This is the second in my retrospective posts series, looking back at the previous three season previews I’ve written. This time around it is the other Japanese team, Toyota who feel the wrath of my website history. Ever since joining the circus back in 2002 they’ve never really looked like winning, this despite their enormous budget, one that is often considered to be the largest on the grid. My first preview came about just prior to the 2006 season when the team were riding the relative high of 2005. By 2008, the squad had received an ultimatum of sorts from the parent company, frustrated by the lack of results from the masses of investment. They have a couple of years to sort themselves out to avoid the might of Toyota’s accountants, no doubt.
The car has been doing okay in testing, but it hasn’t been ground-breaking and many people wonder what they do with their large budget. Whilst the team have looked good in the past, and Trulli in particular has put in some fantastic qualifying performances, they haven’t yet looked like coming close to realising their dream. BlogF1 in 2006.
Being one of the largest manufacturers of automobiles on the planet, you’d expect Toyota to be passionate about motor racing. You’d expect such a company to work tirelessly in the pursuit of speed and reliability in their racing cars. Let’s be honest, you’d expect them to be a winning team. But after launching their assault on Formula One in 2002, Toyota are yet to make a serious attempt at winning races on a regular basis. The team has been floundering towards the rear-end of the grid since its inception, and aside from a couple of brief flashes of speed, the Japanese squad is yet to show the passion and flare for racing that have seen other teams do so well for so many years. BlogF1 in 2007.
The 2008 season will be Toyota’s seventh in Formula One and it could prove to be very important for the future of the squad. Since their inaugural season in 2002, the highly-funded team have have failed to score a victory and have only been on the podium four times, each occasion being a third place finish, 75% of which were during their most successful year to date – 2005. The bosses are looking very carefully at the team, weighing up the pros and cons of continued investment in what is little more than a mobile advertising board. BlogF1 in 2008.
Toyota have a slogan, a motto of sorts: One Aim. I often wonder if that aim is to show the world how not to run a Formula One team. The squad fail to show passion for the sport, at least to me anyway, and have failed to finish higher than third in their six year history. For the record, Jordan scored their second of second-place finishes in their seventh season, the first of which came in Canada in their fifth year. By their eighth season the squad had a victory in Belgium, repeated the following year in France and Italy. Drawing direct comparisons is perhaps unfair, but comparing budgets, passions and ultimate talent, you cannot deny that Toyota look to be running on fumes rather than a full tank.