"My first impression, not surprisingly, was that it was quite a bit slower than the V10," said Panis. "You notice that the acceleration is not as strong and that the G-forces in the corners are less. But when you consider that the engine has around 200bhp less than a V10, that is to be expected and will be the same for everyone. It even makes old men like me think about re-launching an F1 racing career! With a V8 there is more vibration, so you have to assess all the ancillary components as well. The first day, for example, went very well and we had no problems. By the third day the drivability was actually very good and I did 35 laps in the morning as part of longer runs that we had scheduled. I have to say, I am very impressed with the engine guys at Toyota.
"On the final day I did a 1m21.3s lap, which compared to typical laps of around 1m18s for the V10s. That's very good for the engine's first run because we weren't operating it near its maximum potential. Also, you have to take into account that the engine is being run in an adapted TF105 and not a bespoke chassis. I would say that a time in the 1m20s region will be possible."