Toyota: we’re the fastest so far

An unnamed Toyota source has said that he believes the Cologne-based team has the fastest overall package in the field. The Japanese marque’s team has impressed in testing so far, with Jarno Trulli scoring third and fourth highest spots on the timesheets in the first two days of Barcelona testing, before he hands over to Timo Glock today.

An engineer for the team told German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport: “Taking into consideration the fuel weights, we had the fastest car in the field.”

It is rare for teams to be this candid about their pace, as it is usually considered wiser to prove the speed on the track. Therefore the statement either indicates supreme confidence on the part of the team, or a bluff designed to talk up their performance. The latter is a possibility, because of continued speculation surrounding the team’s involvement in the sport. Parent company Toyota today cut 10% off the salary of 4000 British employees, a further indication of the dire financial circumstances many car makers find themselves in.

Race teams are thus harder-pushed this year than ever before to produce competitive cars, as their survival could depend on performance.