SATURDAY 16TH JULY 2005
Olivier Panis has congratulated Toyota's 'engine guys' following a successful outing with the new V8 unit this week at Jerez.
Speaking after completing over 80 laps with the new RVX06, the Frenchman, who notched up a best time in the low 1m 21s bracket, added that once things settle down and they get to grips with it, he expects a low 1m 20s lap to be possible.
"It was very interesting [testing the V8] and it made a good change from tyre tests," he reflected.
"My first impression, not surprisingly, was that it was quite a bit slower than the V10. You notice that the acceleration is not as strong and that the g-forces in the corners are less. But when you consider that the engine has around 200bhp less than a V10, that is to be expected and will be the same for everyone. It even makes old men like me think about re launching an F1 racing career!
"There are obviously checks to make when you are doing a new engine shakedown. All the systems have to be monitored and with a V8 there is more vibration, so you have to assess all the ancillary components as well.
"You always get more vibration with an eight-cylinder engine but by the third day the driveability was actually very good and I did 35 laps in the morning as part of longer runs that we had scheduled. I have to say, I am very impressed with the engine guys at Toyota.
"On the final day I did a 1m 21.3s lap, which compared to typical laps of around 1m 18s for the V10s. That's very good for the engine's first run because we weren't operating it near its maximum potential. Also, you have to take into account that the engine is being run in an adapted TF105 and not a bespoke chassis. I would say that a time in the 1m 20s region will be possible and that the time difference solely down to the engine will be something like 2.3s to 2.5s on this circuit."
Toyota test engineer, Gerd Pfeiffer meanwhile was also satisfied with how the V8 performed, despite a few issues on the second day.
"Wednesday was the first time that we put the V8 engine on the track and so we did not do so many laps, but it was a good first run," he concluded. "On Thursday we had some technical issues with the engine and the hydraulics, but nothing more than you would expect at an engine shakedown. On Friday we did quite a lot of laps in the morning and Olivier was very impressed with the general performance level."
Toyota duo Olivier Panis and Ralf Schumacher