Panasonic Toyota Racing, the team reputed to have the biggest budget in F1, on Wednesday launched the TF103 - its contender for the 2003 season.
Panasonic Toyota Racing, the team reputed to have the biggest budget in F1, on Wednesday launched the TF103, its contender for the 2003 season, at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France.
The TF103 car is an evolution of last season's TF102, rather than a radical new design. It is claimed to be lighter, generating more downforce and greater aerodynamic efficiency than its predecessor. The TF103 is the product of a design group led by Gustav Brunner and co-ordinated by Keizo Takahashi.
"We have made gains with this car in every area," Brunner said. "I hope that we have come up with a good compromise between building a fast car, but also a reliable one.
The 2003 contender’s new RVX-03 V10 engine is both lighter and more powerful than the 2002 RVX-02. It has been designed and produced in-house by a technical team overseen by Luca Marmorini.
"We have already tested the RVX-03 in the TF102B interim car,” said Marmorini. "The priority was to reduce the weight of the engine, but at the same time maintain the reliability of last season's RVX-02."
The team also announced that former BAR driver Ricardo Zonta would be its third/test driver for the 2003 season. The 26-year-old Brazilian drove in 32 grands prix between 1999 and 2001.
Toyota will today begin its 2003 testing at Paul Ricard with Frenchman Olivier Panis at the wheel of the TF103. His team-mate, Brazilian rookie Cristiano da Matta, will test the TF102B.
According team principal Ove Andersson, the team has set higher targets for its second season.
"I would like to see us challenging competitively for points on a regular basis in 2003," said Andersson.
"It is an ambitious target, but we have to aim high this year because we are no longer the new kids on the block. It is what everyone expects from Toyota as the world's third largest car manufacturer and we will do our utmost to achieve this goal.”
Original article from Car