Toyota technical director Mike Gascoyne is confident that his team are now fully on top of their early-season tyre issues after grabbing a podium in the Australian Grand Prix.
Ralf Schumacher bounced back from a pitlane speeding penalty and made the most of several Safety Car spells to take a surprise third placed finish - just two races after Toyota were left at crisis point following a disastrous Bahrain Grand Prix outing.
But Gascoyne is upbeat that their Melbourne performance was not a flash in the pan and, although he could not rule out possible future struggles, he was confident that the team now understand the issues that hit them at the start of the year.
"We are on top of it, but you can never say there will never be a repeat," he said. "But we know what to do and I don't think it will happen to just us in the future. Whether it happens in general again you just can't tell.
"We endured a pretty shitty weekend in Bahrain and I think we learned our lessons. And this race, and the weekend, shows that we covered it. It can happen again, but we know things that if it does happen that can help the matter. We used them this weekend and we clearly struggled less than anyone else."
Gascoyne explained that Toyota's increase in pace compared to Bahrain was simply down to them understanding the tyres better rather than any specific modifications they had made to the TF106.
"The car is exactly the same," he explained. "I think it is just getting the tyres in the right operating window. It is as simple as that and once you have got the tyres switched on you have got the performance level.
"I am sure a lot of people said, 'yeah, yeah, yeah,' but this weekend we showed that was the case. Renault were clearly ahead but I think we have shown that we can race with the rest.
"I think from here we have got to have some solid races, pick up the odd podium and then get two cars into the points."
When asked whether he felt an element of relief about taking the podium so soon after the Bahrain Grand Prix, Gascoyne responded: "Relief is probably the wrong word.
"We were always confident in what we did. We said we were confident to have a good pace when we got the tyres working properly, and it is nice to prove that. We have just got to make sure we do it every race."
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