Leaner, meaner and focused on winning, Toyota’s contender for the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship broke cover today.
Panasonic Toyota Racing unveiled its new TF109 racer at its Cologne headquarters in a ceremony broadcast on-line around the globe. Designed and engineered in line with new FIA regulations, it carries Toyota’s hopes of securing its elusive first grand prix victory.
Team president John Howitt said: “After eight years in Formula 1 we have gained a huge amount of knowledge and improved considerably. We are hungry to win and ready to win, there should be no doubt about that. The new regulations pose an extra challenge, but at the same time offer an opportunity. We have everything we need to win, some exceptionally talented people and a huge motivation to succeed, so now it is down to us to actually make it happen.”
The car is new, but there is continuity in Toyota’s driver line-up, with Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and “third driver” Kamui Kobayashi looking to build on the successes they achieved during 2008.
Trulli, who has driven for the team since 2004, said: “I have now spent longer racing for Toyota in Formula 1 than any other driver and I have seen the huge progress that has been made. It has been a long journey and we have had ups and downs, but we have never given up or lost faith.”
Work began on developing the TF109 in October 2007, as soon as the new regulations were announced. At the same time as helping cut the cost of racing, these should increase the spectacle on the track thanks to design restrictions that reduce the car’s level of downforce and make overtaking easier.
The most notable changes are in the wings: wider and lower at the front, narrower and smaller at the back. Aerodynamic add-on devices, such as winglets, are now banned, and for the first time in 12 years, slick tyres - Bridgestone Potenza - will be used. Engines will have to last for at least three races, which means each driver can use no more than eight of the 2.5-litre V8 units during the full season.
Toyota TF109 outline technical specifications
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