Monday, 12 January 2009

Holy Smokes....Toyota?

With Ferrari launching their brand new car for the 2009 season, the F60, we now have our first official championship contender unveiled for the world to see. Next comes Toyota, and judging by their launch page, is it going to be a case of living up to the hype or failing to reach expectations?

I was directed to the "TF109 Premiere" page which features a dramatic looking background featuring clouds emblazoned across a sunset and a striking silhouette of what looks to be the TF108 rushing towards the screen. A timer counting down towards the official launch of their 2009 car finishes the page, but it does kind of leave you wondering - what does it all mean?

Are they just looking for attention? Or could it really be the signal of something big about to happen? The way the silhouette looks suggests there could be another Toyota-Batman tie-in. If some of you don't remember, the team joined up with the new Batman movie The Dark Knight for a promotional stunt involving their F1 and the Batmobile at Silverstone before and during the British GP. Both vehicles ran on track together prior to the race weekend for a promotional display and the TF108 featured black rear wing endplates and aerodynamic side pieces (or whatever they're called!) with the Batman logo on them. It did seem overall a rather pointless stunt. But could this be the sign of a new movie for the franchise and a new partnership. If it is, you'd be wise to expect Batman and Robin running round changing tyres.

We've seen news stories with Toyota pledging their future to Formula 1, targeting perfect reliability and claiming Timo Glock will be the key to their further development and progression up the grid. How they've decided to interpret the new for 2009 aero regulations remains to be seen, but we do know their KERS system will not be expected any sooner than mid-way through the season. Judging by how Ferrari's car looks after today, it would be wise not to expect anything too pretty. One thing which would be welcome though is a different paint scheme. Since 2002, their car has looked virtually the same up to this point. Please Toyota, do something different! Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing them become Lexus and going with something striking in black and gold. Now that for me would look awesome.

What are your thoughts and expectations on what Toyota have up their sleeve? Will we see a radical interpretation of the rules from Japan? Will we get anything better looking than what we've had so far? And will they ever change that livery?


Christine said...

Do you think they really would splash out on a new livery? I'm not sure we'd ever be able to spot the Toyota out on track, we're so used to that traditional red and white.

Woodwiss_F1 said...

I guess so. But then if they kept it the same again this season, we'd be back to square one.

me said...

if the keep the same again this year, they'll be as anonymous as ever. they've got to do something radical.

Woodwiss_F1 said...

Exactly, which is why I say rebrand as Lexus and go with black and gold in a really distinctive paint scheme.

Ollie said...

"they've got to do something radical"

Like when Honda did away with sponsors? Or like when Honda did away with F1?