Jarno Trulli has urged his Toyota team to remain optimistic about its chances for the rest of the year, despite enduring its worst race of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Neither Trulli nor Timo Glock scored in Barcelona last weekend, having also slipped down the order in qualifying just two weeks after locking out the front row in Bahrain. But despite the setback, Trulli thinks it too soon to draw a firm conclusion that rival teams have overtaken the Japanese manufacturer in the development race.
"I would say I am a little bit careful," Trulli told AUTOSPORT. "It is just a one off. We have to stay optimistic because so far the car has been very good and competitive.
"It was not the case during the Spanish weekend, but a fifth place was still possible honestly talking. Now the thing is we have to stay focused and develop the car, and that is the main issue. We need to keep developing the car if we want to keep fighting."
Trulli is unsure about what to expect for the next race in Monaco, with the former winner not confident that the characteristics of the TF109 will be well suited to the tight twists and turns of the street circuit. But he thought it pointless to worry about what may happen before the track action begins next Thursday.
"I live race by race," explained Trulli. "Races have to be raced, you cannot predict or try to say what will happen. You can be more or less optimistic, but once you get in the car on Friday and Saturday you can say in a way, and we knew here on Friday that we were not competitive.
"I will be good in Monaco if I have the car, it is as simple as that. I head there with confidence, and obviously we need to see how the car behaves during the weekend. It is tough to say for sure though, as Monaco is always unpredictable."
When asked if the slow speed turns at Monaco would suit the Toyota, Trulli said: "I think it is a weakness at the moment, but I hope to be wrong."