Interstate in Toyota pole position

Interstate has been appointed by Toyota to develop the brand identity for its Formula 1 team, which will make its debut when the 2002 season begins next March.

The consultancy is working with a specially assembled team in Cologne and Toyota personnel in Tokyo to define the project, which is expected to include naming and branding. Work is expected to launch in January.

‘We have a broad brief, but it is early stages at the moment and the project still needs to be defined,’ says Interstate managing director Nick Downes.

‘But it should focus on the overall identity of the team, its naming and look and feel.’

Toyota has already agreed a five-year sponsorship deal with Matsushita Panasonic to begin next year.

It means the team will be known as Panasonic Toyota Racing and Panasonic will have its logo on the rear wing and sides of the cars used by the team.

But Downes says the name of the team may still be tweaked. ‘Hopefully, there is scope to develop the name and branding in some way,’ he says.

Interstate, which worked with Jaguar Racing in developing its Formula 1 image in 1999, was appointed to this project without a pitch.

Toyota has appointed Allan McNish and Mika Salo as drivers for the team. It has also built an integrated facility in Cologne, Germany, to develop, design, manufacture and assemble racing cars.

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