Toyota Racing launches first 2006 F1 car

Panasonic Toyota Racing officially launched the first version of its 2006 F1 contender yesterday. The v8-powered TF106 has in fact been on-track since late November, and Toyota chose this "late launch" to publicize its new development process for the Formula 1 team.

In a process outlined by team Technical Director Mike Gascoyne, Toyota now has three overlapping design teams working in parallel to develop as many as three new cars every season. In fact, Gascoyne says the TF106B model is on schedule for its debut at Monaco. More pictures and info after the jump.

The Toyota design process is likely to be a glimpse of the FIA-driven future of Formula 1, as the FIA's proposal to limit teams' aerodynamic upgrades to three per year in an effort to limit costs will in fact have the opposite effect. "Updates" will become new cars, and teams will add more designers, build more cars, and spend more time in their wind tunnels, not less as the FIA hoped.

Many more pictures of the TF106 are here, and videos are here.

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