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The site in front is a Toyota - The team confirm their F1 launch will take place online

Published by Christine

TF108 Toyota Launch

Toyota were one of the first to announce the launch of their 2009 car, although details were left wanting. However, they are obviously keen to get the TF109 out and about, and now we know how it's going to happen.

The car and the livery will be revealed on the 15th January, although you could hardly call it a launch. Toyota are signing on to Max's way of thinking and reducing costs at every available opportunity - including their traditional pre-season programme. Instead of an expensive location with fancy lights, a smoke machine and a packed crowd, the team will be releasing some photos and features to the media only.

That's it.

It's not the first time a team has tried an online launch. Last year, Toyota themselves broadcast the TF108 unveiling on their homepage. It wasn't spectacular but it was engaging. Even further back, in 2003, Jaguar teamed up with Yahoo to launch the R4, giving users access to video interviews and features via the world wide web.

On the one hand, you have to applaud Toyota for taking the budgeting issue in Formula 1 seriously, and publicly taking steps to keep costs down. On the other hand, you have to wonder what's going to be rousing about a few pictures turning up in the media. It's not like we can even get excited about the livery. (My guess is red and white, what's yours?)

On the 20th, though, the new car will hit the track for the first time at a three day test in Portugal. The new Algarve Motor Park will be put through its paces and the statement from Toyota says that will be the media's opportunity to get their hands on the team. Glock, Trulli and others will be available to discuss the car and the upcoming season in person. Just like everyone does during a first test anyway.