Back to the racing

July 20, 2009

Hopefully the headlines will be turning back to the racing at the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend. We should also have confirmation (fingers crossed) of the commercial agreement between the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder – Formula One Group.

A Toyota F1 car leaves the pits at Imola in 2004

A Toyota F1 car leaves the pits at Imola in 2004

As Hungary is round ten out of sixteen races we are now moving into the final phase of the season where the 2009 world championship will be decided. It is interesting to note how the relative position of the teams has shifted during the season so far. Brawn have been able to maintain their position at the front, thereby answering those critics who viewed the team as simply making the most of writing off their 2008 car and having a whole year to work on their 2009 design. Red Bull have also consolidated a competitive car at the start of the year to one which is consistent front runner. The main switch during the first ten races has been the way in which Toyota, who had started off very strongly in Australia and Malaysia, have fallen back and Ferrari have moved forward. We are also seeing positive signs from McLaren indicating that last years two front runners may be finally getting their act together. Williams have also been able to maintain a presence in the points during most of the races this year. Toyota’s relative lack of development pace compared to the other front runners is an interesting point for an organisation which is world-renowned for continuous improvement through the Toyota Way. Toyota have been competing in F1 since 2002 and have yet to win a race, despite a multi-billion dollar investment in their F1 project. Toyota are currently third in the championship and maybe we will see a resurgence from Toyota in the later half of the year, but currently it looks like the Toyota Way does not move quickly enough to stay at the front in F1.

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