Toyota launch: Wraps come off F1 challenge

Toyota has unveiled the car which will form the basis of its Formula 1 challenger in 2002 at Paul Ricard in France today (Friday)

Toyota launch: Wraps come off F1 challenge

The Japanese manufacturer will join Ferrari and Renault (which has bought the Benetton team) in building its own chassis and engine next season, and will boost the Grand Prix grid to 24 cars. The car has already completed four miles of straightline running at its new test venue and is scheduled to complete its first racing lap at midday today with Mika Salo at the wheel.

"This is an incredible moment," said Toyota's motorsport president Ove Anderssson. "Toyota chose to start this project with a clean sheet of paper - that makes it much tougher. But doing it this way, we can learn much more on our journey.

"Our first target is to qualify within the 107 percent limit, to be able to start next year. The next target is to achieve the respect and recognition from our competitors, partners and fans alike."

Development of the 90-degree V10 engine began in January 2000 and it ran on the dyno for the first time in September 2000. Since the first prototype, another 20 units have been built and tested.

"In terms of reliability we were able to do a full race distance in a test simulation," said head of engine development Norbert Kreyer.

The Cologne-based team, which has set-up its test base at Paul Ricard, while now embark on a rigorous testing programme with drivers Salo and Allan McNish.

"Of course, there is a desire to see the car race as soon as possible but we are realistic and want to have the car well prepared for racing, so that's why we are embarking on such an exhausting test programme," said technical director, Andre de Cortanze. "In the beginning I want to be able to make more than 300 kilometres before retiring into the pits. There are many other goals after that but our number one aim is to achieve reliability as well as speed. There is no point having a fast car if it cannot finish."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Toyota Racing
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