In 2011 Toyota found itself on a crucial crossroads, stuck in between two motorsport programmes that both represented unfinished business for the Japanese giant. Two years earlier, its Cologne-based Formula 1 arm Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) - recently renamed Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe - was one of the three teams that cleverly interpreted the new-for-2009 regulations and came up with a double diffuser.
Its TF109 came out of the gates strong and while it couldn't match Brawn's BGP 001 in the opening rounds, the Bahrain Grand Prix should have been the race where the operation finally scored its first victory after 125 attempts. But despite Jarno Trulli taking pole, the team shot itself in the foot with a poor tyre strategy call and lost the chance to break its duck.
The long-hoped for first win never came. At the end of the year, Toyota decided to pull the plug on its expensive F1 programme, while the development of its 2010 challenger was already at an advanced stage. It was a source of great frustration for Toyota, the unraced TF110 chassis on display at the team's Cologne headquarters a daily reminder of what could have been.