Toyota has announced that Matsushita brand Panasonic will be the main sponsor of its Formula One racing team.

Under the agreement, the Toyota F1 team will be named 'Panasonic Toyota Racing', and its cars competing on F1 circuits the world over will bear the Matsushita brand logo 'Panasonic' on their sides and rear wing. The term of the sponsorship is five years from 2002, the year in which Toyota enters F1 competition, through to 2006.

A statement from the team read as follows:

"This latest Matsushita (Electricial Industrial Co. Ltd) - TMC (Toyota Motorsport Corporation) tie-up builds on a long and fruitful relationship of mutual trust and collaboration in the development of various technologies, such as those related to automotive audio-visual equipment and hybrid-car batteries."

Matsushita has also pledged to support Toyota's F1 project by "actively providing the necessary cutting-edge technology that the team needs for a successful entry into F1 racing".

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