APRIL 1, 2004
Toyota and the $110m
Toyota is not making any official comment about the rumours relating to the negotiations with Ralf Schumacher but our sources suggest that the numbers involved are way out of line with reality and that the numbers are being put about in an attempt to get Williams to increase its offer for the German. All the stories suggesting deals of $110m come from German sources, rather than from Toyota itself and although the Japanese are always very cautious about making any statements, we understand that the numbers of way above the real figures being discussed.
Ralf does not seem to have any alternative offers at the moment and Williams is showing no sign of wanting to increase its offer to the German, although BMW does appear to want to keep him.
There are also questions about the supposed length of the deal as five year contracts are rare indeed in F1 these days and do not make a great deal of sense given the constantly-shifting F1 scene.
We do expect Ralf to sign with Toyota but we would be amazed if the deal is worth more than $10-15m a year.
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