Gascoyne looks to the future

Gascoyne looks to the future

Toyota may not have had huge success in its two and a half seasons in Formula One but Mike Gascoyne believes the future is looking bright. Previously technical director at Benetton/Renault, Gascoyne moved to Toyota in the same role for this year...

Toyota may not have had huge success in its two and a half seasons in Formula One but Mike Gascoyne believes the future is looking bright. Previously technical director at Benetton/Renault, Gascoyne moved to Toyota in the same role for this year and beyond. The TF104 chassis was already designed when he arrived but the TF104B, which debuted at Hockenheim, was overseen by the Briton.

Mike Gascoyne.
Photo by Toyota Racing.

"It's been a hell of a short turnaround," Gascoyne told The Sunday Times. "I'd have liked a couple more months but you've only got to look at the car to know it's an improvement in every respect." Another update on the car is due at Monza but it's also the long-term future Gascoyne is working towards.

"Next year we'll be targeting podiums," he stated. "We have to be at that level. The year after, we need to be winning races. Look at Renault and their progression; we've got to do at least as well as that, because it's been achieved with a problem engine, and we don't have that. If we don't reach that level, I'll consider it my fault. And I'm sure a lot of other people will as well."

Toyota recently signed Ralf Schumacher as another investment for the future and Gascoyne was quick to talk up the German. "It ain't easy being Michael's brother, and (Juan Pablo) Montoya ain't the easiest teammate, but you have to say that considering Montoya's supposed to be the dog's bollocks, there's been several weekends when Ralf has absolutely blitzed him," he remarked.

"The key for us is to make this the right environment for him to be consistently fast," Gascoyne continued. "We're very much aware of that when it comes to choosing a second driver. We need someone quick enough to push him without being political."

Gascoyne did not reveal anything new on who might fill the second race seat next season, only saying that Toyota is in no hurry. "Maybe a younger guy, maybe one of our current drivers. After all, Olivier (Panis) got on with Jacques Villeneuve at BAR, which says something. Jarno Trulli? Could be. Having signed Ralf, we won't be rushing into a decision."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Toyota Racing , Benetton