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Toyota respond to Istanbul doubts

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Toyota respond to Istanbul doubts
Jun 3, 2009, 8:19 AM

I posted yesterday on Toyota and how they appear to have been going backwards in the last two races, wondering what they would be like in Turkey th...

I posted yesterday on Toyota and how they appear to have been going backwards in the last two races, wondering what they would be like in Turkey this weekend.

In my mail box this morning is a Q&A with Toyota boss John Howett explaining a little more about what's gone wrong and what their chances are for Istanbul. So I thought I would run an excerpt from it, to round out the picture.

What are the team's chances for the Turkish Grand Prix?

"I believe we have a very good chance in Turkey. We are third in the Constructors' Championship and, with the exception of Monaco, we have been competitive everywhere this season. Both our drivers are performing really well at the moment and we know our car is fundamentally strong on normal circuit layouts so we are optimistic."

Why was the Monaco performance so disappointing?

"In Barcelona we saw that in sector three - the slowest part of the track - our car was not performing as well as expected and this was magnified in Monaco, where the whole track is low speed. Basically our car is not particularly strong on slow-speed sections and we have to improve this."

What have you done since Monaco to address the problem?

"The team back in Cologne has worked extremely hard to understand what happened in Monaco. We have analysed the Monaco situation based on the actual weekend data, specific wind tunnel tests and even a straight-line aero test. A solution is now being developed from these results."

Has Toyota slipped off the pace since Barcelona?

"In terms of results, clearly we have not achieved what we expected in the last two races but I firmly believe our car is inherently very competitive and we will have the results to show that in the coming races. Our car was reasonably strong in Barcelona, particularly in the medium-high speed sections of the lap. Unfortunately we had poor starts and this compromised the race, with Jarno involved in an accident and Timo stuck in traffic. We had a very good chance of finishing in the top six, which would have been a decent result. Monaco was obviously not acceptable but it is a unique lay-out and I have no doubt we will be competitive again in Turkey. We have new parts coming for all of the next races so I believe you will see Toyota fighting at the front again very, very soon."
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