New Toyota technical director Mike Gascoyne has compared his new team to the one he left at the end of the 2003 season, claiming that it could emulate Renault's recent success if it concentrates on rectifying the errors it made this year.

Gascoyne told BBC Online that he has set the team the target of being 'best of the rest' in 2004, with a view to taking the challenge to the likes of Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Renault the following year.

Formerly technical director at Renault, Gascoyne begins work at Toyota's Cologne base today [1 December], after a period of 'gardening leave', and insists that his main aim for 2004 is to get the team running the way he wants it in order to move up the F1 pecking order.

"It's not about results in the first year, it's about the set-up of the team and then the results come afterwards," he explained, "I think it is realistic to aim to be fifth. Whether it's achievable [or not], I'm not in a position to judge.

"The drivers are good enough, the engine looks to be very good, [but] chassis-wise, it can be much better aerodynamically. And, in terms of the team's general set-up, they were weak. I feel it's a fairly similar situation to Renault [in 2000]."

Gascoyne was at the technical helm of both Jordan and Renault when the teams enjoyed an upturn in performance - a situation that led to him being offered more lucrative positions elsewhere. He now joins Toyota after months of speculation linking him to the role.

"Having changed teams twice and made them into winners, I'm very confident in my ability to do that - especially with the resources that Toyota have," he said, "There are good people and a lot of resources, but Toyota undoubtedly have less experience. They are behind in some areas and ahead in others. However, they are incredibly determined to do it - the line I received is that, whatever they go into in motorsport, they don't stop until they have won it."

"To turn the team around, that is not a challenge, I can do that. The challenge is to make them world champions."

 

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