Jarno Trulli has warned that Toyota must push for a major step forward in terms of downforce if it is to be able to close the gap on the top two teams.
Toyota holds third place in the constructors' championship behind Brawn and Red Bull, but failed to score in the German Grand Prix. The Italian believes that the team needs a major upgrade, as Red Bull introduced with what some observers described as a "B-spec" car.
"If we want to raise our game, it's now time to take a big step in terms of downforce," Trulli told AUTOSPORT. "If we keep improving as we have done until now, we will just maintain the gap. I was very pleased with the start of the year – the team did a great job. But if we want to change our season, the only way to do it is to do what Red Bull did in Britain."
Although Trulli accepted that the team had taken a step forward in last weekend's German Grand Prix, he is wary about the threat posed not only by its nearest rivals for third place – Ferrari and Williams – but also McLaren and Renault.
Despite a difficult weekend, Trulli highlighted that the low temperatures in Germany had hidden the team's true pace – something that is not expected to be a problem in next week's Hungarian Grand Prix.
"We made some slight improvements in Germany, but we really need to push hard if we are to pick up pace," said Trulli. Look at Renault and McLaren – they were competitive in Germany as well. Maybe it's also due to the weather conditions as we don't like cold conditions in general."