Toyota: KERS the least of everyone s problems

Toyota s bosses today gave their strongest sign yet that they are not intending to use their Kinetic Energy Recovery System at the first race in Melbourne on 29 March. Following a so-far inconclusive test at the Autodromo Nacional do Algarve, team boss Tamashi Yamashina told German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport that his team would be preoccupied with making their TF109 competitive.

He said: “The KERS for Formula One has nothing to do with the hybrid cars on the street. So I think we would be forgiven for not using it.”

The Portimao test has been wet for both days so far, which has not helped teams to understand the level of performance of their new machines. In fact, even pace relative to other teams has been difficult to assess, and all at Toyota were concerned about the lack of time available before the start of the season.

“We have to get it right straight away,” driver Jarno Trulli told the BBC. He added that regulation changes put particular pressure on this year.

‘Winter testing is more crucial now than in any other season before.”

In theory, the lack of preparation time in a season of dramatic changes could make for spectacular races in which reliability plays a considerable part. But the president of Toyota motorsport, John Howett, said that there could be a big performance gap between the teams.

Toyota president John Howett warned: “The one question we are all concerned about is whether the field will be strung out.

“Historically when there has been a massive regulation change in F1, there has tended to be a bigger dispersion of performance between cars.”