Toyota Loses Marmorini as Engine Chief, Confirms Kobayashi as 2009 Test Driver

Shortly after unveiling their new TF109 car for the upcoming F1 season, Toyota have announced the departure of engine chief Luca Marmorini. The Japanese carmaker is yet to disclose the reasons why Marmorini decided to leave his job – or was forced to quit. In the meantime, Toyota will have some serious reorganizing to do ahead of season opener at Albert Park.

According to some media sources, Marmorini's position as engine chief will be taken by Kazuo Takeuchi – the official designation of the job is Senior General Manager Engine. For now, this is the only change announced by Toyota in their engineering compartment.

Also, during today's virtual unveiling of the TF109, Panasonic Toyota Racing team have also announced their future test driver for the 2009 campaign. The job will continue to be Kamui Kobayashi's, who will also become 3rd (or reserve) driver in 2009. In parallel to his test driving job, Kobayashi will start a new season inside the GP2 Series.

“I'm really pleased to be continuing with the team and I'm looking forward to the challenge of developing the TF109. It will be another busy season for me, but I am young and I love driving racing cars so it's no problem,” said Kobayashi after hearing the news.

“This is an important year for me because I want to enjoy success in GP2 as this is the perfect stepping stone for a career in Formula One. I don't know what the future will hold but I will fight all the way. The biggest thing for me is that no Japanese driver has ever been a Formula One winner so that is my ultimate dream.”

“I know it would make the Japanese people incredibly proud if a Japanese driver could win races in a Toyota; that would mean a lot. But before thinking about that kind of thing, my priority has to be constantly improving and eventually earning a Formula One race seat,” added Kobayashi.
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