R. Schumacher slams Toyota’s approach to F1

Mon, 19 November 2007, 08:47

Ralf Schumacher has questioned Toyota’s approach to formula one.

The veteran German, who is struggling to find a seat for 2008 after a disappointing three year tenure at the Japanese team, said Toyota’s unique philosophy makes it an unattractive destination for renowned figures like Ross Brawn.

Following a highly successful decade at Ferrari and a sabbatical in 2007, Brawn will return to the sport next year as Honda’s team principal.

Schumacher, 32, told the Cologne newspaper Express: “I know that Toyota is the only team that didn’t even want to talk with Brawn.

“A contact was offered but there was no reaction to it — not a single meeting took place,” he marvelled.

The team’s relationship with former technical director Mike Gascoyne famously ended early last year over what Toyota described as a “fundamental difference of opinion”.

Gascoyne, now at Force India, said in 2007: “If they continue to follow their corporate philosophy I don’t think they’ve got a hope in hell (of succeeding in formula one).”

Schumacher explains: “The structure of the team is clearly the result of what they call the Toyota Way. That is why someone like Ross Brawn cannot go there.

“Brawn should have been a candidate for Toyota, given what he could do to strengthen the team. But Toyota will never allow a one man show,” he added.

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