Anthony Davidson is impressed by Toyota’s aggressive response to the struggles it faced in last year’s FIA World Endurance Championship in developing the new TS050 Hybrid car.
Davidson won the 2014 WEC drivers’ championship alongside Sebastien Buemi, but scored just a solitary podium finish last year as Porsche and Audi overhauled Toyota in the pecking order.
The Japanese manufacturer responded by fast-tracking the development of its new car for the 2016 season, the TS050, impressing Davidson ahead of the start of pre-season testing in France this week.
“The TS050 is all new: new powertrain, new hybrid technology and even the steering wheel is new,” Davidson explained to the FIA’s official website.
“It’s been a fast tracked programme for the team. Hats off to all the guys back in Japan on the engine side and battery side and everyone at TMG in Cologne.
“This has been put together in such a short space of time. It should’ve taken maybe two years and they’ve done it in six months. So from the beating we had last year we had to retaliate in an aggressive way.
“It has put us on the back foot coming into this year because it is not that easy to get it all done in a short space of time but they’ve really worked wonders.
“I’m super impressed by everybody’s effort, including the drivers. We’ve helped the team along every step of the way.”
Davidson will be looking to add the 24 Hours of Le Mans to his trophy cabinet this June, and believes that the decision by Audi and Porsche to match Toyota’s allocation of two cars for the race instead of running three as in previous years could help his cause.
“In terms of performance, not really. In terms of luck, perhaps,” Davidson said.
“You are on a more equal footing in terms of reliability and if lucks going to go your way or not.
“The year we really should’ve had three cars should’ve been 2014 but financially it wouldn’t have worked and we would’ve lost general performance through running a third car at Le Mans. So, yes, it may be more of a level playing field when it comes down to luck.
“I’ve won the championship already, it’s a great championship, don’t get me wrong, I would love to win it again but Le Mans is still on my ‘to do’ list.”