2005 as head of chassis research and development.
Gascoyne is respected as a designer and is also known as a strong character; it's speculated that his approach did not meet with approval from Toyota senior management. It's believed that Toyota is undertaking a major reorganization of its technical and management staff but the team has not confirmed this.