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Toyota was surprised by sixth place, and does not expect an easy race at Imola either

Toyota was surprised by sixth place, and does not expect an easy race at Imola either

The last time Toyota didn't get on the podium in a WEC race was in Bahrain in 2016, and you have to go back a year to find the last time neither finished in the top five.

These statistics clearly show how much of a decline the inaugural season in Qatar has been compared to previous years for Toyota, although it has also been easier to regularly finish at the top in recent seasons due to the smaller numbers of the King class.

The Japanese had already struggled in the prologue and FP1, but in qualifying, the #7 car achieved a previously unimaginable lap, meaning they secured a second starting position and some hope for their fans.

However, the brand, which gained 9 kilograms of excess weight for the season and lost 4 kW (about 5.5 hp) of power, had absolutely no chance of getting on the podium in the competition. Kamui Kobayashi According to the team boss, they don't really understand how they came in sixth place.

“Getting sixth place was impossible. This was the limit. In fact, we were so slow that, frankly, it was a mystery to me how we got to sixth place.” Sportscar365 quotes Kobayashi's post-race statement.

As he talked about after the training sessions, the biggest problem was tire grain. After the fall test, Toyota already expected that it would not be easy for it in Qatar, but the extra kilograms it received this year made it worse.

Toyota leaders subtly hinted at the difficulties caused by the Bank of Japan, but stressed that they would be busy with their own business.

“Instead of getting upset, we look forward to the next competition. I think we need to put the balance of payments aside, and we need to focus on what we can do as a team.” Kobayashi continued.

“Those are the rules, so it's not our problem. We have to try to improve the car and salvage what can be salvaged. We will work hard to have a car in which our drivers feel good and can drive properly.”

Toyota's new technical director David Flory He also found it difficult to hide his disappointment.


Toyota GR010 Hybrid

Photo: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

“Now that's all we have. We can be happy because we were able to get the points, but if we look at the whole picture, there is no reason to be happy. The pace of the two cars was similar and we were struggling all the time. It was not easy with the weight we received in front of Qatar”. Sportscar365 quoted Fleury as saying.

“The whole weekend was about trying to keep this pimple problem under control somehow, which wasn't nice. We tried a lot of things, but we couldn't find a real solution.”

“Everyone is playing catch-up, and I won't comment on the rest of it.”

“We have to mind our own business, but the current picture does not look good.”

Perhaps most interesting was when he was asked about the next race and the chances at Imola.

“If we had to play with the same weight, it would be difficult there too. We hope the graining doesn’t happen, but we haven’t experienced it there before.”

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