The Toyota TF109 was raced by the team during the 2009 season.
Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock were the team’s drivers at the start of the year. The season began promisingly as they finished third and fourth respectively at the season opened behind the dominant Brawn duo (aided by Lewis Hamilton’s post-race disqualification over an incident involving Trulli).
Like Brawn, Toyota had seized upon an unintended feature of the new technical regulations introduced for 2009 which allowed them to generate more downforce at the rear of the car than the rule makers foresaw. This innovation, known as the ‘double diffuser’ made the TF109 particularly competitive at the start of the season.
The pair repeated their finishing positions from the opening race in the second round in Malaysia, albeit in the opposite order, and only collecting half as many points as the race was cue short due to heavy rain.
At the fourth round in Bahrain it seemed Toyota had their best opportunity yet to finally score their first win in F1, as Trulli took pole position ahead of Glock. But they were outmaneuvered by Brawn in the race, and Trulli came in third behind Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.
The TF109s never looked as competitive again throughout the rest of the year. Rivals such as Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari produced their own version of the double diffuser and won races, while Toyota slipped back.
After Glock was injured at Suzuka – while Trulli started and finished a strong second – Kamui Kobayashi took his place for the final two rounds. He impressed by scoring points on his debut and rising to sixth in the finale at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi ahead of Trulli.
But that proved Toyota’s final race. Amid worsening financial conditions worldwide, and stung by their lack of success over eight years in F1, they pulled the plug on their F1 operations. The team had already built the TF109’s successor, but it was mothballed and never raced.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and