New TF105 'better than expected'

Toyota personnel have been left in a buoyant mood after the first back-to-back test between their new car, the TF105, and the version that finished last season, the TF104B, delivered better results than expected.

New TF105 'better than expected'

Jarno Trulli, driving the new car, and test driver Ricardo Zonta, at the wheel of the older Toyota, conducted the test just before lunchtime on Friday using the same specification of tyres and the same amount of fuel to try and make the comparison as meaningful as possible.

Although the new 2005 regulations will clearly mean that the new cars will be much slower than their predecessors, Trulli managed to lap within 0.7 seconds of Zonta's time - leaving technical director Mike Gascoyne more than happy with the result.

"That was a back-to-back done just for us to know where we stand in relation to last year's car and I'm quite pleased with the result," he said. "And if you think there's a lot more to come from the TF105 once the definitive aero package is put on the car, you see there's good reason to be pleased. But it's early days still, so let's not get too carried away."

Trulli was also trying to err as much as he could on the side of caution, but was clearly happy with the work done so far:

"This morning was very good for us, really very good," he explained. "We're getting to know the car better and it's clear that such a small gap to last year's car is a positive thing, considering the rules were made to slow the cars by quite a lot.

"But let's not forget the TF104B was not particularly quick, so let's wait and see until the other teams start testing their 2005 chassis, before we draw any conclusions about our level of competitiveness.

"I think until the beginning of February no one will know what's the status quo, so all we can do is work hard to improve our car. It's positive this car was born with no inherent problems, no reliability issues and reacts logically to set-up changes. But let's carry on working hard, as that's the only way we'll keep on making progress."

Toyota will have a second TF105 ready to start testing next Tuesday in Barcelona, where Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher will test for four days. They will be joined by Olivier Panis, at the wheel of a TF104B, for the last two days of the week.

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