After the near-tropical conditions of last year's British Grand Prix, Silverstone today reverted to type. As Panasonic Toyota Racing took to the track for the first practice sessions of the weekend, Britain's motor racing home offered a more ...
After the near-tropical conditions of last year's British Grand Prix, Silverstone today reverted to type. As Panasonic Toyota Racing took to the track for the first practice sessions of the weekend, Britain's motor racing home offered a more traditional welcome with a mix of cold, strong winds and the greyest of grey skies. Crowds are nevertheless expected in force for the weekend, offering a timely boost to the nation's cagoule traders.
For Toyota, Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher had a successful day's work. The track stayed dry throughout the morning but the afternoon was interrupted by a brief shower midway through the session. Ralf ended the second session with the 3rd fastest time with Jarno 5th. The team will now look to build on this positive start as it prepares for qualifying and Sunday's race.
"Our day went well. Both sessions were positive and we had no technical problems so we are quite happy with what we have achieved so far. The wind was strong both in the morning and the afternoon so that made it difficult to make accurate comparisons. But we made it through everything that we had planned so it sets us up well for the rest of the weekend."
"We were quite quick in the afternoon but let's wait and see how we fare tomorrow. We might be lucky with the weather and if it rains then anything can happen. But for now we should aim to qualify both cars in the top ten and then take it from there."
"This is always an interesting weekend because you have to keep a close eye on the weather which can change very quickly. You can never expect consistent conditions and it's fair to say we have seen typical English weather so far. That has a major influence on the performance of the car. Even when it's not raining the wind can be strong around here and that affects work on set-up."
"For that reason we concentrated on testing the two compounds of tyres, which went well. We set some encouraging lap times and our package seems to work quite well on this type of circuit because we were competitive in the test here two weeks ago. So things are looking positive for tomorrow and we should hope for a good race."
Dieter Gass -- Chief Engineer Race and Test:
"We had a very good test here a fortnight ago and it seems that we have been able to keep up the momentum. The car wasn't easy to drive today because of the wind in both the sessions. So both drivers were complaining that it was very difficult to get results out of the changes we made to the set-up."
"Nevertheless we have collected a lot of information today, especially on the tyres. We had a completely trouble-free day of running and we were able to gather everything that we wanted. We looked quite strong in the afternoon session so I hope we can build on this for a positive weekend."
First Session: 9th, 21 laps, 1m 22.878s (+1.778s)
Second Session 3rd, 34 laps, 1m 21.381s (+0.742s)
First Session: 11th, 27 laps, 1m 23.030s (+1.930s)
Second Session: 5th, 35 laps, 1m 21.467s (+0.828s)