Toyota have launched there new challenger for the 2006 F1 season. The TF106 V8 has been launched and will be tested at Barcelona for 4 days this week.
Mike Gascoyne said “We have been working on the TF106 since the end of 200. The TF106 that will run in Barcelona marks the first stage of development for this car with continuous improvements planned in the run-up to the first race.
We are adopting a similar schedule to last season by testing the car early. This allows us to develop the mechanical side of car thoroughly before we introduce a new aero package in time for the first race.
This strategy helped us to be extremely competitive at the start 2005 and we are confident the same will happen in 2006.”
The other big reason stated for early launch is that the Bridgestone Potenza rubber that Toyota have agreed to run with this year has never been used in any sort of anger on the Toyota, so a lot of the testing will probably be based at getting an idea of the differences between the Bridgestone tyres and the Michelin tyres that they ran last year.
Hopefully with more large teams (Williams and Ferrari are both on the ‘Grade A’ tyres as well) on the Potenza tyres hopefully Bridgestone will catch up on the performance gap that they were experiencing last year.
With all the current debate (Honda are not happy with the V10 restrictions) around V10 vs. V8 engines the 2006 season could be a cracker!