Toyota in $20m Alonso bid?

According to reports in the German press, Cologne based team Toyota may have made a $20m per-year offer to new world champion Fernando Alonso to switch from Renault in 2007.

This year, the 24-year-old Spaniard – managed by Renault principal Flavio Briatore – earned a comparatively cool $5.5m.

Some of the more cynical observers point to some sort of falling-out between Alonso and Briatore, after the latter Italian chief failed to make the walk from the pitlane to parc ferme to greet his driver after the title-triumphing Interlagos race.

Then, 'Flav' did not appear in any of the team photos, and opted to fly out of Brazil on Sunday evening rather than join Alonso's party.

''I don't know what happened,'' Briatore explained to reporters in Japan, ''the emotion. I think I just needed privacy.''

So what about trying to match that $20m offer, Flavio? ''I don't want to discuss what I do with Fernando with you guys,'' he smiled to the press.

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