Toyota hopes that the combination of grand prix winners Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli and an all-new car, penned by F1 design guru Mike Gascoyne, will enable the team to score regular podium finishes this year.

Toyota hopes that the combination of grand prix winners Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli and an all-new car, penned by F1 design guru Mike Gascoyne, will enable the team to score regular podium finishes this year.



Despite having what’s rumoured to be either the largest or second largest operating budget in Formula One, Toyota has scored only 26 constructor’s championship points since it joined the Formula One grid at the Australian Grand Prix in 2002.


But, having unveiled the TF105 at the weekend in Barcelona – the first Toyota F1 car created entirely by former Renault technical director Gascoyne – the team believes it is ready to make its long-awaited breakthrough in motorsport’s premier formula.


"We are confident with the work that we've done," Gascoyne said on Sunday. "Everyone in Toyota knows we've made a much better car than before. How good it is, you'll have to wait and see."


"We're not supposed to make predictions, but ever since I went to Tyrrell this is the first team I've been at that within 12 months hasn’t scored a podium.


"So, personally, I think I need to put that right as soon as possible," the Englishman added.


Ralf now feels he has a better chance of becoming F1 world champion with Toyota than he ever did at Williams-BMW.


“Oh yes, for the long-term future, definitely and for various reasons,” the younger brother of Ferrari’s seven times champion Michael told reporters at the launch of the Germany-based Toyota F1 team’s 2005 car in Barcelona.


“There are a lot of capable people at Williams, but it’s still a very small company,” he added. “And it all depends on two people: basically (team boss) Frank Williams and (former technical director) Patrick Head, and they are not the youngest any more. And they don’t have a manufacturer behind them, as well, financially.


“These days a lot of F1 is about having finance power, and I think Toyota is a far better option,” said Ralf, who left the Grove-based team after winning six grands prix in as many years.


Ralf’s manager Willi Weber is keen for Toyota to build the team around him in the same way that Ferrari focused on his brother Michael. But the driver, while hinting that it might be a future strategy, said: “I think it simply depends on who is quickest”.


“If Jarno is the quicker driver then it will happen around him but, first of all, I think that’s not the priority really from where we are. For the moment, it needs the two of us to work closely with the team to get results, or to get the car where it should be.”


Ralf, reunited with Gascoyne after the pair worked together at Jordan in 1998, saw his move as a “long-term project”.


“I think beyond three or four years anyway,” he said. “That’s what it takes. You saw it with Michael (now starting his 10th season with Ferrari) and with other teams”.


For 2005, Toyota has upgraded its wind tunnel operation “to improve productivity, accuracy and correlation to the track," a team spokesman said. "The organisation has been reviewed to simplify reporting lines and job functions. This includes the restructuring of the chassis design office to create two car teams, one for the current year and one for the following year, and the establishment of an advanced project team."


He added: "Furthermore, it is not possible to ignore the change in our driver line-up, where the addition of two quick and experienced proven race winners and pole-setters will certainly put the right level of pressure on the team to deliver a much better race car to the track."


Toyota TF105 technical specifications:


Wheelbase 3 090mm

Overall length 4 530mm

Overall height 950 mm

Overall width 1 800 mm

Overall weight 600 kg including driver and camera

Engine RVX-05

Number of cylinders V10

Capacity 2 998 cm3

Horsepower More than 670 kW

Revolutions Approximately 19 000 r/min

Valve actuation Pneumatic

Throttle actuation Hydraulic

Transmission 7-speed unit plus reverse. Gear selection is sequential, via driver controlled electro-hydraulic actuation.

Original article from Car