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
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022