Team: Toyota Motorsports GmbH
Designers: Mike Gascoyne (TD), Gustav Brunner (CD)
Drivers: Olivier Panis (17), Christiano Da Matta (16), Ricardo Zonta (17), Jarno Trulli (16)
Designed by Chief Designer Gustav Brunner and his team, the TF104 is an evolutionary redesign of its TF103 predecessor and will play an integral role in the team's aim of closing the gap to Formula 1's leading teams in 2004. It quickly proved a bit too high to aim for as the Toyota was off the pace as of the start.
At the launch on 17 January, the new Toyota did not appear radically different from its predecessor and is in fact very similar apart from detail changes which can be expected as in-season developments. Underneath the evolutionary bodywork however, the car's internal components have undergone a significant reassessment.
The most visible change is the increase of surface on the engine cover in accordance to the new regulations, aimed to increase advertising space. Along with that change, the new car also features bigger rear wing endplates.
The front wing is reverted to a design similar to the Ferrari F2003, contrary to the waved pattern Toyota used at the end of 2003. Such a design change is no doubt influenced by the single keel design of the Toyota.
Further changes include differently positioned exhausts which now point towards the rear centre of the car, where previously they were pointed straight backwards. Overall, this car looks like similar to an F2003 at the rear, with a big sidepod at the beginning, but sloping quickly towards the rear.
In the frontal area, the nose is visibly sleeker while the bargeboards were replaced by horizontal guiding vanes just ahead of the air inlet of the sidepods (Williams used these in 2003, just like Benetton several years before).
At the team's launch, Toyota announced new partnerships with Dassault Systems, DENSO and Intel.
Result wise, the TF104 was a huge disappointment for the wealthy Toyota team. At arrival at his new team, technical director Mike Gascoyne had seen the engine's state of the art design was a huge difference from the chassis. He therefore started to redesign the car, after which the Toyota TF104B was born and introduced at the Grand Prix of Hockenheim 2004.
The TF104 was during its 11 active races good for 8 points, with a best 4th place managed by Olivier Panis at Indianapolis.
Chassis code: TF104
Material: Carbon fibre
Transmission: Toyota seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox
Front suspension: Push rod with torsion bar
Rear suspension: Push rod with torsion bar
Wheels: BBS Magnesium, front: 13in x 13in, rear: 12.5in x 13.7in
Tyres: Michelin Pilot
Electronics: Magneti Marelli
- Wheelbase: 3090mm
- Total Length: 4627mm
- Front Track: 1425mm
- Rear Track: 1411mm
Designation: Toyota RVX-04
Type: 90° V10 / 3000 cc
Spark Plugs: Denso
Fuel and Lubricants: Esso
Maximum horsepower: Around 900 bhp