Toyota's Mika Salo summarizes the team's test at Monza and looks ahead to the French Grand Prix. "You might be pleased to hear - although not as pleased as me! - that I am over the stomach infection that affected my weekend in Britain.
Toyota's Mika Salo summarizes the team's test at Monza and looks ahead to the French Grand Prix.
"You might be pleased to hear - although not as pleased as me! - that I am over the stomach infection that affected my weekend in Britain. Silverstone is not one of the nicest places to be at the best of times, so it's pretty desperate when you have the problems that I had over the British Grand Prix weekend. After the race I returned home to Switzerland where my wife Noriko looked after me like a nurse. I did very little for a couple of days, except drink lots of fluid and eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates."
"So, by the time I got in the car again on Thursday to begin two days of testing at Monza, I was completely back to normal. I was able to do a lot of laps of the Autodromo, and with no side effects. We spent most of the test working on the technical problems that Allan and I had encountered at the British GP, as well as some aerodynamics work and Michelin tyre testing. No retirement is acceptable, but to have both Panasonic Toyota Racing TF102s out by one-third distance, as we did at Silverstone, was annoying."
"At Monza, it was interesting to see that some of the changes we have made since we struggled over the kerbs in Montreal have had a positive effect. The car shouldn't be too bad through the chicanes when we come to race at the Italian Grand Prix in September. It was also encouraging that the guys found a solution to Allan's clutch problem from the last race."
"As for Magny-Cours I don't want to make any predictions. If it's dry, then who knows. In terms of sectors, Magny Cours is not dissimilar in its layout to Silverstone. There are some long, quick corners at the start of the lap before the track gradually tightens up towards the end. As at Silverstone, I expect us to be faster through the tighter corners in France at the back end of the lap."
"There is one aspect of the 4.251-kilometre Circuit de Nevers that could play into our hands and that is the asphalt, which is incredibly smooth. The TF102 is sensitive to bumps, so the surface should make finding a set-up easier and make the car easier to drive. From a driver's perspective, some of the corners at Magny-Cours are quite interesting - for example, the long first corner and the ultra-quick Estoril chicane. But I've never had much luck at the track. In six attempts I've never finished in the points, so let's hope that we can put that right next week.."
"Before I leave you, I must tell you about the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship kart race that we staged at Mika Salo Circuit prior to the British Grand Prix. It was brilliant fun and I think it was a huge success. There were 25,000 spectators over the weekend and the CIK-FIA have already signed a three-year extension to our contract. I'd forgotten how competitive the racing is in karting and I have no doubt that I saw a couple of stars of the future that weekend!"