tf108.jpgYesterday saw the Cologne based Toyota squad officially launch their car for the 2008 season. The TF108 according to the teams Technical Chief Pascal Vasselon is a departure from the recent cars churned out by the Japanese Squad.

Apparently the TF108 is completely different from its predecessor the TF107, due to the team changing their design philosophy as a result of a string of poor results last season.

Jarno Trulli is incredibly optimistic about the performance of the team and it’s new charger and still believes the team have the potential to make it onto the podium at the very least in 2008.

Here at FFN we like Jarno we really do, he always appears a happy character trotting around the paddock, unlike some we could mention. Even his penchant for falling asleep at the wheel and creating an on track moving chicanery leaving 20 odd drivers frustratedly trailing behind him doesn’t detract from his otherwise fantastic personality traits, including the fact he owns a vineyard which is always a redeeming feature in my book.

But we do have to wonder if all those years of having that shaggy hairdo flopping about in his face had some sort of toll on his eyesight. In fact we are wondering if the entire Toyota squad should be booked in for a much-needed trip to Specsavers (The Opticians).

As far as we can see the TF108 is exactly the same as the TF107. It appears Toyota have employed someone’s 80 year old grandmother to come up with a funky paint scheme. Which to all intents and purposes looks like they had just parked the car next to a paint shop and a wayward tin has accidentally thrown itself all over the car in an desperate but rather misguided attempt to cover up the blandness of it all.

Then there is the actual car design itself, which might have taken a design concept from every other car in the paddock from last year, thrown them into a cement mixer, churned them around a bit and spat them out – and hey presto you have the TF108.

Perhaps we are being a little bit harsh, and no doubt if Renault or Honda come out with something to top it I could be shortly eating my words. Which wouldn’t be the first time eh Kimi?

fisi-force1-india.jpgWhile we are on the subject of old things, yesterday saw the confirmation that two of F1’s veterans (that’s a nice way of saying ancient) are staying in the sport. Austrian Alex Wurz has signed up to become Honda’s test driver, and Italian Giancarlo Fisichella has become confirmed as the second driver for Force1 India.

Naturally the 50 odd other candidates who were all desperate to be a backmarker in F1 (apart from Ralf Schumacher obviously) are rather disappointed that team boss Vijay Mallya has gone for ‘experience of swearing’ over youth and good looks. Young Spanish Driver Roldan Rodriguez who had been one of the candidates in line for the seat was last seen throwing a tantrum crying into his teddy bear.

Meanwhile in Italy, half of the Ferrari Squad is apparently up a snowy mountain larking about in FIAT 500’s and laughing when Kimi falls off his snowboard. In between they have been throwing the odd press conference to keep the media happy.

In the Wrooom press conference yesterday the Kimster spoke about his hopes for the new season, according to the Finn he is hoping to be able to challenge for back to back titles with the Maranello squad. Kimi also spoke about his excitement (we have the photos to prove it) at the prospect of two new circuits on the F1 calendar for the 2008 season, Valencia and Singapore. Ferrari’s World Champion is eagerly looking forward to the first night race on the F1 calendar in Singapore, not for it’s stunning location, or the fact that it’s going to be a challenging street circuit…but because it means the lazy blighter can get out of bed later.

kimi-looking-excited.jpgLittle Brazilian Felipe was worrying his head off about the loss of traction control and was mightily concerned the effects it would have in slightly inclement weather conditions e.g. Fuji style. Not that we want to start any completely wide of the mark internet theories or anything, but is it purely coincidental the man just confirmed as Ferrari’s “3rd driver” is also known as the Regenmeister (rainmaster)?

Ferrari’s new Team Boss Stefano Domenicali has also been in attendance at the event, speaking on many subjects and mentioned his wish to see the subject of the spying saga finally brought to a close. Which is all well and good…but perhaps someone might want to mention the plan in passing to Jean Todt as well.

It is also rumoured the other half of the Ferrari Squad were secretly testing some of their new aerodynamic gizmo’s at Vairano in Northern Italy, with Marc Gene apparently doing the honours this time. We can only assume on this occasion, Michael Schumacher was too busy washing his hair, because he is worth it.