Dovetailing with the FIA announcement today that Peter Sauber’s team will inherit Toyota’s grid slot for the 2010 season, there is a story at Autosport regarding Toyota’s position in all of this.
From what I can glean, Toyota has agreed not to sell its team to another investor and relinquished their contractually guaranteed grid slot back to the FIA (who promptly gave it to Sauber).
It is also mentioned in the article that Toyota are indeed offering a going-out-of-business sale for some inventory and gray matter design elements to any of the new teams including Stefan GP (who have not secured a grid position for the 2010 season).
It also said that they are offering driver Kamui Kobayashi as part of the sale. I guess freight containers, preliminary 2010 car design and a Kamui Kobayashi are something you can buy. Perhaps F1B should save some cash and buy us a Kamui Kobayashi. Grace could re-sell the freight containers and keep Kobayashi as a pool boy or personal servant?
This is disconcerting as it suggests that Toyota owns Kobayashi and this will put a damper on his ability to find the best deal at another team. After impressing the world with his debut in F1 in 2009, it would be sad to see Toyota attach some nonsensical inventory purchase with Kobayashi in order to move some bulk inventory to a team who only need a driver. Let us hope that isn’t what they are doing or implying per the Autosport article.