Minardi set to block Brunner move to Toyota

EUROPEAN MINARDI team chief Paul Stoddart is set to block his technical director Gustav Brunner's announced move to Toyota.

Stoddart learned on Monday that Brunner was leaving, after an announcement from the Toyota team stating that Brunner would be their new chief designer.

The European Minardi boss, however, said Brunner is under contract until 2003 and he is prepared to take legal action to keep his man.

"We are disappointed by the news," said Stoddart. "Gustav has been a trusted and highly regarded member of staff and for him to act in this way is totally incomprehensible to us.

"We are surprised and saddened that a company of Toyota's standing would seek to employ Mr. Brunner, who has an irrevocable contract with Minardi until January 1, 2003.

"As such, European Minardi will be pursuing all of its options in law against Mr. Brunner and Toyota.

Stoddart confirmed that Gabriele Tredozi, Minardi's deputy technical director, will take up Brunner's duties until the situation is resolved.

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