Toyota targets podium in Australia
|By Pablo Elizalde||Monday, March 23rd 2009, 09:35 GMT|
The Toyota team is aiming to start the season on the podium in Australia, says team president John Howett, as the Japanese squad begins the campaign full of optimism.
"This is a big season for our team and we have set ourselves high targets," said Howett in a team preview ahead of this week's first grand prix of the year.
"We exist to win so that is clearly the aim this season and we have every reason to be optimistic after our extremely positive testing results.
"This is our eighth season in Formula 1 and we have learnt a lot in that time; we are leaner, more experienced and better equipped to succeed.
"Our drivers are a great asset to us this season; Jarno has huge experience and everyone knows he is tremendously fast while Timo is an explosive young driver who showed his great potential last year. So 2009 is a big opportunity for our team and we are determined to make the most of it.
"We have been on the podium in the past in Australia and I would like to see us there again this weekend."
The team has been showing strong pace in testing with its TF109 and start the season as one of the favourites to fight near the front.
Italian Jarno Trulli admitted he has never felt so good driving a Toyota F1 car, and the Pescaran cannot hide his excitement ahead of the first race.
"I am totally fired up for this season and I am feeling very positive about our chances," said the Italian. "The TF109 is the best Toyota I have driven in pre-season testing; it feels stable and gives the driver confidence but more importantly it seems to be pretty quick, even though it's hard to make too many judgements based on testing.
"We made a big step last year, proving we can fight for podiums and finish regularly in the top six so I am hoping for another step forward this year.
"We have more experience now and the team has worked really hard for a long time on the TF109 - we are ready for the season and I am raring to go."