The silly season is drawing to an end and the teams behind the cars that will contest the 2009 Formula 1 race season are gearing up for the start of what promises to be a unique year. Among the first to show off their new candidate for the World Championship is Toyota, today revealing the TF109 race car.
Building a race car from the ground up is a tough enough challenge, and despite Toyota's growing expertise in Formula 1, 2009 is set to be even tougher than usual. The FIA has decided to change the rules for the upcoming season, and one of the biggest differences is the inclusion of KERS energy recovery systems. Toyota is nonetheless confident is has done the job.
“After eight years in Formula 1 we have gained a huge amount of knowledge and improved considerably. We are hungry to win and ready to win, there should be no doubt about that," said team president John Howitt. "The new regulations pose an extra challenge, but at the same time offer an opportunity. We have everything we need to win, some exceptionally talented people and a huge motivation to succeed, so now it is down to us to actually make it happen.”
Though the car has only been in development since October of last year, the ensuing three-and-a-half months have been crammed full of upgrades and redesigns to key aerodynamic elements as well as adding the energy recovery system. The new rules ban 'add-on aerodynamic devices' such as winglets, and the front wings are both lower and wider up front, in hopes of promoting more overtaking.
Also new for the 2009 season is the re-introduction of slick tires after a 12-year absence and a new set of engine restrictions that will limit season-long totals to just eight engines per driver.