OCTOBER 19, 2004
Toyota "disappointed and frustrated"
Toyota F1 boss Tsutomu Tomita says that the company is "disappointed and frustrated" with its Formula 1 programme to date. The Cologne-based team is currently battling for seventh place in the Constructors' title with the soon-to-be-defunct Jaguar Racing, despite a massive investment by Toyota.
"It is fair to say that all of us at Panasonic Toyota Racing are disappointed and frustrated that we have not been able to get better results in 2004," Tomita said. "However this is only our third season. We are continuing to make our way up from the bottom, and the improvements that we make on a race-by-race basis can only lead us up the grid in the future."
The team has always enjoyed very powerful engines but has struggled with chassis performance from the start. The arrival of Mike Gascoyne this year was too late the affect the overall performance of the car but the modified chassis, codenamed the TF104B, looked good on occasion in qualifying but rarely figured strongly in the races. Gascoyne's TF105 should provide the team with its best chance yet of improvement while the recruitment of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher will give Toyota a pair of quick drivers, even if both men have been fairly inconsistent during their careers.
One problem which remains to be resolved seems to be the manner in which decisions are made with the influence of Japan still being felt despite the fact that the decision-makers in Tokyo have little understanding of what is happening on the ground. As long as this continues the team is going to suffer.
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