Thursday May 3rd, 2001
Andre de Cortanze, technical director for the new Toyota Formula One team, has left the Japanese outfit, it was announced on Thursday.
Toyota, who unveiled their first Formula One car in March, will make their Grand Prix debut in 2002, while they spend this year carrying out an extensive testing programme.
The team did not explain what was the reason for de Cortanze's departure, and admitted they had no plans to hire a new technical director soon.
"These latest changes to our management give us a more solid foundation on which we can carry on building a successful new F1 race team" said team boss Ove Andersson. "We continue to develop our organisation, which has a strong technical structure and have no plans to announce a new technical director in the short term.
"Our F1 project is on schedule and we are pleased with our progress so far. We thank André for his contribution over his 4 years with TMG and wish him well for the future."
De Cortanze had worked for the Sauber and Prost teams before joining Toyota in 1997 to lead the Japanese manufacturer's Le Mans 24 Hours project. The Frenchman was named Toyota's Formula One technical director at the start of 2000.
Briton Alan Jenkins, former technical director for Prost and Stewart, is now one of the favourites to replace de Cortanze.