Q & A with Toyota's Mike Gascoyne

Conducted and provided by Toyota's press office.

Q & A with Toyota's Mike Gascoyne

Q. Mike, do you think that Toyota will continue to be competitive in Imola?

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis: After the first three races of the season, it is always a time for reassessment of where we stand relative to our competitors. In three races, we have qualified in the top three at each event and picked up two podium positions. We struggled in the race in Melbourne for different reasons, but our true pace was demonstrated in Malaysia and Bahrain. I honestly do not see any reason why that level of competitiveness should not continue in Imola and beyond. We have understood how the car works with the Michelin tyres. We just have to ensure that our tyre choice for each race is correct, which was perhaps not the case in Melbourne, but if we can do that I do not see why we can't perform at the same level throughout the season. Imola does not hold any particular fears or worries for me.

Q. What are the technical challenges posed by the Imola circuit?

MG: At Imola, we run slightly higher downforce settings than we have in recent races. It is also hard on the brakes, as in fact Bahrain was and we were comfortable with the brakes there. Temperatures will be cooler, which places less stress on the car. We have several slow speed chicanes and use of the kerbs is an issue, but I feel that we have greatly enhanced the car mechanically and aerodynamically. In the past, Toyota has struggled at circuits like Imola with pronounced kerbs, but I really do not think that should be a problem. When the car is off the pace in Imola, drivers tend to use the kerbs more to compensate and that unbalances the car a lot. When the car is competitive, that is not such a problem.

Q. How well do you expect the TF105 to perform at Imola?

MG: After Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain, we have gone round almost every type of corner there is on the calendar and we have been pretty good at all of them. I do not think that there are any major issues with the car. Of course, we need to go even quicker, but stability under braking has been good and traction has been good, both of which are important aspects of the car's behaviour for Imola.

Q. Does Toyota have any upgrades to the TF105 for Imola?

MG: We have new parts for Imola, but so too will all other teams. It is traditional for everyone to say that they have identified the weaknesses in their package and have put them right in time for San Marino, but I think most teams will be in pretty much the same position in Imola as in the first three races of the year. The only thing I would say will be different is that Bridgestone will improve and consequently Ferrari will be stronger. Ferrari will undoubtedly not remain where they have been all season. They will make progress with the car and Bridgestone will also progress with the tyres and should emerge once again as a force to be reckoned with.

Q. What specific parts are new to the Imola-spec TF105?

MG: Specifically we have a new diffuser, a new sidepod package, some new wishbones, a new front wing, essentially all modifications aimed at improving the car's aerodynamics. Overall, it represents a reasonable step forward. Some parts were tested during the post-Bahrain Barcelona and Paul Ricard tests, for example the diffuser and side pods. The front wing will not appear until the race, but we have a lot of confidence in our windtunnel work, so we have no problems with introducing new parts at races.

Q. Is it fair to say that Jarno has the edge on Ralf?

MG: To say that a driver has an edge over the other is totally wrong, just because one driver has had better results over the other after three races. Ralf made a couple of small mistakes in qualifying that has made his races more difficult but in many ways his determined driver to fourth in Bahrain was stronger than Jarno's race to second because it required much more effort. We have the right environment for them at Toyota. Both are happy with the car and the team and both seem to be enjoying their race weekends. Ralf is not annoyed that Jarno has scored two podiums because he can see the potential and feels part of the team. It is very much a team result, rather than an individual driver result. Ralf is not worried - he knows his time will come.

shares
comments
Q & A with Toyota's Luca Marmorini
Previous article

Q & A with Toyota's Luca Marmorini

Next article

Todt: Ferrari Catching Up with Renault

Todt: Ferrari Catching Up with Renault
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021