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Toyota goes virtual to show 2009 F1 car

Toyota goes virtual to show 2009 F1 car

Toyota presented its 2009 Formula One car on the Internet on Thursday, opting for the low-key approach at a time when the sport is under pressure to introduce cost-cutting moves.
New rules and regulations mean the TF109 looks very different to its predecessor, mostly due to changes to the car's aerodynamics. Just like Ferrari's F60 _ revealed earlier this week _ the front wings are wider than before, while the rear wings are higher and narrower.
Toyota, which has not had an F1 victory in seven years despite having one of the sport's largest budgets, is cutting spending on the team. But the Japanese auto manufacturer is vowing to remain in the sport despite expectations that the company will record its first yearly operating loss in seven decades.
"The goal for me is clear: We want to win our first race," team president John Howett said.
Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, who both had podium finishes last season, return as drivers for Toyota, which finished fifth in the constructors' standings.
"I expect Toyota to be competitive again. Beyond that I cannot say. We will have to wait and see what the first few races hold," Trulli said. "I at least hope we can build on the progress we showed in 2008."
Toyota also announced that Panasonic will remain as the team's main sponsor for an extra three seasons, which takes the current deal through 2012.
The team's Web site crashed as the 1005 GMT launch time arrived, though it was up and running nearly an hour later.
Japanese automakers have been battered by the downturn in the U.S. auto market, with Honda having quit F1 in December after Super Aguri abandoned last April.
Subaru and Suzuki both recently quit the World Rally Championship, citing concerns about the global economic crisis.
The FIA, auto racing's governing body, and the teams agreed to a series of changes which include longer-lasting engines, limits on expensive testing and cheaper, off-the-shelf engines for smaller teams.
"One thing is for sure, there will be bigger gaps between teams next season and bigger fluctuations in performance," Trulli said. "It was so close last year because we had a period of quite stable rules, but always when you make a big change, the grid is spread out more, so I expect that will be the case this year."


Updated : 2021-04-19 03:02 GMT+08:00