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GP Week : Issue 55
Toyota :: 3rd place, 34.5 points Toyota has just two retirements to its name in 2009, and a TF109 that is by far the best car the team has ever produced to compete in Formula 1. That said, it has just three podiums to show for its efforts and its form is, at times, baffling. From looking like race winners, to propping up the grid, Toyota has been the yo-yo team of 2009. It had the advantage of starting the season with the double diffuser, but has not been able to keep pace with the rate of development in F1 this season. Considering the company’s resources and staff, just how this team is yet to win a race is the eternal question of modern F1. If the team fails to score a victory in the second half of 2009, that lingering question over its long term future in the sport will no doubt rear its head again. Jarno Trulli has scored two podiums in 2009 and sits sixth in the World Championship, while his team-mate Timo Glock sits eighth with one podium on his belt. But thus far in the season both have at times appeared to be almost invisible. Glock was unlucky in Malaysia, as had the race run on a few laps longer he might well have taken the victory. Rumour places him at McLaren in 2010, although Toyota does have an option on the German’s services. Trulli’s future is unclear and much will depend on Toyota’s continued presence in F1. Ferrari :: 4th place, 32 points Quite how Ferrari has amassed 32 points and reached fourth in the championship is, frankly, anyone’s guess. The F60 has been a handful from day one, and alongside McLaren, last season’s constructors’ champions admitted early on that they’d spent far too much time and effort concentrating on last year’s campaign, to the detriment of their 2009 assault on the title. That Felipe Massa’s German podium was the first time he’d tasted post-race champagne since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix speaks volumes, but it’s been Massa’s continued plugging away that has seen the team reach a position we might have thought impossible just a few races ago. Massa has been the workhorse of the Ferrari team once again in 2009, making the most of the upgrades to the F60 to record five points finishes in a row, culminating in his podium in Germany. While wins are a long way from a realistic possibility, the team is moving in the right direction and was able to compete effectively with the Brawns in colder conditions. Kimi Raikkonen has, again, been something of a disappointment. His ice- cream eating antics in Malaysia while his rivals debated taking a restart caused much mirth, and it was a very public display that he really doesn’t give all that much of a toss about the sport if he’s not winning ... which he hasn’t done since Spain last year. He makes his WRC debut at Rally Finland, and has been linked with a move to Brawn or BMW. Retirement isn’t out of the realms of possibility next year.