Toyota trusts wing issue is solved

Toyota F1 president John Howett is confident his team will not suffer a repeat of the wing flexibility problem that caused his cars to be excluded from qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix

Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli, who qualified sixth and eighth respectively in Melbourne, were stripped of their grid positions after race stewards deemed the upper part of their rear wings to have 'extreme flexibility.'

Toyota decided not to appeal the exclusion and thinks it can implement a straightforward modification to ensure that there is no repeat problem in the race.

"From our point of view it is very simple," Howett said. "But we need their agreement to release our car from parc ferme. We don't expect any performance change at all, so it is quite a simple job for us.

"It is a wing we've had throughout testing, and I think it is a wing to which we had a similar design last year. Hopefully we will be racing tomorrow and we can demonstrate the race car at race pace tomorrow."

With the Toyota exclusion coming on the back of a pre-race protest about diffusers, and further arguments between Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Williams about car legality on Saturday night, Howett conceded it was not a good start to the F1 season.

"I'm a bit disappointed, but in the end we are at the premier level of world motorsport," he explained. "Competitors have the right to protest and we expect the regulator to enforce the rules.

"So on my side there are no sour grapes. We have just got to get on with it and there are probably bigger issues for us that we hope to demonstrate and protect."

Howett said also the team was seeking clarification from the FIA about whether his drivers could start from the grid, or had to begin the race from the pit lane.

"We are just clarifying," he said. "I think we can either start from the grid at the back, or the pit lane. And that might depend on the strategy. We are clarifying that at the moment, but I understand they [the stewards] have other issues as well, which I know nothing about - so it is bit difficult to get the information exactly."

The team added in a statement: "Toyota Motorsport has been informed that the rear wing of the TF109 has been found to demonstrate "extreme flexibility" by the Australian Grand Prix stewards.

"The design has passed our own internal test procedures which are designed to reproduce twice the proscribed official load tests. In light of this decision it is clear we must review these procedures to ensure there is no repeat of this situation and we will also review our production processes to ensure there is no variation between parts.

"We naturally accept and respect the decision of the race stewards.

"We intend to modify the components overnight and we are confident these modifications will not result in any performance drop."

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