''We're still here now and we want to win this year''
The Toyota team went from a strong belief in victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix to a zero points score in Spain, then to the rear of the grid on the streets of Monte Carlo last weekend.
The TF109 was fitted with
improvements recently, but it has become apparent that the newest package is not proving to be as competitive as its predecessor.
"We had upgrades on the car that might not have worked well," admitted Jarno Trulli
. The Toyota driver was speaking to Montreal-area radio station FM103.3 Thursday evening as he participated in a fund raiser for the Jean-Talon Hospital Foundation, which was showcasing his wines.
"The last two races were not as we expected," Trulli continued as he looked back at Toyota's results in Spain and Monaco. "We went from the first line in Bahrain to the last line in Monaco, so that means that something really did not work right."
"Now we're understanding why, but I'm confident because Monaco is a somewhat special Grand Prix, often cars work or don't work. I hope things will work better in Turkey," the Italian said. "We must be confident; from that point, the track will speak its results."
On Friday the members of FOTA, the F1 teams association, registered their entries in the 2010 championship in order to respect the established deadline. However, they did so conditionally while the heated negotiations with the FIA continue.
If the controversial 2010 rules and budget-capping options FIA President Max Mosley has adopted are not amended in their favour, certain teams have threatened to leave the sport entirely, including Toyota - a fierce opponent to the Mosley plan.
As the FOTA-FIA conflict continues, Trulli remains unsure of the outcome: "No one knows the future, be it in Formula One or in the teams, so I think we have to wait a little and let this political crisis soon pass."
Before the 2009 season even began, Toyota was adamant about reaching the podium regularly and signing its first F1 victory this year. After six races, Trulli has stood on the podium twice but the elusive maiden win still beckons.
Trulli was asked whether he believed his team would go all-out for a win before the 2009 championship ends, perhaps as a last-chance effort before leaving the sport, or rather decide to pull back from its potential at a point later on in the season in order to concentrate on a stronger 2010 bid if its participation is confirmed.
"Difficult question to answer," he began. "We're still here now and we want to win this year. Even if the last race did not go so well we are confident."
"Afterwards, for the future, I have no idea," he added. "For now everything is still in the air, we have a big political crisis in Formula One between the teams and the FIA so it's hard to judge."
"From our side at Toyota, we continue to push, to develop the car and do our best," Trulli stated. "And after we'll see."