Jarno Trulli has admitted that Toyota is struggling for pace ahead of tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix.
Although team-mate Timo Glock set the sixth fastest time in second practice on Friday, three tenths of a second faster than the Italian, Trulli fears that the team's difficulties at a track where it has scored only nine points in seven seasons will continue in 2009.
"This is not necessarily the best circuit for us, so we're trying to get the best out of what we have," Trulli told AUTOSPORT.
"We have never been strong here. In five years, it has always been one of our toughest tasks.
"It wasn't a bad day on Friday, although we still need to find some more speed. We're missing general grip and tyre warm-up."
Trulli believes that Toyota cannot match its performance at the Belgian GP, where he was able to qualify second on the grid.
"Definitely," said Trulli when asked if he would be happy with just a minor points position. "Even though you always race to get top results, I can't imagine that we can be on the first row like we were in Spa.
"But I want to remain optimistic because races can sometimes go crazy!"
Trulli also emphasised that the performance of the KERS-equipped McLarens, Ferraris and Renaults means that the teams not running the system will have to attempt unorthodox race strategies to compete.
"It's impressive - like another category," said Trulli of the speed of the KERS cars. "We can see that it's going to be hard for us.
"Fighting with them on the straights is impossible. We have to race in a different way to them.
"That means you can't race together. You have to make sure that you are not close to them because on the straights there is a massive difference. You have to play it a different way."