Comments from the Toyota drivers after the team's four day test at Barcelona Jarno Trulli Q: Jarno, how have you found the conditions at Barcelona this week? JT: The Barcelona circuit has changed a lot since they resurfaced the tarmac and at...
Comments from the Toyota drivers after the team's four day test at Barcelona
Q: Jarno, how have you found the conditions at Barcelona this week?
JT: The Barcelona circuit has changed a lot since they resurfaced the tarmac and at the start of the week we had a lot of problems getting used to the new asphalt. The grip level was very low, making it very slippery, and those problems continued for most of the week. In the end, the times people were able to record weren't as bad as some had feared, but it was still slower than before.
Q: How productive has the test been?
JT: The conditions didn't improve enough during the week to make it possible to do much meaningful work on the performance of the TF105. In the cold mornings it is especially slippery, then as the sun comes out and the track cleans up the wind gets up too. Instead we concentrated on getting mileage under our belts, working on the reliability side of the new car. From that point of view things have gone pretty well.
Q: Ralf, some teams decided not to test at Barcelona this week citing problems with the new tarmac. Why did Toyota stay on?
RS: The Circuit de Catalunya was very slippery to start with, and some teams made a decision not to test here as a result. But we thought it was better to stay here in order to get some running time at the circuit and find out about any problems we might encounter at the Spanish Grand Prix here in May. As it turned out, with quite a few cars running on the track, by about Thursday afternoon more rubber had gone down and the conditions became more reasonable.
Q: How much progress has been made with the TF105 this week?
RS: We have not been able to make much progress with the TF105 because of the track conditions. However, we made good use of our time here to put mileage on the car, before a bit of tyre testing on the last day. The most productive thing about the week was that we had some small reliability issues on my car, which we were able to find and cure early. That actually made the test very useful for us.
Q: Olivier, you've been working on tyres here at Barcelona. How has the new asphalt affected the way the tyres work?
OP: It's been difficult to pick the best Michelin tyres from our tyre testing in Barcelona this week. Normally the track here is very aggressive from the point of view of graining, so you need hard tyres. But this week because it has been very slippery we haven't had any graining and the track has suited softer tyres more than usual. That in turn has made it difficult to find the right way to develop, but we still managed to find some good tyres, which is positive.
Q: You will also be testing here on Saturday - what is the plan?
OP: We have a wet tyre test planned tomorrow, although I think the conditions here in the wet could make it very hard. It is already difficult to run in the dry here, so I expect it will be extremely difficult in the wet.
Jarno Trulli (18th - 21st Jan)
Best lap time: 1m17.353s
Total laps: 284
Total distance: 1314.07km
Ralf Schumacher (18th - 21st)
Best lap time: 1m17.490s
Total laps: 222
Total distance: 1027.19km
Olivier Panis (20th - 21st)
Best lap time: 1m16.796s
Total laps: 181
Total distance: 837.49km