Panasonic Toyota Racing concluded the European leg of the 2009 Formula 1 season with a tough Italian Grand Prix at Monza today which saw neither TF109 finish in the points. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock both started with extremely heavy fuel loads from the midfield in a bid to make up places. Jarno, starting on the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres, jostled for position at the first chicane while Timo, on the soft tyres, had to take avoiding action after being squeezed to the outside. Jarno finished the first lap in 13th with Timo 17th. Both drivers fought hard during long first stints, with Jarno pitting from the top 10 on lap 35 and Timo doing likewise three laps later. Timo, now on the medium tyres, emerged directly next to Jarno, on medium rubber, at the first chicane and they battled for position for half a lap. Jarno completed the lap in 12th with Timo just behind and set about pressuring Kazuki Nakajima in front. He got alongside under braking for the first chicane at the start of lap 48 but bounced across the kerbs and again rejoined alongside Timo. Another exciting battle concluded when Jarno ran wide, leaving him 14th and Timo 12th as the chequered flag flew with the field behind the safety car.
"It wasn't the result we wanted but at least it was good entertainment. I had already been fighting with Jarno when I came out of the pits; it was quite tight but he got ahead. Then towards the end I could see him try to overtake Kazuki Nakajima but he hit the kerbs and bounced wide. We had a nice battle and made sure we kept it clean. In the end I was on the inside so I won the fight. Overall it was never going to be easy to get much out of this race but Singapore is a different track and we will have some new bits on the car so we should have a decent chance."
"We expected a difficult race and that's what we got. I was behind (Kazuki) Nakajima for much of the race and I felt I was able to go faster but it was difficult to overtake. Towards the end I was getting a bit bored to be honest and I tried really hard to find an opportunity. As soon as I saw a little space I just dived in and braked very late. The move was almost okay but there wasn't quite enough space and unfortunately I hit the kerb and then I had a bit of a fight with Timo. That was good fun and I enjoyed it. I was always on the outside line but I kept fighting because it is better to have a bit of action and in the end it doesn't make much different if I am 11th or 14th. At least I tried because it wasn't an exciting race for me otherwise."
Tadashi Yamashina - Team Principal
"It was a disappointing race result for us after a frustrating qualifying but we knew it was likely to be hard for us here. At least we provided some exciting action for the fans with Jarno and Timo battling towards the end of the race; they showed their fighting spirit. Monza is a unique circuit which places unique demands on the car so I am convinced we will improve for the next race in Singapore. It is a completely different kind of track and we will work hard to get a better result there."