Panasonic Toyota Racing today began preparations for Sunday's glamorous grand prix around the twisting streets of Monaco. This weekend Toyota is running its new TF106B, which features a mechanical evolution at the front end of the car that will ...
Panasonic Toyota Racing today began preparations for Sunday's glamorous grand prix around the twisting streets of Monaco. This weekend Toyota is running its new TF106B, which features a mechanical evolution at the front end of the car that will enable further aerodynamic updates as the season progresses.
Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli both had solid days of practice today, putting in over 75 laps between them as they prepare for qualifying and the race. As ever at Monaco, grip was at a premium on this first Thursday and there were a number of red flags in the afternoon session. But both drivers will look to capitalise as the track continues to rubber in over the rest of the weekend.
"It is difficult to draw too many conclusions after what was a typical Thursday of practice at Monaco. The grip level was low and it did not improve much during the day. But we managed quite a lot of laps without too much trouble. We tried several different set-ups in order to improve the car but there is still a lot of work to do. Because this is a street circuit, the tarmac always changes a lot over the course of the weekend."
"So you have to follow that and adjust your set-up accordingly to get the most out of the car for qualifying and the race. Experience is especially important at this track because there is simply no margin for error. Qualifying is always crucial because it is so difficult to overtake but Saturday will be tough because there will be 22 cars out there all looking for a clear lap."
"That was a reasonable day of practice for us but finding grip was a struggle. We still have some work to do on set-up but that is always the case around Monaco because the track surface changes so much. On Thursday here the lap times are less relevant than most other days of the season."
"This is a narrow track and the challenge is to make it through the weekend without incident. So it is still too early to tell how the TF106B is performing. The new car is a mechanical evolution so it does not have a completely new aero package but it represents a step forward and should bring us results over the coming races."
Dieter Gass - Chief Engineer Race and Test:
"We had a difficult pair of practice sessions today - as usual on the first Thursday at Monaco. Both drivers reported a lack of grip as you would expect around these streets. It did improve over the course of the day, but not a lot. The track took a long time to rubber in and in the afternoon it was Mission Impossible to find a clean lap and to come away with clear results."
"Nevertheless we persevered and we carried out all the work that we had planned. We now have to look at the data to see where we go from here. What is certain is that the track will be completely different again on Saturday."
Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B
First Session Classification: 15th, 11 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m18.703s (+1.991s)
Second Session Classification: 11th, 25 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m17.325s (+1.418s)
Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B
First Session Classification: 16th, 14 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m19.021s (+2.309s)
Second Session Classification: 18th, 26 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m17.793s (+1.886s)