Thursday, February 14, 2008

Toyota chief happy with TF108 progress

Toyota chassis chief Pascal Vasselon says he is happy with the progress the team has made with the new TF108 since its launch. His comments come amid concerns from Jarno Trulli that the team will at best be able to break into the second string group of teams behind Ferrari and McLaren.

"We are happy with the progress we have made with the TF108," Vasselon insisted. "It has been very obvious from the first test that the TF108 is a different animal compared to the TF107, with much better stability and an all-around much better basis to work on. Our drivers feel a lot more confident in the car and they are able to push more. We have found that set-up work is much more straightforward and it is much easier to make progress in that area."

"At the moment I would say we have gained the stability we were looking for so we are now focusing on the improvement of pure aerodynamic efficiency," he added. "If you compare what is comparable, which means comparing times within the same test sessions and taking into account estimated fuel loads, you will see that at the moment the gap reflects a performance gain for the TF108 compared to last year. Of course there is still a gap, it is not good enough, and we are constantly striving to close it, but compared to this time last year I believe we are much closer to the cars at the front of the grid."

"There is still plenty of performance left to come from this car before we race for the first time," he went on. "We have new parts coming through continuously but the biggest upgrade to the package will come just before the Australian Grand Prix. It is a process of continuous development which will peak just before Melbourne."

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