Toyota eye breakthrough win with new car

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The Independent Online

Jarno Trulli is hopeful of clinching Toyota's maiden Formula One victory this season.

The team launched their new challenger for the coming year, the TF109, via their Toyota World website in an effort to save money in light of the global credit crisis.

However it was not without problems as a scheduled 11am unveiling failed to materialise due to technical issues.

Toyota bosses will naturally be hoping that is not an omen as they seek to end a seven-year winless drought in Formula One.

Italian Trulli, who will again be partnered by Timo Glock in 2009, said: "I expect Toyota to be competitive.

"I am a very confident person and I am always optimistic, so again this season I have high hopes.

"But I know from my experience whatever I say in the winter doesn't really count for much when the season starts.

"The important thing is what we do on the track, and I hope I can fight for Toyota's first victory. That is my dream.

"Formula One is extremely competitive at the moment so I expect the season to be exciting and very interesting.

"I am looking forward to it, but we will have to wait and see what the first few races hold.

"I at least hope we can build on the progress we showed in 2008 and challenge for that first win."

The raft of regulation changes for the new season, in particular in relation to the aerodynamics to aid overtaking, means all the cars will be strikingly different in comparison to previous years.

Sporting wider front wings and narrower rear wings, there is a degree of uncertainty as to who will emerge on top.

"There are big changes and whenever you make changes like this, it is impossible to predict how it will affect each team," added the 34-year-old.

"Toyota has the capability to adapt to these regulations as well, or better than, any other team so I am hoping it will give us a good opportunity.

"You can say I am cautiously optimistic, but one thing is for sure, there will be bigger gaps between teams next season and bigger fluctuations in performance.

"It was so close last year because we had a period of stable rules, but always when you make a big change, the grid is spread out more, so I expect that will be the case this year."

Last season Toyota achieved two podiums, nine top-six finishes, one front row start and scored more points - 56 - than in 2006 and 2007 combined.

"We have established the foundations and I believe we can build a winning team," insisted Trulli.

"In 2008 we made a huge improvement and took a big step in the right direction, so I now hope for this year we can be a top team."

Team principal John Howett also knows the building blocks are in place on which the team has to deliver.

"We have gained a huge amount of knowledge and improved considerably," said Howett.

"There are many elements of our team which are at the very highest level, so the challenge now is to fill any gaps and ensure the entire organisation is performing at the very top.

"Then we must put all the elements together and deliver the success we are all fighting so hard for."

Glock, who equalled the team's best result by finishing second in last season's Hungarian Grand Prix in his debut year, is confident of maturing further this season in the revamped cars.

"I don't have any concerns at all about adjusting to the 2009-style Formula One cars," remarked the 26-year-old German.

"I am sure the other drivers will adapt quickly as well, but I certainly expect to hit the ground running."