Toyota F1 president John Howett thinks his team's poor performance in the Italian Grand Prix owed as much to the team choosing the wrong levels of downforce as it did to engine performance.
The Monza weekend highlighted the fact that a clear disparity in engine power has emerged in F1 – with Mercedes-Benz dominating proceedings in the race and qualifying. However, Howett thinks that his Toyota power unit's weaknesses compared to the Mercedes-Benz was not the only reason why his outfit struggled to make an impression.
"For us it was a tough weekend," he told AUTOSPORT. "The car was very quick in Spa and here fundamentally it was not at the same level. Mainly I think it was top speed – so we have to look at the aero configuration we brought, and also the engine power – as one or two people noticed it was mainly Mercedes-Benz engines at the front. For us, we have got to look at having run too high a level of downforce that we came with as our minimum configuration."
Toyota's difficult weekend was not made any easier by Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli fighting it out wheel-to-wheel for position in the closing stages of the race – and which included the Italian running off the track at one point. Howett said he was not concerned about the intensity of their dueling, however.
"It was nice to see," he said. "We need some excitement at times in Formula 1. It is good to see drivers fighting. We asked Jarno to try and get past Nakajima, and Timo joined in the party. It was quite good fun.
"We were out of the points, so we had no risk. Anyway, I think it was good to see."