Oops. Did we curse Toyota?

Toyota failed to score for the second race in a row at Monza

Toyota failed to score for the second race in a row at Monza

Three weeks ago, between the Valencia and Spa races, we did a poll on which team would finish fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Toyota dominated the voting, with over three-quarters backing them to take fourth in the constructors’ title. Since then they haven’t scored a point and their fourth place is under attack from Renault and possibly even Toro Rosso. What’s gone wrong for Toyota – and can their rivals now beat them to fourth place?

One word: rain. Toyota, rather like Ferrari, are having difficulty getting their tyres up to temperature on cold days. So the wet conditions at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza were bad news for them. Here’s how the battle for fourth has changed this year:

2008 F1 constructors\' championship - battle for fourth (click to enlarge)

2008 F1 constructors' championship - battle for fourth (click to enlarge)

Meanwhile a pair of fourth places for Fernando Alonso put Renault level with Toyota on 41 points (though if the championship were to end today Jarno Trulli’s third place at Magny-Cours would put Toyota ahead).

The biggest gains in the past two races were made by Toro Rosso, who have leapt up to seventh with 27 points. According to Adam Cooper in the Autosport Journal (sub. req.) Toro Rosso switched from using Ferrari’s ‘customer’ specification engine to the ‘works’ unit (Ferrari having apparently homologated two engines) and the benefits the upgrade has brought to the team is obvious.

But will it be enough for them to catch Toyota and Renault over the final four races at Singapore, Fuji, Shanghai and Interlagos? It seems the battle for fourth in the constructors’ title isn’t as clear-cut as we thought.

2008 F1 championship points after Monza in full

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27 comments on Oops. Did we curse Toyota?

  1. Tengil said on 19th September 2008, 7:44

    “Toyota switched from using Ferrari’s ‘customer’ specification engine to the ‘works’ unit (Ferrari having apparently homologated two engines)”

    There is a mistake here somewhere, see if you can find it ;)

  2. > Toyota, rather like Ferrari, are having
    > difficulty getting their tyres up to
    > temperature on cold days.
    When was that spy case concerning two ex-Ferrari men jumping ship to Toyota? ;)

  3. Are Toyota being cursed by using Ferrari engines? :-)

  4. It’s just a mistake , everyone knows he means STR. I wonder how Ferrrari were able to homologate 2 engines – must be because they supply customers , so the same should have applied to Renault.

  5. and why aren’t Mercedes, Toyota and BMW allowed to have customers too?

  6. “According to Adam Cooper in the Autosport Journal (sub. req.) Toyota switched from using Ferrari’s ‘customer’ specification engine to the ‘works’ unit (Ferrari having apparently homologated two engines) and the benefits the upgrade has brought to the team is obvious.”

    erm, Toyota has the Ferrari?, i’m assuming its Torro Rosso, not Toyota. But if i’m wrong my brain hurts.

  7. Keith just disclosed the biggest secret of F1 :-)

    @DG – not sure what you mean by “not allowed to have customers” – Toyota supplies engines to Williams, BMW and Mercedes simply do not have customers for their engines. whether it is because they are not interested or there is no demand that is different question

  8. @ DG
    > and why aren’t Mercedes, Toyota and BMW allowed
    > to have customers too?
    Eh, they are. They just don’t want to. Well, McLaren-Mercedes did, but they wanted Prodrive to use their car AND engine.

    On the other hand, there aren’t enough teams to become customer.

    And Toyota actually have a customer team: Williams. ;-)

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th September 2008, 8:56

    Tengil – fixed, thanks.

    Ferrari, Toyota and Renault are the only manufacturers that supply customer teams at the moment. There’s no rule stopping the other teams supplying customers, and of course Honda were until Super Aguri went belly-up.

  10. Pete Walker said on 19th September 2008, 9:01

    “though if the championship were to end today Jarno Trulli’s third place at Magny-Cours would put Toyota ahead”

    Surely Glock’s second place at Hungary, you mean? ;)

    (yes, I’m a pedant) :D

  11. Jonesracing82 said on 19th September 2008, 9:02

    STR are the dark horse for 4th.
    any more wet races and they could well do it!
    it’s strange, ferrari and toyota have more experiance than most on bridgestone tyres yet are struggling in the wet!
    hence making it a car issue

  12. Tengil said on 19th September 2008, 9:03

    If I’m not mistaken, there is a rule for how many customers a team can supply with engines. I can’t remember how Ferrari circumvented that, anyone?

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th September 2008, 9:05

    Pete – no, because Renault also has a second place (Piquet Jnr, Hockenheim).

  14. Pete Walker said on 19th September 2008, 9:05

    …forgetting Piquet’s second at Germany.

    Its way to early in the morning to try and be clever :D

    I still think Toyota have the edge in terms of car performance and if it does stay dry for most of the last four races, Renault might have a hard time keeping the pressure on.

    Toro Rosso are a good outside bet, but the downside is, the more people they beat come the end of the season, the more teams they will find contesting the customer car issue once again.

  15. Tengil said on 19th September 2008, 9:08

    “Surely Glock’s second place at Hungary, you mean?”

    No, Glock’s second place is canceled out by Piquet’s second at Hockenheim. Renault doesn’t have a third yet, so Toyota is ahead.

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