HARBOUR DELIGHTS Panasonic Toyota Racing returns to action after Formula 1's summer break with the European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia, Spain this weekend. The European Grand Prix was held for the last nine years at the Nurburgring in...
Panasonic Toyota Racing returns to action after Formula 1's summer break with the European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia, Spain this weekend. The European Grand Prix was held for the last nine years at the Nurburgring in Germany but switches to Spain this weekend at the new 5.419km circuit on the streets around the city's America's Cup port. The circuit, which boasts 25 corners, takes the cars around the waterfront and even across the mouth of the harbour, over a distinctive swing bridge. With a glamorous location and yachts moored just metres away, the venue has drawn comparisons to Monaco but the characteristics of the circuit itself are likely to be very different, with a top speed of over 320km/h predicted and downforce in the middle of the range. That means the aerodynamic package will be similar to the one used at Hockenheim, but with some small updates throughout and with the option to use the 'shark fin' engine cover again. After a 10--point haul in Hungary, which saw Timo Glock equal the team's best result of second place, expectations are high this weekend and Toyota aims to leave Valencia with more points.
Jarno Trulli (Car 11)
"The track looks amazing and the location is fantastic so I am really looking forward to this Grand Prix. The team has worked hard to prepare for this race because it is a new track for all of us but from a driver's point of view the important thing is to drive it for the first time and then you can start to understand more about the circuit. I enjoy going to new venues because they are a new challenge and there is always something to discover; every race is unique and I like that. Even though this is a new track for us, I know Valencia pretty well from all the testing we have done at the other circuit there. It is a lively city and there always seems to be something going on so it should be a fun weekend. I am expecting a competitive weekend as well because at the moment we are looking quite strong. Scoring more points is our target and if we challenge for the podium again, that would be great."
Timo Glock (Car 12)
"I'm still smiling after Hungary. That was an incredible result and a fantastic feeling; I hope it will be the first of many podiums in Formula 1. The important thing was that we showed just how competitive we are at the moment and moved further ahead in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. There is a great atmosphere in the team and we are all working hard together to move forward, which is why it was so satisfying to get on the podium in Hungary. But Valencia is a new race and we must start again. I did plenty of street races when I was racing in Champ Cars and in that season almost all the tracks were new to me so I have learnt to adapt quickly. It looks like an interesting circuit and it's quite long so it should be a good show. We will have plenty of work to do on Friday to adjust the car to the track but we are in good form at the moment so I am optimistic for this weekend."
Pascal Vasselon -- Senior General Manager Chassis
"We are well prepared for Valencia. Of course, we started our preparations for this new track by looking at the FIA information and that allowed us to put forward some speed profiles in order to estimate downforce and braking requirements, for example. We also sent staff to look at the inaugural race meeting there at the end of July and that gave us additional data with regards to speed profiles, driving lines and track surface. We expect the track to be in the mid range of downforce and quite severe on brakes. At the beginning we anticipate grip will be quite low but that should improve throughout the weekend. In terms of performance, we clearly want to build on the competitiveness shown in Hungary. We are genuinely challenging to be the third quickest car based on the last few races. Valencia will also show how well teams can react to new conditions so it will be an interesting weekend and we have every reason to be feeling very positive."