Another Disappointment for Toyota

by : Mike Bartley

At the start of the current Formula One season, Toyota vowed to catch up with BMW Sauber in the constructors' championship standings. But nine races in the season so far and Toyota only has nine points. The team is now sitting on sixth place. Meanwhile, BMW Sauber is increasing its lead on the "rest of the pack" as McLaren and Ferrari are on top of the standings.

At the British Grand Prix, Toyota's woes continue as both Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher did not finish the race due to malfunctioning cars. During qualifying, Toyota showed promise of a better performance after Schumacher qualified for the sixth spot while Trulli is in tenth.

But when the race went underway, things started to go wrong for the Japanese Formula One team. On lap number 22, Ralf Schumacher was forced to retire after his car's wheels had a problem. Prior to the race, Schumacher is showing improvement after a string of poor performances at the start of the season.

Needles to say, the German Formula One driver is visibly disappointed. "That was a disappointing day," said Schumacher. "We retired when I had a problem with our front left wheel although we still have to investigate the exact cause. I felt the failure as I came into the complex and I had to retire straightaway. It is a pity because we looked strong all weekend and we were confident of a good result today."

Schumacher pointed out that they will be studying the car and find out what went wrong in preparation for the next race of season which will take him back to Germany. "Unfortunately we had lost some positions at the start as well so we will need to look into that to understand why that happened."

Despite the retirement, Schumacher is still upbeat by the progress that they are doing in their car which would need a strong just to slow it down. "So it's clear that the outcome is not satisfactory but the positive thing is that we were back in the top ten with both cars in qualifying. We had quite good lap times today and we were able to stay with the BMWs and the Renaults while I was in the race. So we have showed a decent performance and I'm reasonably happy with that. The fact that we were able to fight higher up will give the team an extra push as we prepare for the next race at the NÃ?rburgring."

Teammate Jarno Trulli on the other hand was also forced to retire on the 43rd lap due to handling problems. The Italian Formula One driver is visibly disappointed by his sting of bad lucks in the weekend leading to the race. "This has been a difficult weekend for me and today was no exception. All weekend I've struggled with very high tire wear compared to my team-mate. It started badly on Friday and I was unable to find a way to improve my car all weekend. So I was expecting a tough race but as it turned out the race was even worse so we need to look into the reason for that," said Trulli.

Trulli concluded his sentiments regarding the British Grand Prix saying: "So we must now forget this one and look forward to the next race because every grand prix is a different story. But for me it was a weekend to forget."