Earlier last weekend, it was the same Howett who announced that Raikkonen's manager told the Toyota representatives that his client is seeking for a more fruitful deal for next season. In response, the Japanese manufacturer said their offer will remain the same, while promising the Finnish driver that they'll give him a title winning car in 2010.
“We put on the table what we can afford and what we think is a serious offer in the current market. I think genuinely we could work well with him, give him a car that's quick,” said the Toyota president.
However, Howett made it clear that both of Toyota's current drivers have been given an opportunity to remain at Cologne for 2010. Although revealing last week that Jarno Trulli will most likely be left out the 2010 lineup, Howett now announced that the Italian driver – as well as his teammate Timo Glock – will be offered new deals for next year.
“With both drivers we are still maintaining a degree of discussion. We have put an offer on the table with Jarno, I think that he himself is not dissatisfied with the financial offer, the bottom line to some extent is certain issues on the contract and I don't think they are negotiable from our side. e may well be in the car next year but it's not at all clear,” added Howett.
In addition to those options, Howett did not rule out giving young Kamui Kobayashi a chance to wear a red & white racing driver's suit next year, as he proved himself that he may be F1 material during the Brazilian GP. Although criticized by many drivers – including Jenson Button – for his “crazy driving style”, Kobayashi will be considered by Toyota in the upcoming weeks.
“You have to say we have to give him serious consideration but still pace-wise he was a bit slow so we have to see,” concluded Howett, according to Reuters news agency.