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HRT ‘surprised’ as Toyota calls off F1 deal

Toyota has called off a technical collaboration with the struggling Spanish F1 team HRT.

We reported at the weekend that an announcement about HRT and Cologne based Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) would be made on Monday.

The news that was expected was a technical and support tie-up for the 2011 season, including use of the car that was designed and built by Toyota late in 2009 but never raced.

But in fact, Toyota confirmed that the collaboration “has been terminated and will not resume”.

“TMG regrets that HRT has not met its contractual payment obligations and will pursue all available options to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this matter,” read a statement.

HRT, having recently concluded a deal with Williams to use the British team’s gearbox next year, responded: “Hispania Racing is very surprised about Toyota’s press statement … and this matter will be a subject of further clarification.”

The team’s technical boss Geoff Willis told the BBC: “There will be no comment until (there are) explanations from (boss) Dr (Colin) Kolles and the (team owners) Carabantes.”
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