Gascoyne lauds driver line-up

Toyota technical chief Mike Gascoyne reckons he will be working with a top-class group of drivers in 2005, the most experienced combination out there and one which will boost team performance

Gascoyne lauds driver line-up

The Briton, who moved to Toyota from Renault last year, is also unworried by the inconsistent form shown in the past by race drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher, believing Toyota will get the best out of them.

Trulli, Schumacher and test driver Ricardo Zonta have all been in action testing at Barcelona this week, while Olivier Panis has also been clocking up the miles, doing an engine development test at Paul Ricard over three days this week and Gascoyne feels the four form an ideal line-up.

Gascoyne said: "The fact that Jarno and Ralf are supported by two highly experienced guys like Olivier and Ricardo (Zonta) is extremely important. With Olivier staying on as test and reserve driver and Ricardo as the driver of the third car at grands prix, I think Toyota has the most experienced line-up of all the teams.

"It means we've got two race drivers absolutely at the top of their game, proven race winners, and we have got unparalleled experience in the test drivers with Olivier and Ricardo. That's a pretty impressive line-up, especially for a team that finished eighth in the championship, and it should give the whole team a lot of confidence."

Gascoyne is well aware that both Trulli and Schumacher have their critics. "Both Ralf and Jarno are proven race winners and I think they are both very quick," he said. "Jarno is exceptional over one lap, but in his career he has struggled for consistency in races. However, in the first half of 2004 he did an excellent job before relationships deteriorated for him at Renault. For his first win at Monaco, he had pole, was quickest in practically every session and led every lap of the race. That is quite an achievement!

"Ralf is also very quick and he's won several races in his career. Again, there is perhaps some evidence of a lack of consistency down the years. On some weekends he seems to dominate his team-mate and is just unbelievable. At some of the races he has won in the past he has seemed to dominate the entire weekend, but at other times he seems not to be at that level.

"So I think both Ralf and Jarno are drivers who need to be in the right frame of mind to perform consistently, and a lot of that has to do with having the right team and the right environment around them. We have got to make sure that we give them a car with which they can do their best, and that we create the environment where they can do that consistently."

shares
comments
Interview: Coulthard Still on Red Bull's List

Previous article

Interview: Coulthard Still on Red Bull's List

Next article

Still hope for DC at Red Bull

Still hope for DC at Red Bull
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021