Toyota quiet on 2010 F1 car sale reports

Toyota on Friday declined to comment on reports that the design of its completed F1 car for 2010 is for sale. A report in the French newspaper Le Parisien this week said the TF110 could be bought by one of the sport's remaining teams, following...

Toyota on Friday declined to comment on reports that the design of its completed F1 car for 2010 is for sale.

A report in the French newspaper Le Parisien this week said the TF110 could be bought by one of the sport's remaining teams, following the Toyota Motor Corporation's decision to quit Formula One immediately.

But when asked by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport to comment, a Toyota official in Japan declined.

The spokesman was more forthcoming about the future of Kamui Kobayashi, the Toyota backed rookie who looked likely to step up to a full race seat until the team's withdrawal was announced.

Toyota said the Japanese will remain under contract in its young driver programme, but will be released if he finds an alternative F1 race seat.

"We will do what we can to give him the opportunity to drive in Formula One, even if it means that he signs with another employer," the spokesman said.

He also seemed to confirm reports that Toyota's F1 factory in Cologne will not be sold or closed down but rather restructured to continue to serve as the marque's ongoing European motor racing headquarters.

"We plan to convert TMG (Toyota Motorsport GmbH) into a company that is the basis for Toyota motor sport in Europe," said the spokesman.

"The exact details are not decided yet," but he indicated that the size of the workforce will be reduced.

"For any employees who are no longer needed, we will prepare what we believe is a good package of retirement benefits and job placement assistance," said the Toyota official.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi