Toyota expectations too high – Schumacher

Wed, 16 January 2008, 12:41

Ralf Schumacher has said the pressure and expectations of success at Toyota were immensely and increasingly high in 2007.

The 32-year-old has failed to secure another seat on the grid after a disappointing three year tenure at Toyota, where despite impressive annual budgets the Japanese team has struggled to break out of the midfield since debuting in 2002.

“In such a group, the pressure to succeed becomes larger, especially if so much money flows and, at the same time, so little comes out,” Schumacher recently told the German media.

The German was often the most critical of those wearing Toyota uniforms at grands prix, but Ralf believes the team’s management kept too low a profile in the press.

“I always had a certain loyalty vis-a-vis my partners, but the Toyota management did not really exist for the media,” Schumacher said.

“The drivers stood in the foreground at Toyota. We always had to explain, and therein lay the main problem.

“Expectations were too high — Toyota always said ‘we will win!’, but that did not happen,” Ralf noted.

The Cologne based team has appointed another German, reigning GP2 champion Timo Glock, to replace Ralf, and at the launch of the 2008 car recently, president John Howett said Toyota “have to do better” in 2008.

Team boss Tadashi Yamashina was even quoted recently as saying he had two years to deliver wins for Toyota, but the Japanese clarified that this is a personal ultimatum rather than one that threatens the entire team.

He said of 2008: “Our drivers should be aiming to finish in the points regularly and challenging for the podium.”

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