It was a hard Sunday's work for Panasonic Toyota Racing at the British Grand Prix. On another hot day at Silverstone, Ralf Schumacher was confident of a good afternoon from 7th place on the grid but his race was cut short within seconds of the ...
It was a hard Sunday's work for Panasonic Toyota Racing at the British Grand Prix. On another hot day at Silverstone, Ralf Schumacher was confident of a good afternoon from 7th place on the grid but his race was cut short within seconds of the start. On the exit of Copse the German was pushed into a spin by Scott Speed's Toro Rosso.
As he veered across the track he was collected by Mark Webber's Williams, putting both drivers out of the race. Jarno Trulli had it all to do after yesterday's engine failure in qualifying left him at the back of the grid. He made a storming start to gain several places on the first lap.
The team called him into the pits early to escape traffic and he made further gains but despite battling hard he finished outside the points in 11th. Toyota is scheduled to continue testing its new TF106B package at Monza this week in preparation for the Canadian Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.
"It was always going to be a hard day's work out there from the back of the grid, but I enjoyed it. Silverstone is never the easiest place to overtake but I still made it past a lot of cars at the start and over the first three or four laps. The car was well balanced and I was fighting really hard throughout."
"Thanks to the team's good strategy we were able to gain some more positions at the first pit stop. It's very hard to stay close to the car in front here so we couldn't really expect to score points from where we were. But nevertheless I'm happy both with my own performance and with that of the TF106B which looks like a definite step forward."
"Unfortunately that was just one of those things that happen in racing. It all began with my very bad start. I lost too many positions and found myself in traffic. That's how these things can kick off because in a mess like that no one really has any space. I had cars all around me so it was really difficult to see exactly what happened but I was hit from behind."
"That sent me into a spin, which meant that I couldn't help veering into Mark's path. It was a racing incident and no one is to blame because no one does anything like that on purpose. But it's the second time in a row that we have struggled off the line so we should now work hard on improving that."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:
"On Friday the team atmosphere was very good due to the performance of the car and the tyres here. But things started to go wrong with Jarno's engine failure in qualifying and when Ralf was hit on the opening lap today it meant both of our cars were effectively out of contention."
"We had been working hard on our starts in the last few days so it was a surprise that Ralf's car was so slow to get away and we will definitely have to investigate what happened. It was a pity because considering the strategy we had he was clearly heavier than the cars in front of him so he was very competitive in qualifying."
"We knew we had to be aggressive with Jarno and everything worked as expected. He had a very good start and first lap and our strategy was to pit him early to take advantage of the good lap times we were expecting on new tyres. At the first stop it worked fine and took him past Coulthard. We tried the same thing at the second stop with Barrichello and it would have worked until he hit traffic."
"Jarno was happy with his car, he pushed hard and it was almost impossible for him to have done any better. His lap times were very encouraging, particularly in the second stint. So the pace of our cars is getting closer to the top teams. Now we just need to keep pushing our development and reliability in order to catch up with them."
Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B
Race Classification: 11th
Gap: +1 lap (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 22nd
No lap time
Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B
Race Classification: DNF
Qualifying Classification: 7th
Time: 1m21.073s (+0.820s in Session 3)