Toyota Engine Boss Quits Due to Poor KERS Development
According to the Toyota team president John Howett, there was a gap between the team and Marmorini following the company's decision to take on a more conservative approach of KERS development. Also, FIA's restrictions in terms of engine development has made the Italian technical head feel like there were no more challenges left for him in Formula 1.
“Personally, I am very sad that he left. I think that he was frustrated on the one hand that there was really no opportunity for engine development, and also probably didn't agree with some of the strategic decisions - probably our more conservative approach to KERS. In the end, I think he didn't really want to leave and we didn't want to lose him, but there was still a gap that led to that,” said Howett in an interview for Formula 1 web site.
If the engine freeze is old news within the F1 paddock, the fact that Toyota don't want to invest too much in developing their KERS unit in 2009 was publicly announced last week by the team's principal Tadashi Yamashina. According to the Japanese official, KERS has nothing to do with the hybrid systems used by Toyota in their road cars and therefore the Japanese manufacturer doesn't want to spend money on something they're not going to use elsewhere.
“From the beginning, I was against this idea for KERS, just on cost grounds. There are development costs, and learning costs, so even if Toyota are not the first team to utilize KERS in F1, I am sure we will not be blamed,” said Yamashina, shortly after unveiling their 2009 challenger, the TF109.
Marmorini was head of engine development for Toyota since 1999. He will now be replaced by former IRL and NASCAR technical boss Kazuo Takeuchi.