Toyota TF106B ready for Monaco 16 Jan 2006
They were the first team to hit the track with their 2006 car and now Toyota have revealed that they have already scheduled its first major update. The TF106B is due to make its first race appearance at the Monaco Grand Prix, the seventh round of the 2006 season.
Toyota unveiled their plans at their manufacturing facility in France at a special weekend press event, designed to replace the traditional new car launch, which they suggested had been rendered obsolete by their early introduction of the TF106.
"We feel that the concept of holding a new car launch at the beginning of each year, just for the sake of it, is outdated," explained chassis technical director, Mike Gascoyne. "We are updating more major elements on an increasingly frequent basis.
Although this can be a difficult process to manage it does mean that we can ensure resources are being spent in areas that make the car go quicker, as and when it is required, and not simply on redesigning existing components just because we feel that we have to. Consequently, we have moved to a process of continuous evolution, hence the smooth transition from TF105 to TF105B and to the early completion of TF106."
The new car, which made its debut in Spain in November, is already expected to have altered significantly by the season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain in March. While the cars new V8 engine will be pretty much unchanged, aerodynamic and suspension updates - parts that in essence 'bolt on' - will be introduced as close to that first race as possible.
"The reason everyone pushes their car back as late as possible is to maximise time in the wind tunnel for aero development, continued Gascoyne. Our philosophy is to get the best of both worlds by releasing the Bahrain aero package as late as possible, to maximise the development time and reliability running of the mechanical package while ensuring that the aero development time is absolutely at its peak.
If we'd rolled out a new car for January, we still couldn't have incorporated any of the things we'd learned from testing Bridgestones in November. We can now react and introduce the TF106B bearing in mind all that we've learned from testing."
Toyota, who made their Formula One debut in 2002, finished fourth in last years constructors championship. For 2006, they continue with the same driver line-up of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli.
For further details on Toyota's 2006 machine click here.