After finishing eighth in the constructors' championship the previous two years, Toyota climbed the standings this season to fourth overall and team principal Tsutomu Tomita is satisfied with the progress. Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher scored...
After finishing eighth in the constructors' championship the previous two years, Toyota climbed the standings this season to fourth overall and team principal Tsutomu Tomita is satisfied with the progress. Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher scored five podium positions and finished in the points 17 times between them, which is certainly an improvement on previous results.
"I'm very happy with how our 2005 season has panned out," said Tomita. "2004 was a tough season with a distinct lack of results. It was a painful season for us all, but we utilised the lessons learned as a strong motivation for improvement."
"The results from 2005 were a direct outcome of our perseverance, determination and will to succeed. It is only just over three years since we started the adventure in 2002 and I think we have made very good progress."
"Often people see the name Toyota and expect too much without understanding fully the challenge we have undertaken - to create an entire car from scratch in one factory with a new team of people in just a few years. And this year we had poles, podiums, lead laps, fastest laps -- this is a massive achievement for the whole of Toyota."
Tomita feels that Trulli's second place in Malaysia was the highlight of the season but the penultimate race in Japan was the other end of the scale. "The worst moment was Suzuka!" Tomita remarked.
"We got pole position and then the Safety Car early in the race destroyed our plans. Even if getting the pole was a fantastic feeling, it raised expectations so much that the safety car deployment and fall to eighth place felt even more painful."
Ferrari's dominance was broken by Renault and McLaren this season and the two teams won every race between them, save for the oddity of Indianapolis. It was a hard task for anyone to measure up but next season the battle will be rejoined and Toyota's wants to claim its maiden victory.
"That is my aim," Tomita said about the first win. "Whether it is realistic or not, we will have to wait and see, but having decided to compete in F1 we have to challenge at the very front. I like to use the image of Mount Fuji to explain where we, Panasonic Toyota Racing, are now."
"At the moment, we are standing at the seventh stage of Mount Fuji, which is a good achievement and a pleasing result, but now we look up to the remaining stages, which are even tougher, more demanding, but the results when we get there will be even more rewarding."