Round: 11 of 17
Venue: Valencia Street Circuit
Distance: 5.419km (57 laps)
Lap record: 1min 38.708s (2008)
History: The European Grand Prix title was first used for a stand-alone Formula 1 race in 1983, at Brands Hatch in England. Last year Valencia became the fifth circuit to host the race. Jerez (Spain), Donington Park (England) and Nürburgring (Germany) have also hosted it.
Panasonic Toyota Racing hits the Spanish streets this weekend for the European Grand Prix in Valencia after a four-week summer break. This year marks the second running of the race around Valencia's Americas Cup port, on a circuit which includes a bridge across the harbour and a super-fast second sector where cars hit over 315km/h. The team has happy memories of Valencia, having excelled there last year when Jarno Trulli finished fifth and Timo Glock, despite a heavy cold, took seventh. With the TF109 showing itself to be a step forward on the TF108, hopes are high for a similarly strong performance this weekend. As with the Hungarian Grand Prix three weeks ago, the team again uses the super soft and soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres, making it three consecutive races where the softest compound in the range has been utilised. Having achieved a double points finish thanks to its strong race performance in Hungary on these tyres, the team is confident of another extremely competitive weekend.
Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "I am really glad to be racing again; it's great to have some time off to relax with my family but my passion is racing so it's good to be getting back to the track.
It seems like a long time since the last race so everyone in the team is fired up to come out fighting this weekend. Valencia is not such an exciting circuit for me but that doesn't matter so much if we are strong, which we were last year on this track. Unlike somewhere like Monaco, Valencia is actually very fast for a street circuit so that should suit our car pretty well. In fact, it doesn't really feel much like a street circuit at all because it is so much faster than other city tracks. We were in the top six last year in Valencia and that is my target this season. It was good to have both cars in the points in Hungary. The Valencia track has a different character so it's difficult to predict at this stage but my target is to score as many points as possible."
Timo Glock (Car 10): "I really enjoy street circuits and I generally perform very well on them. Valencia was tricky last year for me because I had a bad cold and it was a real challenge just to finish the race, so I didn't enjoy the weekend as much as I could have. This year I am determined to really have fun in the car and hopefully finish even higher than I managed in 2008. We know from last year that overtaking is very difficult on this track so qualifying will be particularly important, which is a similar situation to the previous race in Hungary. After finishing in the top six from 13th on the grid in Budapest, my goal this weekend is to start as high as possible and give myself the best chance for a good result in the race. I had a relaxing time over the summer break but I also did some fitness work as well and I never stop thinking about racing so I am well prepared for this race."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "Valencia is by definition a street circuit as the track is based on public roads but in many ways it is different to more typical street circuits like Monaco or Singapore. It is a relatively high-speed track with very long straights; therefore the aerodynamic efficiency requirements are completely different to other street tracks. Unlike Monaco or Singapore, you are not aiming for high downforce, we are looking in the middle of the range, and it is extremely tough on brakes. But in other ways it is still recognisably a street circuit as the barriers are quite close so there is little margin for error. We are confident for this Grand Prix because the circuit corresponds to what appears to be the best aerodynamic efficiency window for our car and we went well there last year.
So we are really looking forward to racing again after the summer break and we expect a positive result."
Today, Tomorrow, Toyota. This year, as part of a global Toyota campaign, the TF109s feature messages used by local Toyota distributors to thank them for their continuing support of Panasonic Toyota Racing. For the European races 'Today, Tomorrow, Toyota' is inspired by Toyota in Europe.
Take a look at the latest issue of 'Push', the official Panasonic Toyota Racing team magazine, by visiting www.toyota-f1-world.com and clicking on the 'Push' link.