N ot mess, but clutter was Toyota's motto when the group management decided in 2002 to start to participate in the Formula 1 World Championship. The debut of the TF 102 premiere car in Australia was relatively promising. Mika Salo came in sixth in both the first and third races and scored the first championship points straight away. However, it should remain the only points of the season. In the end they shared the penultimate place in the team classification with Minardi.
Despite frequent driver changes, the two following years did not bring the desired success either. Two fifth places for newcomer Olivier Panis had to be seen as highlights. In the Constructors' Cup, despite huge investments, they couldn't get past eighth place.
It wasn't until 2005 that the effort finally seemed to pay off. With Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher, an experienced duo of pilots was engaged, which immediately ensured good results. Trulli was able to take the podium three times in the first five races. Schumacher came on the podium twice in the second half of the season. The fourth place in the final accounts gave hope for more.
But in 2006 the disillusionment followed again. A third place in the third race in Australia was already the highlight. After that, you rarely drove into the points. A new low for the Cologne-based troop followed in 2007, when Trulli and Schumacher scored a total of 13 points with an aerodynamically deficient vehicle.
So the decision was made to approach the 2008 season a little more conservatively. With a completely redeveloped car and the newly signed Timo Glock as Schumacher's replacement, the points on the points increased again. Both drivers were even able to take a podium place once during the season. With fifth place in the manufacturers' championship, the Japanese were able to celebrate the second-best result in the team's history.