Toyota Motorsport team principal, Tadashi Yamashina has revealed that he has been given two more years to try and turn things around and take the Cologne-based operation to the front of the grid.

Since Toyota made its debut in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship back in 2002, the results have been pretty disappointing and 2007 was no exception. Indeed Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher combined to notch up only 13 points last season and there were no podiums - nor were there any fourth or fifth places to 'celebrate'.

While it is unclear whether it is just Yamashina who has two years or the entire Toyota F1 programme itself, it is obvious that the team needs to make dramatic progress with the TF108 - its 2008 challenger, which will be officially unveiled on January 10.

"This year's experience brought home to me the fact that we have lot of work to do," he conceded in Toyota's annual report for 2007. "We need to continue to push hard to arrive at the top.

"Our goal at the beginning of the year was to lead the second group and gradually reduce the gap between us and the two top teams, but in the end it was proved that we had been too optimistic.

"We studied our performances in 2007 and we believe we have found areas where we have to improve.

"We expect more from the aerodynamaic side and also from an operational side but I am optimistic that the team knows what needs to be done to improve our performance."

"[For] Panasonic Toyota Racing to become stronger [though] it is more important to improve the level of organisation in general rather than to rely on the power of one person," he added.

"My job is to mobilize the resources to achieve that. I have been given two more years. So, we will work and fight to make sure we prove ourselves in the 2008 season."

Toyota Racing team manager Richard Creagan meanwhile concurs that 2007 was not exactly great. He is convinced though that it wasn't all bad: "It's been a difficult season for us because we didn't meet our expectations, but as every year we learned a lot," he explained.

"We have to move on now and make sure that we improve the performance of the new car - that's key. We also have to understand all of issues that we had this year to make sure that we employ solutions for next year.

"Formula 1 is a very difficult business, I think as I said many times before we have to find a good balance between Formula 1 way and Toyota Way, which I believe gives us as an advantage over other team. I think all of us, at Panasonic Toyota team Racing aim to improve and I don't think we never stop improving - this is a basic Toyota philosophy.

"We are at track as representing one of largest corporations in the world and we need to do that correctly."

 

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