Panasonic Toyota Racing left Shanghai from the final race of the 2005 season celebrating the team's most successful season in Formula 1 in its short four year history. With 88 points, 5 podiums 2 pole positions and 1 fastest race lap, Toyota were 4th in the constructors' championship, whilst race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli finished the season in 6th and 7th in the drivers' standings with 45 and 43 points respectively.
The TF105 race car appeared in varying guises over the season and culminated in the creation of the TF105B which was successfully raced in the final two events of the year in Japan and China.
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director Chassis of Panasonic Toyota Racing takes us through some of the more notable developments of the TF105 chassis during the season, which have seen Toyota racing at the front of the field on a regular basis in 2005.
TF105, Car launch
Mike Gascoyne "Our intention was always to launch an interim TF105 based on the TF104B that had raced in the latter part of the 2004 season. It was our aim to focus predominantly on the mechanical aspects of the car before unveiling a new aerodynamic package at the first race of the year in Melbourne. A lot of people had criticised us early in the year for producing a car that was too similar to its predecessor. But it was this approach that ensured we had the mechanical reliability to complete 90% of all laps over the 19-race long season."
Australian Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "We came to Australia with a new front wing, which basically incorporated a lower centre section, as well as totally revised bodywork with new wings and other detailed changes. Unfortunately the end result on race day did not do our hard work justice with both drivers finishing outside of the points, but we were convinced from the lap times during the race that the TF105 had the potential to get some good results. And so it proved at the next race..."
|Front wing captions|
1. Vertical straight support instead of U-shape
2. More prominent spoon shape
3. Stepped profile higher from the ground
4. Modified end plate
5. New fins beside the nose cone
Malaysian Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "The majority of chages to the TF105 throughout the year were focussed on aerodynamic updates. As early as the second race in Malaysia, we were ready with the second-specification of front wing, aimed at improving the levels of downforce and overall aero efficiency. The new regulations specified the height of the wing, but allowed room for manoeuvre when it came to the middle of the wing, so it became quickly apparent that teams would play with the spoon concept to find the best aero compromise. This helped us secure a second front row grid slot of the year with Jarno, who then went on to enjoy a trouble-free run to secure Panasonic Toyota Racing's debut podium position with a sensational second. Ralf's fifth place underlined that we were going to be a front running team in 2005."
|Front wing captions|
1. More extreme spoon shape compared to Melbourne
2. New front wing flap
Spanish Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "We made detailed changes to the car at the Bahrain and San Marino events, collecting 17 points in total. The Spanish GP, the fifth race of the year, saw our next major update. In order to improve the air flow underneath the car, we split the front part of the floor into two, which in turn forced us to mount the sidepod wing from the bodywork of the car rather than from the side of the cockpit. After a comparatively disappointing Imola race, we returned to the podium for the third time in five races with Ralf chasing Jarno home to third and fourth place and a healthy 11 championship points."
Monaco Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "Monaco is all about downforce. Because there are no high speed straights, there is also no issue with drag effect, so we try to put as many aero devices as possible. This year, we incorporated a bigger rear wing with a split in the flap. We counteracted this with some unique front wing elements to balance the car. Our race was affected by Ralf's crash in first qualifying which had a knock-on effect as Jarno was the first car out after the track was cleared up. That meant that our grid positions were not as good as they could have been, but Ralf drove a strong race from the back of the field to finish sixth, collect three points and keep us third in the championship at that time."
French Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "Our work in the windtunnel is non-stop throughout the year which has helped us to continually develop the TF105 during the season. We made another aero improvement at the French Grand Prix by removing the exhaust faring to free up the air flow to the rear of the car. This in turn led to an improvement in rear downforce, which helped Jarno to his fourth front row grid slot of the season and another double points finish for the team."
Hungarian Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "At Hungary, we adopt similar downforce settings to Monaco, but we have to take into consideration the drag effect. This year we used a triple-wing set-up on top of the engine cover as an efficient way of adding downforce to the TF105s. Similarly, when we came to the lower downforce Monza track we took these winglets off completely to achieve the opposite effect. A fourth trip to the podium was our reward in Budapest with Ralf stepping up to take his debut podium for the team, whilst Jarno took fourth."
Italian Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "In addition to removal of the engine cover winglets for this low-downforce track, we also came to Monza with revised barge boards, which had been developed for the TF105B, as well as an update on the diffuser. We also removed the sidepod flap and modified the smaller front wing flaps in order to reduce the downforce as much as possible. We performed well at Monza with Jarno finishing 5th and Ralf crossing the line in 6th. The resultant seven points enabled us to close the gap to the top three teams in the constructors' standings."
Japanese Grand Prix
Mike Gascoyne "The Japanese Grand Prix was quite a landmark event for us this year because we brought the TF105B along. The B-spec car was primarily intended as a conceptual car for 2006, incorporating a new front suspension, but we had always hoped to race the car in the final GPs of the season to gain valuable data for next season. The main changes were to be found in the front suspension with relocation of lower wishbone, steering column and guiding vanes and an overall improvement in the car's aerodynamics."
"As a consequence of the new front suspension on the TF105B, we also added an extra vane at the rear of the chassis to cope with improved flow of air compared to the standard TF105. Aside from the TF105B modifications, we also added an outside air duct on the rear upright which improved air flow through the wheel and reduced heat transfer to the rear tyres. This improved the consistency of the rear tyres during the race."
TF105 Vs TF105B
1. Previous keel mount of the suspension
2. New mounting point on the chassis
3. Previous location of steering column
4. New positioning of steering column
5. Previous arrangement of guiding vanes
6. New arrangement of guiding vanes
Mike Gascoyne "These aforementioned illustrations highlight just some of the major changes made to the TF105 over the season. We have updated and uprated the car on a race-by-race basis throughout the year, making detailed changes wherever possible to improve the aero efficiency, enhance the mechanical package and reduce the overall weight of the car. I am pleased with the hard work of the team over the year and especially to get the B-car ready to race in Japan and China – it was a real challenge, but I am sure the data we have gathered will be useful for 2006, not forgetting the immediate benefits we reaped from the car with Ralf's pole position in Japan and podium result in China. A fitting end to Panasonic Toyota Racing's most competitive season in Formula 1."Source: Toyota