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Thread: Toyota signs three-year deal with Ralf Schumacher

  1. #1
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    Toyota signs three-year deal with Ralf Schumacher

    Panasonic Toyota Racing has today confirmed that it has signed a three-year contract with Ralf Schumacher to be a race driver for the team from the 2005 season.

    Panasonic Toyota Racing Team Principal Tsutomu Tomita said of the announcement: "It is with pleasure that we can announce Ralf as one of Toyota's race drivers for the 2005 season. He has proven himself to be an extremely quick racing driver in his career, and I am sure that his vast experience will be extremely beneficial to our team. We have not finalised who will partner Ralf in 2005, and this is something we are in no rush to decide on. We are happy with the job that Cristiano and Olivier are doing for us and both of them are under consideration for the remaining race seat next season. There are still 8 races of the season to go and everyone at Toyota is fully focussed on improving our level of performance to gain as many championship points as we can."

    Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis will continue to race for Toyota in the remaining events of the 2004 season with Ricardo Zonta as third driver and Ryan Briscoe as test driver.

    The team will make a decision on the remaining race seat towards the end of the season. In the meantime, Toyota will not comment on any speculation or rumours surrounding the remaining race seat until all contractual issues have been finalised.

    Further to media enquiries on today's announcement that Toyota has signed a three-year contract with Ralf Schumacher from the 2005 season, please find below three short Q+A with Team Principal of Panasonic Toyota Racing, Tsutomu Tomita.

    What will happen to Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta?
    Tsutomu Tomita: "Toyota is pleased with the efforts of Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta since they joined the team in 2003 and both are under consideration for the remaining race seat in 2005."

    When will Ralf Schumacher join the team?
    Tomita: "Toyota has signed Ralf on a three-year deal fully effective from 1 January 2005. We do not know yet when his first run in a Toyota will be, but we hope to get him testing as soon as possible after the GP of Brazil. We will be able to use him for PR and promotional activities from 1 January 2005."

    How much is Toyota paying Ralf Schumacher?
    Tomita: "Whilst we cannot divulge any specific contract details, we have negotiated a reasonable deal. As usually happens regarding Formula 1 budget figures, the amount of money reported by the media is largely overestimated. The rumours about the contract between Toyota and Ralf Schumacher are not an exception."
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    WOW, . So its definite now, there will be two new drivers at Williams next year. Good for him though, maybe he could do some good things at Toyota, and help develop the team into a contender.
    VIVA FERRARI!!!!!!

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