Panasonic Toyota Racing is celebrating after Ralf Schumacher secured the team's fourth podium finish of the season at today's Hungarian Grand Prix. Under the scorching sun at the Hungaroring, Ralf raced strongly all afternoon to take the flag in 3rd place, a fraction of a second behind brother Michael's Ferrari. The result was Ralf's fourth straight points finish.
Jarno Trulli added to a glorious day for Toyota by taking home five points for a fine 4th. The Italian had a difficult start when he was hit from behind at the first corner but he battled through to bring the team's total haul from the day to 11 points.
This double points finish comes after one of the longest, most punishing races of the season. The result consolidates Toyota's 4th place in the constructors' championship with a total of 68 points.
Ralf Schumacher is celebrating his first podium finish of 2005 after he took a well earned 3rd place in today's Hungarian Grand Prix. The result moves him up to 6th in the drivers' championship with 32 points.
"That was a great result and the team did a great job all weekend. I must admit that I was not 100 percent positive about the strategy we chose, but the engineers were right to take it. We expected high temperatures, so it was a balance between looking after the tyre and having to pit too early."
"We've had a lot of comments about not being as strong in the race as we are in qualifying, but we showed today that we can go as fast as almost everyone else. The car was great throughout the race, as it had been all weekend and the pit stops were perfect. In the end Michael had a bit too much exit speed to get past, so I was waiting for a mistake which he never made. All in all, a very good day."
HIT'S A SHAME
Jarno Trulli had a dramatic start when he was hit from behind at the first corner, suffering a damaged diffuser and rear wing endplate. But his car survived and his five points move him back up to 4th in the world championship with 36.
"To come away with five points is a fine result considering what happened at the first corner. In fact, I have to be happy that I was able to finish the race at all. The rear of my car was heavily damaged when I was hit from behind, so that made life really hard for me and made my car very hard to drive."
"After the diffuser was damaged, the balance was very unpredictable, switching from oversteer to understeer even in the course of a lap, and I kept asking to change it in the pits. Overall, I'm happy with 4th place because I could have ended up with nothing at the first corner."
THE LONG AND WINDING MOGYOROD
It was a hard day's work around the Hungaroring, but the 11 points earned go a long way to strengthening Panasonic Toyota Racing's grip on 4th place in the constructors' championship.
Tsutomu Tomita -- Team Principal:
"That was a great day for us and we're obviously delighted with the result. Before the race there was a lot of talk about strategies, with a tight choice between a three-stop and a two-stop race. But we chose a three-stop strategy in order to make our tyres work as well as possible and in the end everything worked perfectly for us."
"We were a bit lucky at the start because both cars were touched from behind going into the first corner. Ralf didn't pick up any damage but Jarno's diffuser and rear wing endplate were damaged, so it's natural that he was struggling for balance. Nonetheless, both cars and their tyres were good enough to keep up the pace."
"Ralf was even pushing up to Michael at the end, but it would have been nearly impossible to get past at this track. So to pick up 11 points is very good news. But there is still a gap to the top teams so we will continue to push hard."
Car 17, Chassis TF105/05
Race Classification: 3rd
Gap: +36.129s (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 5th
Time: 1m20.964s (+1.082s)
Car 16, Chassis TF105/07
Race Classification: 4th
Gap: +54.221s (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 3rd
Time: 1m20.839s (+0.957s)