Toyota needs top car to woo Alonso, says Haug

Wed, 3 October 2007, 12:43

Norbert Haug has questioned Toyota’s legitimacy to make a serious bid to accommodate Fernando Alonso in the near future.

The reigning world champion, unhappy at McLaren and possibly looking to switch teams for 2008, has been more strongly linked with moves to Renault or Ferrari.

But Japanese giant also has the spending power for Alonso, and a spare cockpit now that Ralf Schumacher has counted himself out of the running to stay next year.

Team principal Tadashi Yamashina said at Fuji Speedway last week: “I don’t know if Fernando Alonso will come to Toyota or not. If he wants, I must think about that.”

Schumacher, however, said this week that he would “rather drive for McLaren” if he was a double world champion.

“Probably what Ralf meant is that if Toyota wants a world-leading driver such as Alonso, it in response should also provide a world-leading car, like we do,” Haug, McLaren engine partner Mercedes’ competition boss, is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

Haug ruled out employing Schumacher for next year, insisting that the McLaren lineup for 2008 is already “contractually fixed”.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, however, seems open to the possibility of getting a new teammate in the near future.

He told The Sun: “I don’t mind who it is. I have beaten every one of my teammates in the past.”

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