Interview with Toyota's Brunner

Gustav Brunner, Toyota's Chief Designer, talks about the new TF103, Toyota's ambitions for 2003 and the latest rule changes. Q: What are the main differences between the TF102 and TF103? Our TF103 car differs considerably from last year's...

Gustav Brunner, Toyota's Chief Designer, talks about the new TF103, Toyota's ambitions for 2003 and the latest rule changes.

Q: What are the main differences between the TF102 and TF103?

Our TF103 car differs considerably from last year's TF102 design. The main focus of design was on improving the overall aerodynamic efficiency of the car, but also from a mechanical point of view we have made the TF103 lighter than the TF102. The TF103 is an evolution of last year's car, rather than a revolution.

Gustav Brunner - Chief Designer.
Photo by Toyota Racing.
Q: What has influenced the design of the TF103?

Our in-house windtunnel has been fully operational since July, running 16 hours per day. For the TF103 we have been able to make full use of our windtunnel technology for the first time and as a result we have taken a huge step forward on the aero side this year.

Q: What are your aims for the 2003 season?

For 2003, we have new targets - higher, faster, better. We should be aiming to battle strongly in the midfield, looking to qualify in the top 10 and finish in the points regularly on a competitive basis.

Q: How much development do you expect between now and Australia in March?

We have seven or eight test sessions before we get to Melbourne, so our development is a non-stop process.

Q: What are your first impressions of the new drivers Olivier, Cristiano and Ricardo?

My initial impressions of Olivier and Cristiano are very good. They are already settling in to the team with ease and working well together, giving valuable feedback and I think they will do a good job for us this year. Ricardo Zonta is a young guy with Formula 1 experience and I am sure he will be an asset to us on the development side in his role as third driver.

Q: Has your role been affected in any way by the recent structural changes to the team?

My position has always been Chief Designer and that has not changed with the recent structural modifications. Keizo Takahashi has taken up the role of General Manager of Car Design and Development. In this position he is responsible for the management of the department, allowing me to concentrate purely on the technical side of things.

Q: You have already been testing the TF103 in Paul Ricard and Barcelona. What progress has been made so far?

Well, it is still early days and we are concentrating mainly on learning the behaviour of the car and working on general set-up. We have been making good progress so far and I am quite happy.

Q: What do you think of the new qualifying regulations?

From my point of view the changes to the qualifying system and points-scoring system are very good. The new qualifying procedure will lead to mixed grids in 2003. As a result of this, I think the races will be far more interesting for the spectators.

Q: How will the change to qualifying affect Panasonic Toyota Racing?

Well, obviously we have to adapt our approach to fit around the new rules, but it is the same for every team. Every driver and every team will have to learn the new qualifying system as quickly as possible, but generally I think this rule change will lead to more varied results and races in 2003.

Q: What is your opinion on the recent FIA decision to change the technical regulations for 2003?

Toyota has already expressed its opinion regarding the FIA's changes to the technical regulations for 2003. As the sport's governing body, the FIA has the best interests of Formula 1 at heart and we should be ready to make some compromises to fully support their initiatives to reduce costs, increase safety and make F1 more exciting for viewers around the world.

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ricardo Zonta
Teams Toyota Racing