This sparked rumours that the Italian tyre manufacturer would be using an old Toyota F1 chassis to grow up their compounds; but, the company’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has ruled this out.
“There has been a bit of press about (us using the Toyota chassis) but it has probably come from them because they are trying to get someone to use the car maybe…” Hembery told Autosport.
“No we are going to start with a GP2 car, the new GP2 car.
“Having discussed with the F1 teams the level of performance of the new GP2 car, it’s not so far off as you’ve probably seen. As a test-bed, particularly for integrity reasons, reliability and stability, it’s probably a good starting point.”
“We are talking with the teams, because we want to understand when we do need an F1 car, what we could use that won’t give one team an advantage over another, and will also give us suitable feedback for the work we need to do,” he said.
“The Toyota car often gets mentioned because it is a bespoke car that would have got run this season.
“The negative is that it hasn’t done a full shakedown pre-season in the sense of the other teams, and for us at the moment we have never seen any data as to how reliable it is, costs or anything.
“One extreme comment was that we were going to buy the Toyota F1 team but the reality is we’ve just had a couple of emails saying they are available if we want to discuss it.
“We need a baseline that we can trust so that we can start building information. Maybe we can convince the teams that a three-year-old car, or something like that might be more suitable alternative if they can all agree on which brand it is.
“BMW, for example, might be another excellent choice.”