Check out the Panasonic Toyota Racing 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix Feature from the AutoMoto TV experts.
Male Speaker: Panasonic Toyota Racing has enjoyed a busy and eventful season in 2008, finishing with some hard-earned podium trophies and its second biggest points haul in Formula 1. With podiums for both Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, and consistent point-scoring throughout the year, the behind-the-scenes progress at the team's headquarters in Cologne, Germany is being translated into on-track performance. Fighting towards the front in 2008 has only whetted the appetite and everything is in place for more improvement in 2009. John Howett: I think the atmosphere within the team is a barometer of success; it's always easy to motivate a team when we're being successful, so this year has been easier. I think the really encouraging thing for me is that every element of the entire organization is working together. So, historically, an engine was an engine, now you see the engine team supporting, shall we say, performance at every track in terms of traction, how much cooling we need, whether we can run the engine hotter. So really now we have a total unified organization, the boundaries are being broken down with a clear vision on winning. Male Speaker: Throughout the season the team has concentrated on problem solving and continuous, step-by-step improvements. Both of these are key parts of 'The Toyota Way' a business philosophy shared across the Toyota group of companies. Richard Cregan: It's not a management philosophy, it's a team philosophy, and I think that's the difference to a lot of other management 'flavour of the month' if you like, and new ideas. 'The Toyota Way' is a way of life, it's a way of doing things, it's been referred to as a genetic way of operating. And for me it has been successful in many, many ways. And in particular in bringing people together and working as a team. I think that's the one particular point that we have been very successful this year, apart from the success of the car itself. Male Speaker: There's no question that the TF108 has been a significant improvement on its predecessor, but how has Panasonic Toyota Racing achieved this major step forward? John Howett: I think the biggest fundamental issues are that we have the right number of people in the areas that give performance. We have a much more detailed and comprehensive database, so we know more about every track and what are the key performance parameters and fundamentally we've got extremely good people doing the important jobs everywhere in the factory. So we have the skills, we have the people and I think the reason that our performance is stronger this year is every single element is improving, not just several, but every single element. We're finding hundredths of a second every corner of every lap and that's what's making the difference. Male Speaker: So a more fluid and unified team has in turn lead to better performance from the car, but there's one more important factor, in once again establishing Panasonic Toyota Racing as a serious challenger in Formula 1. Male Speaker: The other reason is the performance of the drivers. And it will place too much emphasis on age, but the freshness of Timo's approach to driving has stimulated Jarno. Jarno teaches Timo things based on his experience, so the drivers have been working hard for us based on their respective strengths. Richard Cregan: I know we have two drivers that communicate very well, in Jarno and Timo. And they work together in developing the car, they communicate with the engineers, they communicate with each other very well with the complete team, they do a lot of factory visits. For example Timo is now living in Cologne so he's in and out of the factory like a normal employee. And I think this is a huge motivation for everybody. Male Speaker: With a formidable driver pairing, ever-improving teamwork and a quiet optimism when it comes to the new TF109, Panasonic Toyota Racing is now looking ahead to the 2009 season. Richard Cregan: I believe we are on the verge of a very good season in 2009. It's an equal platform for everybody where we go in with a completely new car and I think that's going to be the real tell-tale of whether we've done our homework or not in the previous years. John Howett: Our ambition really is to squeeze more performance and to be more aggressive to achieve podiums. It's great this year to be back on the podium, I think we have two drivers and a car that can challenge for podium positions, so it's been a good year but the future is the middle, number one. There's no doubt in my mind that we will win races and become world champion in the future. Male Speaker: That requires another step forward from Panasonic Toyota Racing in 2009. But there is positive energy as the team looks forward to the challenges and successes ahead. Panasonic Toyota Racing is looking to the future with confidence and determination.