Toyota admitted to its acute disappointment at the end of a British Grand Prix in which it had hoped and 'genuinely expected to fight for the podium' – only to come away with just two points courtesy of Jarno Trulli's lowly seventh place, as the cool conditions failed to play in their favour.
The Italian had qualified a superb fourth around a circuit that he claimed had never particularly shone upon him in the past, but come race day his Silverstone bad luck curse would return to strike, as a poor getaway when the lights went out – something of a bugbear of the TF109 in 2009 – cost him track position to Kazuki Nakajima, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg.
A general lack of speed from thereon in – with just the ninth-fastest lap time to his name, more than a second off the outright pace – saw Trulli ultimately cede ground to current F1 World Championship leader Jenson Button and Felipe Massa too. Though the Pescara native would regain the upper hand over Raikkonen during the final round of pit visits, still seventh place was far from what had been anticipated, and almost half a minute shy of the bottom step of the rostrum at the chequered flag.
“It was a very hard race for me,” confessed the frustrated 34-year-old. “I had a difficult start because the car didn't pull away as fast as normal, so I lost a couple of positions. I was trying to fight back all through the race, but it was not easy and the car was sliding around quite a lot; maybe this was because of the aero set-up I had chosen the previous day.
“I expected the weather to be a little warmer than it was and I was struggling a bit with my set-up, especially on long runs. Our strategy was okay, but we expected more from this race so I am determined to make up for it in Germany.”
Team-mate Timo Glock was similarly out of luck, also slipping back three spots at the start and recovering only to ninth at the close, hounding Raikkonen's Ferrari all the way to the line but unable to make an impression as he wound up the first of the non point-scoring finishers, barely 1.5 seconds adrift of the sister car.
“It's a pity to miss out on the points, especially as I was really quick out of traffic and at the end I was able to catch Kimi quite easily,” related the young German. “The problem was at the first corner when I lost a few positions; that left me in traffic and compromised my race. Still, I didn't give up and I was fighting with [Giancarlo] Fisichella in the middle stint when there was a chance to get into the points.
“On the hard tyres at the end the car felt good and I very quickly caught Kimi, but I had no chance to overtake. I tried into the final corner on the last lap, but it didn't work out. Now I am looking to the next grand prix, which is a home race for me and the team. I hope it will be a bit warmer there, which would suit our car more than the low temperatures here.”
“We expected a better result than this,” reflected the Cologne-based outfit's motorsport president John Howett, “but the race didn't turn out as we had hoped. Qualifying was very promising and we genuinely expected to fight for the podium, but Jarno lost positions at the start and Timo was squeezed going into the first corner. Two points is far less than we expected after the qualifying result, but this will motivate us to develop further and come back stronger for one of our home grands prix at the Nürburgring.”