Akio Toyoda comment for the 8 Hours of Baharain
The “battle of athletes” that the two TOYOTA GAZOO Racing cars fought until the end was the best. Thank you to the six drivers, and the mechanics and engineers of both cars for a wonderful race. Congratulations to Sebastien, Brendon and Ryo for their second consecutive driver's title! Thank you also to Kamui, Jose, and Mike in car #7 who made it a one-two!
Today, both cars experienced challenges. I feel sorry that the drivers were not able to drive the final race comfortably. Car #7 had an accident at the start, but it quickly closed the gap and fought for the victory with car #8 in a race that could have easily been won by either car. It was a race where all competitors pushed hard in difficult conditions.
The main characters of motorsports are the people behind the wheel. That's what makes it a sport, and I believe that everyone who takes part is an athlete and a fighter. This year's WEC has seen an increase in rivals, making it the “battle field” that fans have been waiting for. At the championship finale, today's athletes showed how they are giving their all to get the result. As a fan, I was very excited to see this. We would also like to thank the organizers for creating an environment where athletes can compete.
I think Kamui was thinking a lot about what he should do as team representative and what he should do as a driver in the lead-up to this final race.
Kamui as Team Principal works hard to inspire the team, does his best to make them relaxed, and talks to the mechanics and engineers to find areas for improvement. Thank you very much. Watching today's race, I felt that everyone on the team had become athletes fighting for victory, and they also trusted and respected each other. We had become the “family-like and professional team'' that we always strived for. Team Principal Kamui, thank you for your hard work this year.
On the other hand, the only thing I want from Kamui as a driver is: I want him to drive faster than anyone else. I want him to fight with all his might. This hasn't changed. I feel the same way about the other drivers.
This week's Kamui is exactly the kind of driver I want to see: his frustration at not being able to take the pole in qualifying, his constant consultation with the engineers in preparation for the final race, and his hard driving to set the fastest lap in the final stint. I think it's a disappointing result for him that car #7 couldn't win the championship, but as driver Kamui, I think he did a great job.
By showing each person playing two roles, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has transformed into a “driver-first team”. We may continue to struggle with the gap between these two roles, but I hope that next season we will continue to put forward a driver-first approach, led by Kamui, and we can make the team stronger.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.
As I finished writing this message, I received a video from the team. When I looked at it, it was a scene where drivers were polishing their cars after the race. Thank you everyone for taking good care of your car (especially Jose was working hard and having fun polishing the car! Thank you.). I once again thought that I want to create cars that everyone can drive more comfortably!
For all the news and more like, share, follow or subscribe to our social media channels.
X @en_toyota: https://twitter.com/en_toyota