AUGUST 28, 2002
A surprise from Toyota
What is surprising is that Toyota has terminated Mika Salo's contract, in addition to announcing that Allan McNish will not stay. It was expected that one would be retained - if only for the sake of stability.
Panis has agreed a two year deal with Toyota and all the signs now are that the other driver will be Cristiano da Matta, the soon-to-be CART champion. This will give Toyota a nice mix of experience and raw speed.
The important thing now will be for the team to build a better chassis than was the case this year. The engine is already one of the most powerful in F1 and with a good chassis the team will be in a position to make more of an impact. The team will need to be tweaked some more with new people coming in to certain positions but overall things are looking good.
It is expected that Toyota will soon name Cristiano da Matta as the other driver.