Toyota Racing's contender for the 2003 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the TF103 car is an evolution of last season's TF102, rather than an innovative or radical new design. It is lighter, generates more downforce and has greater aerodynamic efficiency than its predecessor. The TF103 is the product of a design group led by Gustav Brunner and co-ordinated by Keizo Takahashi. The team has already gathered a lot of information about the TF103, thanks to an intermediary version of the TF102, denoted the TF102B, which ran since September 2002 with the 2003-spec engine and seven-speed gearbox. The RVX-03 V10 engine is both lighter and more powerful than the 2002 RVX-02. It has been designed and produced in-house by a technical team overseen by Luca Marmorini.
New for 2003 were race drivers Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta. Panis joined the team with nine seasons of Formula 1 experience, including one victory. Cristiano da Matta had been a Toyota driver for four years, having raced with a Toyota engine in the American CART series. The 29-year-old Brazilian won the drivers' championship title in 2002 with seven victories and took Toyota to its first manufacturers' title.
After a difficult start of the season, the TF103's performance increased halfway through the season. After a number of point scoring finishes, one of the season's highlights was the Silverstone Grand Prix where Da Matta and Panis were first and second respectively for a number of laps.
Company press release, last updated before 12 / 01 / 2004
With De Matta this year, things could look better for Toyota. They had a strong engine last year, they just needed better drivers and De Matta may be the catalyst for Toyota to do good in F1 this year
I hope they do well in 2003
I hope that with Gustav Brunner doing the chassis and with the RVX-03 engine being an improvement over the excellent RVX-02 that Toyota can pull off some upsets this year.
Low flying plane
Formula one cars tend to all look very similar. They're the ultimate expression of a high performance go-kart. Toyota, although they normally produce very bland and boring products did a nice job wiht this car. It looks like a low flying F-15. I wonder if the styling and aerodynamics was done in house though?