The Toyota F1 team is confident that the return to form it showed in Istanbul will carry through to this weekend's British Grand Prix, where Silverstone's fast corners will play to the TF109's strengths for the last time.
According to senior general manager Pascal Vasselon, the Northamptonshire airfield circuit has the right sort of attributes for the team to continue to feature at the front of the field, having pinpointed the reasons for its dismal showing in Monaco two races ago. After qualifying on the final row of the grid in the Principality, feverish work on the aero package introduced ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix produced better results in Turkey, where both Jarno Trulli, in fourth, and Timo Glock, in eighth, scored points.
"First of all, Monaco was a one-off combination of track layout and racing environment, so we were confident the problems we had there would not be repeated in Turkey," Vasselon commented, "But still we had question marks about whether we could regain our level from earlier in the season, simply because our race in Spain was ruined at the first corner and then we had Monaco, so it was difficult to judge.
"We put in a huge amount of effort at the factory to improve global performance and also develop solutions to the Monaco issues we had identified. As with most races, we brought some new parts to Turkey, updating several key elements of the car, and these worked very well, giving us a good step. It was especially satisfying to be most competitive in the slow-speed sections of the track. We have planned for continuous development throughout the season and so far we are able to maintain the targeted development pace."
With the season fast approaching its halfway point, Toyota remains third in the constructors' championship, with either Trulli and/or Glock picking up regular points, and Vasselon insists that most of the team's pre-season predictions have been met.
"We are more or less where our estimation of pre-season testing told us we would be - in the top three," he confirmed, "We have made a good start and we are fighting at the right end of the grid, with three podiums and third place in the constructors' championship. It has been very promising and we are clearly in the right ball park, but we still have bigger targets we want to achieve this year, so we are not satisfied.
"Obviously, our performance during winter testing and at the start of the season shows we took the right direction with the TF109 from the very start of the concept phase. There has been no need to revisit our original concept and, even though we needed to work on some solutions after Monaco, I would say there are no fundamental problems with the car. So I have no regrets with the way we have conducted development of the TF109. It gives us a very competitive baseline and the challenge now is simply to extract even more performance from this package by improving efficiency.
"Even though we are in the top three in terms of performance, we are still missing a little in order to be systematically contending for victory. That is our target and we are working hard to close the gap."
Admitting that he will be sad to see Silverstone disappear from the calendar, Vasselon said that he was expecting the TF109 to be running at the sharp end of the field, even if the British Grand Prix was not necessarily all about speed, as many presume.