Gustav Brunner Q&A

Toyota has made good progress in recent races, helped at least in part by Michelin's superiority. The car is now a regular points scorer and there's been little sign of the see-saw inconsistency that we saw last year and in the first part of this season. Indeed the team is now in with a chance of taking fifth place in the constructors' championship, which will be an impressive achievement for its second season. Adam Cooper asked chief designer Gustav Brunner for his thoughts on the season to date

Gustav Brunner Q&A



"We've made some progress, yes. Actually we started off with a reasonably quick car at the beginning of the season, but not a reliable one. Then we had a little bit of a ditch in the development, but now the development pieces are coming through, and we're going up again."



"Not all the developments work! And probably also after the start of the season we all went a little bit tired. It was quite a tough programme."



"Yes... you could say that."



"We had a little bit of an aero update - the front wing, the bargeboards, new sidepods. This is a small package which contributes a little bit to our improvement. I don't know how big - maybe 0.2s or so. On the mechanical side, we also had new exhausts on the car."



"We worked on everything, really. We worked on the brakes, on the cooling, the distribution of the cooling, on the aero side. On the mechanical side we have made some new carbon suspension pieces which we don't have on the car because we don't have enough pieces yet to race - the wishbones are still steel, for example. We have developed new uprights. We have made changes to the hydraulic system, to the cooler layout. A little bit of everything."



"The engine was never a problem. The engine was always at a good level. The car is a reasonably good behaving car, I would say. It has no nasties in it. And there is no particular circuit where we are bad, I think. It's more a question of how well we can adapt to each circuit."



"This is a little bit down to experience. I must point out in the last few races our team has done very, very well. Of course that was one of my early criticisms. If it kicks off badly, we're not reacting quick enough. Practice time is limited. But in the last few races, they did a fantastic job."



"I would say now they are growing up in a good way. We cannot complain any more."



"We think we are better off. It is probably a little advantage to kick off the weekend, but come Saturday lunchtime we should have caught up. So this is not an excuse for us."



"You need half a year at least to adapt to F1, but looking at Silverstone, Cristiano has adapted very well, I must say! He's learning the circuits as well. Coming from CART, I was quite impressed by him in Monte Carlo. He did qualify 10th, which was pretty good for a newcomer."



"He's a very reliable, consistent driver, nothing wrong with that. F1 is a lot more technical than CART, and this is where you need the time for him to adapt. It's probably the most difficult thing."



"That's right. One run is too little. Maybe two runs will be OK, so everybody has another chance, with a little stop in between for a little adjustment. I think also the racing would be better, because there is still the odd car which is not perfect for race day, because you have to compromise."



"I'm not sure if it's the McLaren experience, but his experience in general is very useful for us. We do rely heavily on him when it comes to set-up choices, tyre choices, and so on."



"Yes, Michelin is on top at the moment. OK, the Bridgestone was good at Silverstone, a quick circuit with good grip, but Michelin will probably have the edge in Hungary - a low grip surface, hot surface, with lots of corners. If it comes to higher grip again, like Suzuka, it could be Bridgestone again. Indianapolis is half and half, Monza, maybe I'd put my money on Bridgestone. They'd had lots of test there with Ferrari, and it's a grippy surface."



"We already have the first bit already in production, mainly the long term items like the gearbox. The model is already in the tunnel, so the programme has been started."



"This one was maybe 80 percent. The next one will be 90 percent, maybe 95 percent even! You will see everything changed. You can make everything a little bit better if you work harder for long enough. There will be nothing left from this car, which means it's a massive effort. Of course we are ambitious and we want to make a big step forward for next year. The team's hopes are resting on this one!"

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