Toyota Racing will later today launch the TF109, it will be their ninth Formula One car design to be produced since the formation of the F1 program in 1999.
When it was first announced they intended to enter Formula One as a sole manufacturer of both car and engine, noises came from within the paddock that with the amount of financial backing and resources Toyota had and their relentless ambition it would only be a matter of time before they would become a major and potentially unbeatable force in the sport.
However, seven race cars and one test car on, this view has proven to be incorrect as Toyota still await their first trip to the top of the podium.
The purpose of this piece however is not to criticize what has not been done but instead look back upon what they have achieved at the top level of motor sport since their official entry at the start of the 2002 season and to thank them for their efforts in the sport, which often seem to go unnoticed. Indeed they were and are the first team since Ferrari to attempt to build both chassis and engine under one roof, they were also a completely new birth coming not out of an existing racing team like many manufactures but instead from the ground up. Toyota's F1 Program is a remarkable one that deserves recognition that so often seems reserved for outfits that often shout louder yet with less reason.
It tells you everything you need to know about Toyota racing, that since their debut they have maintained the exact same livery and a large percentage of the same commercial partners; for this is what is known as 'The Toyota way' employing the constant improvement theory of Kaizen to achieve the desired goals.
So, join me as I take a quick look back on some of the key moments, cars and people in their F1 program to date; with the online launch of the TF109 now just hours away.