Panasonic Toyota Racing started what should have been the final day of testing at Sepang under rain clouds this morning. Heavy rain just before the session started left a lot of standing water on the track and Ralf Schumacher did his first laps on extreme wet Bridgestone tyres before the Malaysian heat began to dry the track and bring wet and then dry tyres on to the car.
Ralf continued the programme of the previous two days, improving the set-up of the TF107 in hot conditions on the Sepang circuit. Despite the heavy rain in the morning, the team was able to switch Ralf to dry tyres around 90 minutes into the session and he enjoyed a trouble-free run. However, the rain returned with just over an hour remaining and a torrential thunderstorm effectively washed out the remainder of the day.
The time lost due to rain gave the team the chance to extend the test by a day and Franck Montagny will take over from Ralf for an unexpected extra session.
"This morning was very wet so there was very little grip on the circuit but as we have seen in previous years, the hot temperatures here dry the track quickly so our programme was not delayed too much. Once again we looked at set-ups for the race here, trying to realise more of the car's potential."
"Today was another day without mechanical problems which is very positive and shows we have made improvements since the start of winter testing. Unfortunately we could not complete everything we wanted to do due to the rain in the afternoon but that is the same for all the teams and now we will have an extra day of testing to make up for it."
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager:
"There was a lot of rain this morning which made the track quite when the session began. However, the hot temperatures here mean the track dries out very quickly so after some running on wet tyres we were able to resume our programme on dries well before lunchtime."
"Today was another day of set-up work for Ralf and the positive thing again is we did not have any reliability trouble. The wet track this morning and the rain in the afternoon allows the team to apply for an extension of the test and we will now have an extra day of running tomorrow."
Best Lap Time: 1min 36.700s
Total laps: 69
Total distance: 382.4km