Howett: Toyota will be back in front soon 03 Jun 2009
Despite Toyotas poor showing at the Monaco Grand Prix, team President John Howett is determined the teams drop in performance will not last long and that they will return to their front-running ways in Istanbul this weekend.
I believe we have a very good chance in Turkey, said Howett. 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.
The Briton believes that the main problem is that the teams TF109 struggles to maintain performance in slower sections of tracks. Warning signs of the problem were initially seen at Mays Spanish Grand Prix, but it was around Monacos twists and turns that the car really suffered. Neither Timo Glock nor Jarno Trulli made it through the first stage of qualifying and the pair eventually finished the race 10th and 13th respectively.
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, he explained. Basically our car is not particularly strong on slow-speed sections and we have to improve this.
Toyotas engineers, however, are now hard at work back at their headquarters trying to understand and rectify the issue.
The team back in Cologne has worked extremely hard to understand what happened in Monaco," he said. "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.
And with the full might of Toyota's factory investigating the TF109s weak spots, and with several new parts being introduced for Istanbul, Howett is convinced that the intrinsic pace of the car will shine through over forthcoming races.
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. 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.