Toyota was disappointed not to score points at the Australian Grand Prix, but the Cologne-based team is upbeat about its prospects in Malaysia. The team has also lashed out at rivals BAR Honda for exploiting a loophole in F1’s engine regulations.
Toyota was disappointed not to score points at the Australian Grand Prix, but the Cologne-based team (which will use a new front wing in Malaysia) is upbeat about its prospects at Sepang. On Tuesday, the team also lashed out at rivals BAR Honda for exploiting a loophole in F1’s engine regulations.
Jarno Trulli gave Toyota their first front row start in Melbourne by qualifying second, but faded to ninth place in the race after struggling with a blistered rear tyre. The Italian’s team-mate, Ralf Schumacher, trailed to the chequered flag in 12th place.
"All in all it was a missed opportunity to score points," Ralf said on Tuesday. "(But) my race debut for Toyota was extremely encouraging in terms of car performance and team operations.
"It can only be a matter of time before we finish in the points," he added. "If our excellent reliability continues, points are by no means out of the question (in Malaysia).
Trulli added: “Sepang is one of the most demanding of the season for drivers because of the intense heat and humidity. With the new technical regulations for engines and tyres, we could see some surprises and upsets this weekend. We missed out on points in Melbourne, but I looking to rectify that”.
Meanwhile, Toyota F1’s engine expert Luca Marmorini criticised Honda-powered rivals BAR for their manipulation of Formula One's new engine rules.
"There has been a lot of controversy surrounding loopholes in the new engine rules, but exploitation of such grey areas is against our understanding of racing," said Marmorini.
"Even though our drivers did not score any points in the last race, we decided to pass the chequered flag out of respect for the new rules.
"We fully accept the spirit and intention of the 2005 engine regulation and we believe that if we are to challenge for points regularly, we must finish the race and that means having an engine to last two races," he added.
CARtoday.com reported last week that BAR Honda retired their cars towards the end of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix to enable drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato to have new engines for Malaysia without penalty.
The new regulations dictate that engines must last for two successive races with any unscheduled changes incurring a 10-place penalty on the starting grid. However the penalty does not apply to cars that fail to finish the race.
Thus BAR are allowed to race in Malaysia with engines that will have completed about 350 km less than those of their rivals.
"Our reading of the rules is that if you fail to finish, it then gives you the opportunity to change your engine because you've effectively taken the penalty in the race you failed to finish," said BAR team boss Nick Fry. "So we've taken advantage of that and, if we choose to do so, fit a new engine for Malaysia."
Original article from Car