First Toyota are competitive and have dramatically improved the TF107 into the TF108, this year’s machine from Cologne. Then, after preliminary testing, Jarno Trulli decides that maybe the car isn’t so hot and the team need to work hard over the winter to get it up to speed. Meanwhile, team mate Timo Glock is just happy to be in Formula One. Shortly after quelling the excitement over a potentially competitive Toyota, Trulli then says that actually the car isn’t that bad and he hopes he can score regular points and aim towards regular podiums. An employee of the Japanese squad then flicks the switch on the back of Jarno’s neck again and he’s down about this season. And now, speaking from the Albert Park circuit in Australia, Trulli reckons the team can claim third in the constructors title. Seriously Jarno, can you make up your mind and stick to it, please.
The current story is that Trulli believes the squad can reach third by the end of 2008. I personally think that is pretty bold statement to make, especially given their form last time around; they finished the 2007 season in sixth with a measly thirteen points. 2006? Sixth again, 2005 being their most successful campaign to date with fourth.
So Trulli reckons the team can overcome all their problems from last year and beat BMW, Renault and Red Bull. All of whom, by the way, appear to have maintained pace if not improved in comparison over the winter off-season.
I think the team has understood our situation and we’re very close to being third in the constructors’ championship if we do a good job and we just need an extra boost in terms of car development. And they [Toyota] are really motivated because they’ve seen from last year to this year we’ve got a much more competitive car – so we can do it. Jarno Trulli.
Trulli does speak some truth when he says that testing saw the midfield very tightly bunched together. Often there would only be a second separating the top ten, with Ferrari and McLaren a comfortable ~0.3s faster than the rest, thus leaving just ~0.7s for the remainder. However, I really cannot see how Toyota can improve that much. While the car is a key aspect of the team’s speed, they also have management issues. It was claimed late last year that the squad didn’t even attempt to get Ross Brawn when it became known he wasn’t returning to Ferrari. They apparently didn’t even go after Fernando Alonso with any seriousness.
We’ll see very shortly just how well the teams stack up against each other, but I personally feel the writing is on the wall for Toyota.
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