Hispania eyeing deal with Toyota

The Japanese newcomers in Formula One are talking to Toyota about a technical partnership for next season.

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HOCKENHEIM, Germany // Formula One newcomers Hispania are talking to Toyota about a technical partnership for next season. Toyota, the Japanese manufacturer, quit the sport at the end of last season after designing a 2010 car that has never raced but remains available with spares. Hispania are currently using a car designed and built by the Italian company Dallara, but that relationship was terminated in May and the Spain-based team now need to come up with a car of their own for 2011.

Still a long way from scoring so much as a point, Cosworth-powered Hispania are short of resources and also lack manufacturing capability. Colin Kolles, the team boss, told Reuters at the German Grand Prix he was exploring the possibilities of a link with Cologne-based Toyota. "Yes, it is an option," he said. "I think it could be a good option for us." Toyota dismantled their team earlier this year but have maintained a skeleton staff while offering their cars and factory space to interested parties.

They arranged a technical assistance deal with Serbian-based Stefan GP earlier in the year but that came to nothing when the would-be team failed to secure an entry. Bruno Senna, Hispania's Brazilian driver, returning at Hockenheim after being dropped for the previous British Grand Prix, said he was aware the team were talking with Toyota. "It's an ongoing thing but I don't think they have any contracts signed and everything done," he said. "It's a lot of planning to do, considering the team is still trying to get on its feet.

"So everybody is working hard to find backing and the right people to work. I think [the team] have some good plans." * Reuters