Toyota's fourth place in the constructors' standings this season is certainly an improvement on eighth in the last two years but technical director Mike Gascoyne believes the Cologne squad should have been third. There were five podium finishes between Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher but Gascoyne said Toyota needs to be on the top step.
"We've got to start winning some races," he told Reuters. "We were fourth but it should have been third. Without Indianapolis, and really off our own backs, we should have finished third. With four or five races to go, we were quick enough to finish third."
Trulli finished second to Renault's Fernando Alonso in Malaysia and Bahrain in the early season and Gascoyne believes that with a little luck Toyota could have won a race this year. Luck aside, with the team's increased competitiveness Gascoyne thinks that they have proved themselves.
"If we'd have been lucky, it was possible this year and it has to be possible next year," he commented of a race victory. "If Alonso had had an engine problem in a couple of races it would have come this year. So we have to make the same step again. But I think we've proved that we know what we're doing."
Trulli and Schumacher will continue with Toyota next year and team principal Tsutomu Tomita was pleased to end 2005 with a podium finish from Schumacher in third. Ralf was a little fortunate to gain a place due to a penalty given to Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella but it was a nice conclusion to the season for Toyota.
"It has been a very good year for us and to finish on the podium is a fine way to finish it off," said Tomita. "So I would like to offer my thanks to everyone on the race team and at Cologne as well as everyone at TMC in Japan and all our partners. Thanks to both drivers for a great season."