The new Toyota TF104B made its debut at the German Grand Prix but it didn't appear to be much of an improvement on its predecessor. Olivier Panis stalled on the grid and was relegated to the back, while Cristiano da Matta suffered a puncture,...
The new Toyota TF104B made its debut at the German Grand Prix but it didn't appear to be much of an improvement on its predecessor. Olivier Panis stalled on the grid and was relegated to the back, while Cristiano da Matta suffered a puncture, which, to be fair, was not the fault of the car. Technical director Mike Gascoyne defended the performance of the TF104B.
"There's nothing wrong with the car, not a single problem," he said, according to Autosport. "I've always said that if you do the wind tunnel testing properly and make it work to the right level of accuracy, then what you have in the tunnel is what you have at the track, as happened with this car."
"I don't think we've got any issues. We were able to get the car dialled in pretty quickly, so we don't have any issues from a set-up point of view. We don't need to learn anything more from the car."
Panis qualified tenth at Hockenheim -- and was ninth on the grid due to Jenson Button's penalty -- and despite his stall he was optimistic that the new car is an improvement. "I think we can already see that it is a good step," he commented.
"I'd say we've found between three and five tenths and we know that the wind tunnel is accurate because what we have found in the tunnel has translated onto the car. We are pushing hard to have the new aero kit for the high-speed circuits like Monza. We are on the pace now."
The development of the TF104B focused mainly on aerodynamics and weight reduction. It features a new front wing and a narrower nose cone, a modified engine cover and aero extensions on the side pods. There is also a new specification of the RVX-04 engine, which was scheduled for Monza but was introduced at Hockenheim.