2009 Toyota

Top Gear was honoured. We’d been invited to the launch of Toyota’s F1 car. The glitz! The glamour! The limitless opportunities to steal prawn-based canapés! Only problem was, it wasn’t a very exclusive invitation. In fact, they’d invited just about everyone. Including you, if you’re on the world wide web. Which you are.

Yes, Toyota took the covers off their F1 car today, solely through the medium of The Internet. No glitz, no glamour. Definitely no prawn-based canapés. Top Gear was a little disappointed.

Anyhow. The TF109. What do you think of it? Getting used to the big-front-wing-tiny-rear-wing thing yet? We’re becoming cautiously optimistic that this year’s grid won’t look like the result of a primary school My First Racecar Crayon competition, but we’ll withhold judgment until we’ve seen a couple more cars.

If you look at the TF109 alongside Ferrari’s F60 (wasn’t that what they called the Enzo in the early days?) it’s becoming clear where the teams are going to squeeze in their aero flim-flammery this year: take a look at the curvy endplates on the front wing and – though they’re not easy to pick out – those vertical fins running down outside each wing mirror.

Reckon they’ll survive until the first race of the season in Melbourne, or will they be ruthlessly removed by the FIA’s giant bolt-cutters?

Tomorrow, by the way, sees the launch of McLaren’s 2009 car down at their technology centre in Woking. Top Gear is going along. We’ll keep you posted on the state of their canapés.

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