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Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 11:49 GMT
Toyota aim high with new F1 car
Jarno Trulli, Ralf Schumacher and test driver Franck Montangy with the new Toyota 2007 Formula One car
Toyota's drivers pose with the car they hope will finally win in 2007
Toyota unveiled their 2007 Formula One challenger on Friday insisting they can break their five-year victory duck.

The team regressed last year after a promising 2005, but believe the new TF107 car constitutes a breakthrough.

Toyota F1 team boss Tsutomu Tomita said: "Our fundamental target this year is to get the first victory."

President John Howett admitted Toyota's results were "unsatisfactory" in 2006, but added: "We take heart from the fact that we started slow, finished quick."

Tomita said he expected Toyota to challenge the recognised top three - world champions Renault, Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes.

Howard added: "Looking at race pace and qualifying pace, we were closing the gap on Renault towards the end of the season, but Ferrari were still in front.

Ralf Schumacher
We kept calm and sorted out the issues we had last year, so the signs are good

Ralf Schumacher
"Although the results didn't show it, I think we are now capable of running with the top teams in terms of speed."

Driver Jarno Trulli, who will be partnered by German Ralf Schumacher for the third consecutive year, said the team's engineers had told him they had made "huge steps in terms of [aerodynamic] downforce".

Although the car looks similar to last year's, Howett said it was virtually all new.

Schumacher, whose contract with Toyota expires at the end of the season, said he was "optimistic" of a competitive year.

"In most of the races in the latter part of last season we were a couple of tenths away from the top teams, Renault and Ferrari, on average over each lap. So the trend is clearly right," he said.

"One factor in our favour is that we are the only team remaining constant in all aspects - from drivers to tyre supplier.

The new Toyota F1 car
Toyota say the TF107 is an entirely new car
"That should work in our favour, as it gives us stability, while a lot of things have been changed on the car.

"We kept calm and sorted out the issues we had last year, so the signs are good.

"The team also has one more year of experience under its belt now, so we should be stronger.

"We seem to be heading in the right direction. We have the potential to succeed in the team, and I hope we can show that this season."

SEE ALSO
F1 review 2006
22 Oct 06 |  Formula One


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