Today the 2009 Toyota F1 car was unveiled in a special ‘virtual launch’ online. This means the press have only seen what we’ve seen, they’ve not seen it ‘in the flesh’.
The car looks somewhat different to previous Toyota F1 cars, which always seemed a little bulkier than the competition. It has a higher and shorter nosecone section than both previous cars and those of other teams. I hope they’ve tested it and it won’t pierce sidepods of other cars in a crash.. It looks like a much improved car on the previous efforts, but we really can’t tell too much yet as Toyota have only released a small selection of photos.
Unfortunately the recent trend among all teams is to ban photographers from these events in favour of a strictly controlled PR environment where they supply studio shots of the cars, where journalists are only allowed to ask banal questions and they only receive banal answers. This is the reason you will not find any team or driver quotes from the launches on this blog. There isn’t any point, you know what they are going to say before you read it. How things have changed since the late 90s! No dry ice and elaborate presentations these days.
Tomorrow sees the launch of the new McLaren, with Williams and Renault both launching on Monday, then BMW on Tuesday. This is followed immediately by the first ‘group test’ of the season, to be held at the new Portimao circuit in the Algarve, Portugal (although it seems BMW will be at Valencia). The F1 press will get some good photos next week. I really must investigate the rights and wrongs of posting other people’s photos here..