Olivier Panis has dismissed speculation that he may be forced into retirement by suggestions that David Coulthard will be joining Toyota's Formula One effort in 2005.

The Scot knows that, barring some bizarre twist of F1 fate, he will be looking for a new employer at the end of the coming season and has been linked to Toyota for 2005, with Panis the most likely victim of any reshuffle.

However, speaking to Reuters shortly after the Japanese marque unveiled its 2004 challenger, Panis denied that he any plans to retire, despite now being the oldest driver in F1.

"I want to say very clearly that I'm not retiring," the 37-year old Frenchman said, "Toyota is now thinking like the big teams, like Ferrari. I want to wait and see what we do with the new car, which I think promises some good results. I think stability is key issue and, if we do well, I'm sure we'll continue for 2005."

Coulthard will be replaced by Juan Montoya at McLaren in twelve months' time, with Kimi Raikkonen looking likely to be offered an extension to his current contract with the Woking-based team.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...