Toyota Must Start Winning, Says Gascoyne

Toyota must step into the Formula One winners' circle next year after becoming one of the top four teams, says technical director Mike Gascoyne

Toyota Must Start Winning, Says Gascoyne

"We've got to start winning some races," the Briton told Reuters after the season-ending Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

"We were fourth (in the Championship) but it should have been third.

"Without Indianapolis, and really off our own backs, we should have finished third. With four or five races to go, we were quick enough to finish third."

Toyota were one of seven Michelin-equipped teams that did not race in the U.S. Grand Prix in June and their absence allowed Ferrari to take a maximum 18 points.

Ferrari ended up third in the Championship, 12 points ahead of Toyota.

Fourth place was still a big step up for Toyota, who entered the sport in 2002 with a considerable budget but had not finished a season higher than eighth place until now. Last year they scored only nine points.

Their 2005 haul of 88 points was more than three times as many as their total from the preceding three years and they also celebrated their first pole position and podium with Italian Jarno Trulli.

Trulli was second in Malaysia and Bahrain, on both occasions behind Renault's new champion Fernando Alonso, and third in Spain.

"If we'd have been lucky, it (a win) was possible this year and it has to be possible next year," said Gascoyne.

"If Alonso had had an engine problem in a couple of races it (the win) would have come this year. So we have to make the same step again.

"But I think we've proved that we know what we're doing."

Toyota brought a heavily revised car to the last two races in Japan and China and it paid off with Ralf Schumacher on pole at Suzuka and taking third place in Shanghai.

The team will stick with the line-up of Trulli and Ralf for next season and Gascoyne said the two drivers had done a good job.

"Jarno got into one of those things where he finished a race well, so he went out in qualifying with a good slot, had a good qualifying and got a good result," he said of Trulli's season.

"Then when (BAR's) Takuma Sato hit him (at Suzuka) he got into the reverse at the end of the year.

"Ralf was the other way around. He didn't have the heights of qualifying that Jarno had but in the last few races he did some very solid qualifying. He's a good racer once he gets the bit between the teeth.

"The one thing about Ralf is that once he gets a sniff of it, he's very consistent," added Gascoyne.

"Once the car was good and he needed to do a job, he did it very well. But both of them picked up a lot of points and it's a great result for the team."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Alan Baldwin
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