AUGUST 6, 2001
Toyota settles with Minardi
THE word on the street is that Toyota Motorsport has settled its legal problems with the European Minardi team with the help of a large check. The deal is believed to have been worth several million dollars to Minardi which was upset by the decision of its technical director Gustav Brunner to walk out of a contract in May to take a highly lucrative job at Toyota.
In an interview over the weekend Brunner suggested that the problems between he and Minardi were invented by the media. This was an easy explanation but, unfortunately, was not entirely true. While it is true that Brunner was not sued by the team he forget to mention the fact that he would have been if Toyota had not paid Minardi to shut up and go away.
The fact that Toyota felt the need to pay up would seem to suggest that there was a problem but that it has now been solved. Brunner now needs to prove that he is worth the investment (and the huge salary which Toyota offered him). Toyota seems to be confident in the choice, despite the fact that Brunner has not designed a winning F1 car in 15 years.
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