Toyota suffered a turbulent and disappointing year in 2006, despite the momentum that was built up through the 2005 season. Under the guidance of technical director Mike Gascoyne, the team followed an aggressive development plan in 2005, releasing the zero-keel TF105B for the last three races, and then launching the new 2006 car with a B-model already in mind.
The shear resources Toyota appeared to be throwing at the season must have worried some. But the 2006 car was not competitive straight out of the box, largely due to inconsistency and reliability and not because of a fundamental flaw in its design. Moreover, the change to V8 engines and a switch to Bridgestone tyres interrupted the team's stability, after four seasons on Michelin and rock-solid engine reliability.
The team's results for the year were disappointing, ending up just sixth in constructors' championship behind their obvious rivals BMW-Sauber and Honda. Nearly every race weekend was blighted by some mechanical problem or another on at least one car, and of the three trouble-free weekends the team had, two of them saw dismal qualifying performances (in Italy and Bahrain).