Panasonic Toyota Racing had bittersweet results at the European Grand Prix. During the race, Jarno struggled with his race pace, while Ralf had a hard day's work battling through from midfield. While Jarno Trulli achieved 9th place in the race,...
Panasonic Toyota Racing had bittersweet results at the European Grand Prix. During the race, Jarno struggled with his race pace, while Ralf had a hard day's work battling through from midfield. While Jarno Trulli achieved 9th place in the race, Ralf Schumacher disappointingly retired early after having engine problems.
Toyota will now journey to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona as it bids to make steps forward for the coming races. Directly after the race, the team will head to Circuit Paul Ricard to continue testing the B-car specification, which is expected to make its debut at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Jarno Trulli could not find the right grip on his car today and subsequently missed out on scoring his first points of the season.
"I had a good start, gaining one position and made it through the first corner without any instances. That was the first hurdle for me, to make it through the first lap without any problems. I was pushing the whole race, but was struggling with the balance and getting enough grip in the tyres."
"The team tried some different set-up adjustments, but I just did not seem to increase my pace until the last 10 laps. By then it was too late to make any impact on the race result. I think once the issue has been evaluated, we can say more about what happened. Right now, it is important that we keep working and keep improving on the car to set some good laps at the coming race."
RING OF SMOKE
Ralf Schumacher finished the race early due to an engine failure.
"The first corner here is very tight and there was again a collision and I lost a bit of time. We made up for this with a long first stint which put me solidly into a point scoring 6th position after my first pit stop. The car felt strong and we were doing competitive times, but I was unlucky not to make it past Barrichello at the second pit stop."
"Unfortunately we had an engine failure in the closing stages of the race. Of course we are disappointed, because we were stronger in the race than expected. The whole weekend was a step forward and we will certainly make another small step in Barcelona."
WORK TO DO
Panasonic Toyota Racing had high hopes of gaining points at its home Grand Prix, yet returns to its Cologne-based factory with homework to do before heading into next week's race.
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:
"This weekend, we enjoyed a great atmosphere, with many fans and employees supporting our team. After having a good race and a good strategy, we unfortunately did not do as well as we had hoped. Obviously for Ralf, it is quite disappointing that he retired so close to the end of the race, but now we will have to analyze the situation and find the root cause for this."
"With Jarno, we had tyre control difficulties, but I think if we could have maintained a similar pace to Ralf, we would have had a good race. We really need to evaluate today's issues, going into detail to avoid any problems at the coming race next weekend in Barcelona. Both drivers showed that they can push hard and now we will concentrate on giving them a reliable car to drive."
Car 8, Chassis TF106/04
Race Classification: 9th
Gap: +1 lap (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 7th
Time: 1m31.419s (+1.600s in Session 3)
Car 7, Chassis TF106/05
Race Classification: DNF
Qualifying Classification: 11th
Time: 1m30.944s (+0.931s in Session 2)